30 – 31 July, 2016Uqbar, BerlinVideo and film screening with works by Jeanne Dunning, Jillian Mayer, Sally Glass, Ann Hirsch, and Maya Malou Lyse
A woman must continually watch herself. She is always accompanied by her own image of herself, John Berger states in Ways of Seeing. From her earliest childhood a woman has been taught to survey herself continuously, to survey everything she is and everything she does because of how she may appear to men. The active and determining male gaze projects its fantasy onto the female figure who, in turn, perceives herself through this gaze and styles herself accordingly. The artists presented in FEELING MYSELF subvert, cannibalize and trick the gaze of audiences.
Maja Malou Lyse at first glance presents herself to the viewers of her camshow as an erotic spectacle. She tricks her presumably male viewers who participate in the cam chat initially by keeping quiet. Silently crying, she confuses the men who do not have their visual expectations fulfilled. Jillian Mayer walks in and out of the ocean wearing a bikini. Her hot beach babe personage aims to please. But she is not entering the frame for you alone; dozens of computer cursors denote other gazers.
Using the digital realm to subvert, confront, amuse and distort, the artists presented in FEELING MYSELF are both artist and subject. Inspired by their own bodies, they use themselves to perform for the camera. Ann Hirsch reclaims her body for fun. She does not use her body to elicit a sexual response, she uses her body to be silly. Sally Glass‘ Ripper takes the male dominated metal world and subverts her position as a woman, highlighting the lyrics in baby blue, she becomes the one in control. Jeanne Dunning enables the viewer take part in absurd, yet intimate, everyday rituals of body care which she presents in a calm, unexcited manner.
In the video and film works presented the artists reverse the structure of the male gaze. Reclaiming their body for themselves in order to present it as they wish, be it silly, funny, confronting or sexual, off-putting or desired. She’s feeling herself.Jeanne Dunning’s (Chicago, USA) photographic, sculptural and video work explores our relationship to our own physicality, looking at the strange and unfamiliar in the body, gender and notions of normality, and death. Her work has been included in major group exhibitions such as the Whitney Biennial, the Sydney Biennale, and the Venice Biennale. She has had one person shows at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington D.C., the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago, the Konstmuseet in Malmö, Sweden, the Berkeley Art Museum and the Wattis Institute.Jillian Mayer (South Florida, USA) is an artist and filmmaker whose video works and performances have been premiered at galleries and museums internationally such as MoMa, MoCA: NoMi, BAM and Bass Museum. Mayer is the recent recipient of the prestigious Creative Capital Fellowship for 2015 and was named one of the “25 New Faces of Independent Film” by Filmmaker Magazine.Sally Glass (Houston, USA) is an artist, curator, and publisher based in Houston, Texas. Glass has participated in numerous solo and group exhibitions in Texas, the US, and abroad, and is currently the founding Editor-in-Chief of contemporary art publication semigloss. Magazine and is managing co-director of the Gimp Room in Houston, Texas.Ann Hirsch (Los Angeles, USA) is a video and performance artist who examines the influence of technology on popular culture and gender. Her immersive research has included becoming a YouTube camwhore with over two million video views and an appearance as a contestant on Frank the Entertainer…In a Basement Affair on Vh1. She was awarded a Rhizome commission for her two-person play Playground which debuted at the New Museum and was premiered by South London Gallery at Goldsmiths College.Maya Malou Lyse (Copenhagen, Denmark) is a performance artist and aspiring gynecologist. Her works explores the notions of power and pleasure production. She has performed at Tate Modern and Moderna Museet, and is currently studying at The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts in Copenhagen.