Friday, October 7, 2011

Martha Wilson (130)

Growing Old, July 15, 2009.

My Authentic Self, 1974/2011

Before and After 1974/2008

Beauty and Beastly, 1974/2009.

Excerpt from 'Martha Wilson: The Liminal Trickster,' by Lauren Bakst on BOMBLOG, 10/5:

Martha Wilson’s solo exhibition, "I have become my own worst fear," comprises a series of self portraits that repeatedly distort the self until any fixed notion of subjectivity has utterly dissolved. Spanning from 1974 to 2011, these works reveal Wilson through specific markers in time, and invite the viewer to imagine the lived space beyond each image. Through the juxtaposition of younger and older, of before and after, Wilson makes tangible the space between these captured moments. Her images seem to ask, how did time pass between then and now? Furthermore, what was the embodied experience of that passage? In Beauty and Beastly, a profile image of Wilson in 1974 is positioned adjacent to a profile image of Wilson in 2011, a portrait of the artist peering simultaneously backwards and forwards at herself in spite of and through time. Rather than to spiral into an unending cycle of self reflection and critique, when Wilson looks at herself, she also looks at the viewer, beckoning us to examine the value systems that shape our ways of seeing. Her image and text work invoke the expectations and preconceptions that are written and re-written on women’s bodies every day. The terms “beauty” and “beastly” applied by Wilson to the young and old images of herself reference the persistent intertwining of the personal and the political, bringing awareness to the cultural discourses that frame the female body.

(to read the entire post by Lauren Bakst, follow the link to BOMBLOG.)