In the digital age and generation of the selfie, a spiraling and often disorienting importance placed on consumerism and commodities permeates even the most remote of regions. Through the billboard jungles and beehive of mass media, images relentlessly promoting youth and sexuality haphazardly depict ideals of femininity. Creating a wormhole of inadequacies, the female form has found itself in a constant tug-of-war in either defending its natural state or scrambling to correct propagated notions of aesthetic shortcomings. As Barbara Kruger famously stated on one of her notorious gelatin silver prints from the 1980’s, “You Are Not Yourself”.
In her upcoming exhibit at Ambach & Rice, artist Ellen Lesperance intently and painstakingly reconstructs the sweaters of feminism’s heroines. Hand drawn and hand knit, the installation serves to attach these women’s politcal ideals and activism to their personal identity. Lesperance lovingly presents the objects nearly as if they were relics. Indeed, throughout the exhibit Lesperance alludes to ancient heroines in connection with these modern ones. In that light, the sweaters become a sort of “soft armor” in a struggle that extends from ancient female warriors to today’s feminist activists. Appropriately, the title of Lesperance’s exhibit is It’s Never Over.
Lara Schnitger’s show, Damned Woman, at Modern Art in London (July 9th to August 7th) seems to hail from another time has it explores the idea of women from every angle. Schnitger uses methods and media associated with the domestic realm–textiles and stitching–to further explore the female role.
Opening July 11th (6-8 PM) and concluding on August 29th, the group show spotlights 14 Los Angeles-based women who all share a certain maverick outlook and ballsy attitude that distinguish them at a time when their male counterparts continue to receive the lion’s share of the artworld’s attention.