Kathryn Hart, THE OTHER VOICE
Sala d’Exposicions Coll Alas
Ajuntament de Gandia Cultura
23 January – 20 March 2020
Opening Reception 23 January, 7:30 PM
Events: 24-29 January and 10-20 March 2020
At the invitation of Ajuntament de Gandia Cultura, Kathryn Hart (USA) presents THE OTHER VOICE, a solo exhibition in Sala Coll Alas, the contemporary exposition space for Cultura Gandia, from 23 January - 20 March 2020.
THE OTHER VOICE
From the earliest recorded Western European history, men were referred to as the “First Voice” and women were deemed the “Other Voice.” They were considered property, lacking the intelligence of men, without voice, presence or power.
A woman with a public presence was slandered and vilified. Rumors became myth, legend and then recorded by men as truth. Despite this history, risk-taking women across distance, time and cultures dared to confront the ruling assumptions. Women renew, revise, redact, refuse and regenerate, both individually and collectively.
THE OTHER VOICE, a multidisciplinary exhibition by Kathryn Hart, is inspired by the psychic heritage of 16th century powerful women (namely Lucrezia Borgia and the early Venetian feminist writers), Velazquez’ “The Fable of Arachne”*, a reinterpretation of Greek myth*, and her own pioneering lineage.
The exhibition reflects on this psychic legacy of trail-blazing women and a retelling of their histories. It is also illuminates that many of the constraints fought well over five hundred years ago still resonate today.
Signifying the progression from the power of a public role to the inevitable slander, to truth and revisionism, Hart’s exhibition gradates from light into darkness back into light. Using shadow, reflection, light, space, and air, the artworks become larger than their physicality. The works and their environment interact as a whole statement.
THE OTHER VOICE includes a site-specific installation, sculptures, black and white abstract photographs, and ink paintings. Interlaced throughout the exhibition are line, gesture, meticulous weaving and webbing, and found objects. This combination of elements suggests time, movement, separation, connection, energy, memory and identity. Weaving has historically been a symbol for poetry and voice. Webs are indicative of home, the body, traps, plots and repair. The viewer is a vital participant to the exhibition, casting shadow and reflection onto the artworks and into the space.
The exhibition begins with a site-specific installation inspired by the legacy of Lucrezia Borgia, her familial role as a political pawn, the slander attached to her as the daughter of a Pope, and the revelations of her significant contributions to Papal administration, governorship, arts patronage, and urban and land reform. The installation is interactive as visitors are encouraged to add objects to it as inspired by the theme. It is organically iterative as it incorporates local seawater, sand, wire, twine, rope, light, glass, handmade paper, and the objects visitors contribute.
In the dimly lit middle section of the exhibition, a series of wire, fiberglass and bone sculptures are spotlighted. The sculptures suggest simultaneous becoming and eroding. The sculptures are permeable to light, air, energy, emotion and idea. They concurrently molt their skins and glisten with an embryonic presence. They shed their identities and associated rumors and regenerate. Their intertwining community of shadows spill off into the darkness.
This middle section also includes a large suspended sculpture of knotted wires, resin, glass and objects. A tangled miasma of interwoven shadow lines is cast both onto the walls behind it and into a halo of light on the floor.
The final section of the exhibition moves back into bright light, into truth and revisionism. Black and white abstract photographs of found bones reveal that symbols of decay and erosion can become anew, full of undulating light and energy. The photographs are stark, truthful. Their glossy surfaces reflect their environment. The viewer’s reflection in the surface becomes part of the photograph.
In THE OTHER VOICE, Kathryn Hart continues her dialogue with female agency and identity, that lasting core which transcends the white noise from society, family and personal experience.
*Note: Velazquez’ painting, “The Fable of Arachne” (or “The Spinners”), is a dual narrative including two of Ovid’s stories. The stories and the painting reflect on the abuse of power and misogyny. Arachne is known for her hubris because she challenged the goddess Athena to a weaving contest. A revised view of this story is that Arachne was an early whistle-blower who exposed the abuses of the gods in the eighteen stories her tapestry depicted. Behind the subjects in Velazquez’ painting is a copy of Titian’s “Rape of Europa” which narrates Zeus turning himself into a bull to trick and abduct Europa. Both Velazquez and Ovid must have had feminist sympathies to both create and focus on these stories.
THE OTHER VOICE is sponsored by Ajuntament de Gandia and organized by Luis Romero, Nahuel Gonzales Lopez, Ferran Mascarell, and Amanda Cerda’ Sebastian.
Sala Coll Alas is open Tuesday to Sunday, 17:30-20:30 and for events and by appointment.
Placa de les Escoles Pies, 7 46701 Gandia, Valencia, Spain.
Sala Coll Alas is directly connected to Las Escuelas Pias Antigua Universidad which was founded by San Francisco de Borja in 1549 and confirmed by emperor Charles I.