For immediate release
Breathing Amongst Werewolves
M Florine Démosthène, Liz Cohen, Barbara Hammer, io, Tamara Johnson, and Beya Gille Gacha.
December 3, 2022 – January 28, 2023
Opening: Saturday, December 3, 5-8 pm
Film screening of a selection of Barbara Hammer’s films and Q&A: January 14, 3-5 pm
Please, RSVP for the event at email@example.com
Keijsers Koning, 150 Manufacturing Street, 201, Dallas, TX 75207
Wednesday through Saturday: 11-5 pm
Keijsers Koning is pleased to present Breathing Amongst Werewolves, a group exhibition featuring works by Liz Cohen, M Florine Demosthene, Barbara Hammer, io, Tamara Johnson, and Beya Gille Gacha. The title of the show, Breathing Amongst Werewolves was inspired by the medieval symbolic meaning of a werewolf as an abusive patriarchal power. The exhibition features a selection of photographs, drawings and sculptures that explore private moments of self-actualization, its celebration, and reclamation of the narrative. These acts are deemed defiant by autocratic powers roaming through our current culture.
On view is a selection of Liz Cohen’s “BODY MAGIC”, a series inspired by the book Body Magic by Lisa Lyon. Lyon was an artist bodybuilder who for years collaborated with Robert Mapplethorpe, upon their separation her story and involvement in the work has been underrepresented. Cohen was struck by this obscured narrative and its similarities towards one of her collaborators, lowrider model Dazza Del Rio. Del Rio was a prominent lowrider model whose identity was cast in a shadow as her popularity grew, due to a desire to reframe narratives around women within the lowrider culture. Cohen and Del Rio sculpted their bodies in a few months to recreate Lyon’s poses and honor her narrative.
M. Florine Démosthène is showing four collaged drawings that were recently featured in “Always For All Ways”, a solo exhibition at the Crisp-Ellert Art Museum in St. Augustine, FL. Démosthène’s work is an embodiment of love, composed out of mixed media her voluptuous figures attain a celestial presence. The outline of the earthbound bodies become visual portal to a universe that seems boundless. Constrained and yet freeing, the viewer explores these contrasts through embracing and entangled figures that exude confidence, compassion, and acceptance.
Love is also manifested in the work by Barbara Hammer. With her deviant perspectives on social relations, the female body, and the people who mattered to her, she created an alternative to the dominating male gaze that remains present in the worlds of art and cinema. With diligence and joy she documented her never ending curiosity as she celebrated life. Her exploration within film and photography of women, their camaraderie, love and rightful place on center stage has made her an icon within the LGBTQ + community. The photographs on view are vintage prints taken by Hammer in the 1970s.
io (FKA Aiden Simon), is showing two series of photographs “Self-Portraits” and “Twin Lakes”. The portraits are a series of images she shot within her cellar at age 16 as she was reckoning with using her body as a vessel that did not suit her sense of self. This allowed for her body to become an object, subject, and question her responsibility to it in its assumed forms. “Twin Lakes” was created in 2010 and see io revisit an abandoned swim club in which she reenacts boyhood follies and relives a childhood experience.
Tamara Johnson’s work recalls suburbia, its absurdities, and our territorial expressions within. This look to the domestic is both comforting as well as unnerving, taking objects that we have a visceral reaction to and using them to dissect our traits and behaviors. Upon entering the space “Gate with Stars and Bungee,” 2022 stands in the front half of the gallery creating a fictive barrier to the exhibit. While behind it another barrier, a concrete cast of a fence post, curves up to the wall which turns its function into a threshold silently being consumed by cast resin gummy worms.
Beya Gille Gacha work strikes a balance between tradition, shamanism and contemporary. Using traditional techniques from Cameroon to create beadwork sculptures that bring to light the marginalized story of the African French communities. The sculptures are delicately built up of glass beads whose body or parts seem to embody a piece of its muse as they enact a stage within their environment. In this exhibition we see a pair of feet, both of children one older than the other, peering out from under the curtain as caught in a game of hide and seek. As Gacha describes the describes the duality of the game at once joyful or to hiding from a situation at hand. It also counters as a metaphor as immigrants and mixed nationalities who are constantly questioning what part of their identity or being, they need to hide even within their homestead.
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