CUTMR 2018 explores how people interact with art and design. But is it a shared experience mediated by an artist or designer? Or is it an individual response triggered by personal experience? Looking at some of the feminist-leaning art projects at CUTMR this year, maybe we can say it’s a little bit of both.
The capacity to understand and share common experiences is not only a privilege, but also a social, political, and cultural imperative in contemporary society. To be able to see through the feminist lens in the following works of art is an opportunity rarely afforded in daily life to truly connect with the feminine form in all its complexities.
For the viewer to fully engage in shared and unique experiences we must employ an open and willing mind, and create a space where our uncertainties and preconceptions can speak to our communal empathy and compassion. And amid any apprehension, artists and designers of CUTMR 2018 signal willingly—this is the time to build new connections and forge new narratives.
Here are a few projects at CUTMR 2018 sharing a feminist narrative and using art and design as the bridge between ourselves and the female condition.
Ice Cream’ By Samantha Jones (3rd Floor Gallery, South Corridor)
This visually striking photography project gets to the core of a very important matter: eating. Reflecting on the collective insecurities women experience as a result of damaging societal pressures and expectations placed upon them surrounding a very primitive and necessary act of survival. That eating should be compromised out of the fear of not maintaining a bodily ‘ideal’ is ludicrous. The photographs here are intentionally large in scale and shot in the style of glossy, saturated advertisements. Furthermore, the placement of the photographs is along the third-floor hallway, with the portraits deliberately facing one another. How do you like me now!?
‘Post-Part’ by Longernin Collective: Pazit Cahlon, Catherine Mellinger, Nat Janin, Adam Harendorf (Room 204)
Calling out a very real issue for women and new mothers specifically that is all too often ignored for fear of making people uncomfortable, comes a comprehensive project that is not afraid to call out the pink elephant in the room. Functioning as a meeting place for the postpartum experiences of the 1800s to today, Post-Part uses vintage images layered with contemporary materials, first-hand accounts and sensor-triggered audio to make us question how far we have really come in our understanding and acceptance of a woman’s postpartum experience. Inspired by the short story, The Yellow Wallpaper, the modern collage movement, and the colour innovation of Italian design duo Carnovsky, the walls of Room 2014 will literally speak and share the common experiences of 21st-century women staring in the face of postpartum.
‘E M B R A C E’ by Chelsea Attong (2nd Floor North Corridor)
Enter the human-size vagina shaped tunnel and discover and embrace the astounding female qualities that women possess in a tangible and provocative way in order to promote a culture of acceptance and self-love. This project appreciates the diverse shapes, sizes, and colors of the female body and does away with the scrutiny and inequality that has promoted a female inferiority complex, and a culture where women neglect themselves! Inspired by a combination of the artists’ personal experiences and those of the powerful women she admires, this installation educates and empowers women to see the miraculous wonders they possess. And this inclusive installation welcomes all who identify as women, as well as those who want to understand the female experience.
Sister Co-Resister: Pamila Matharu, Karen Azoulay, Nedda Baba, Yan Wen Chang, Marianne Ibrahim, Zahra Komeylian, Maanii Oakes, Kalpna Patel, Kendra Yee, co-curated by Pamila Matharu and Vince Rozario (Room 214)
An open and exciting discourse abounds in this multi-artist installation. It is a space in permanent flux- containing the messy shards and jagged edges of solidarity in a state of the continual evolution of feminist thought. Shattered nerves, furtive pride, salvaged homelands, nostalgia and itinerant spaces of care populate Room 214. Its inhabitants are late-invited guests, squatters even, at a conversation whose terms have been pre-defined. They speak in languages that have been misappropriated and distorted, vulnerable to misinterpretation and co-optation. Their loud din echoes in passages and labyrinthine hallways, leading to a protected space where their incitements can breathe. Wow.
Artist in featured image: Kendra Yee
For a complete list of art project at CUTMR 2018 and previous years please visit www.comeuptomyroom.com