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Tomorrow (April 14) is your last chance to see the wonderful exhibition “Breaking in Two: Visions of Motherhood,” curated by Bruria Finkel, at Arena 1 Gallery, 3026 Airport Ave., Santa Monica. www.santamonicaartstudios.com The gallery opens at noon and there’s a closing reception from 6-9 pm which I plan on attending.
I am exhibiting a new photographic work called “Twin Diptych” as well as the video “Our Wedding” and the artists’ book “Marriage Matters.” There’s lots of strong and diverse work in the show and I highly recommend it. Here’s what the Los Angeles Times said about my work:
“One of the most engaging currents threading through the show has to do with reciprocity, the way that children, in effect, birth their parents, endowing them with new, utterly altered identities. In Cheri Gaulke’s poignant “Twin Diptych,” mothers and daughters each get a turn at representing the other. Gaulke and her wife, Sue, pose their teenage twins as winged, gossamer-draped angels, a tongue-in-cheek coda to the similarly staged baby picture the girls hold before them. The girls, in turn, picture their mothers with equally exaggerated grimness, unsmiling, in matching black, their colorful glasses and blue-streaked hair the only overt notes of subversion.” –Leah Ollman
The participating artists include: Kim Abeles, Lita Albuquerque, Eleanor Antin, Michele Asselin, Jo Ann Callis, Joyce Dallal, Bruria Finkel, Magaret Garcia, Cheri Gaulke, Tierney Gearon, Judithe Hernandez, Channa Horwitz, Katherine Jacobi, Mary Kelly, Margaret Lazzari, Andrea Liss, M.A .M. A., Kim McCarty, MaryLinda Moss, Mother Art, Sandra Mueller, Pearls of Wisdom: End the Violence, Renee Petropoulos, Astrid Preston, Alison, Saar, Betye Saar, Sola Agustsson Saar, Lesley Saar, Reva Santo, Sylvia Sher, Amy Shimshon-Santo, Elena Mary Siff, Doni Silver Simons, Linda Vallejo, June Wayne, Ruth Weisberg, Kim Yasuda and Shuang Zhang.
Please join me this coming Saturday evening, Feb. 11, 6-9 pm, for an opening of the exhibition Breaking in Two: Provocative Visions of Motherhood. I got to see much of the show during installation this week and it’s really wonderful. I am exhibiting a new work called Twin Diptych. When I was invited to be a part of this show I knew I wanted to do something in collaboration with my partner, Sue Maberry, and our daughters, Xochi and Marka Maberry-Gaulke. We decided to explore portraiture and got to thinking about how parents pose their children when the kids are little and they have nothing to say about it. We have a portrait of Xochi and Marka as angels and everyone adores it. The truth is that the little darlings were absolutely miserable during the shoot and the photograph represents that one moment when they appeared to be happy. Sue and I decided to photograph them as angels again, but this time give them the opportunity to pose us any way they desired. We got off easy as they decided to pose us as American Gothic by Grant Wood. We chose to mimic William-Adolphe Bouguereau’s angels. Many of you saw a shot from the series on our holiday card. In addition I will be showing the artists’ book, Marriage Matters, and the video by Xochi and Marka called Our Wedding.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
BREAKING IN TWO: PROVOCATIVE VISIONS OF MOTHERHOOD
FEBRUARY 11 – APRIL 14, 2012
(event schedule below)
ARENA 1 A project of Santa Monica Art Studios
3026 Airport Avenue, Santa Monica, CA 90405
Tuesday through Saturday, noon to 6 pm
Curated by Bruria Finkel, filmed by Sabine Sighicelli
Contact information: Tel: 310 251 4299, Bruriaart@roadrunner.com
BREAKING IN TWO is the first comprehensive exhibition of work by women artists who are mothers where the work itself integrates the maternal experience, the relationship to the body, the child, the family, and the society at large. The exhibition, which is part of Pacific Standard Time, will feature a multi‐cultural group of four generations of nationally and internationally recognized artist‐mothers selected to represent the multi‐faceted and changing realities of motherhood. The exhibition includes painting, drawing, sculpture, collage and assemblage, installation, photography, film/video, poetry/writing and performance. Curator Bruria Finkel, herself an artist, asserts that “the subject of motherhood was taboo in the art world in the 70s; women artists were advised not to disclose their motherhood status for it might interfere with their ability to progress in the art world.”
PARTICIPATING ARTISTS: Kim Abeles, Lita Albuquerque, Eleanor Antin, Michele Asselin, Jo Ann Callis, Joyce Dallal, Bruria Finkel, Magaret Garcia, Cheri Gaulke, Tierney Gearon, Judithe Hernandez, Channa Horwitz, Katherine Jacobi, Mary Kelly, Margaret Lazzari, Andrea Liss, M. A. M. A., Kim McCarty, MaryLinda Moss, Mother Art, Sandra Mueller, Pearls of Wisdom: End the Violence, Renee Petropoulos, Astrid Preston, Alison, Saar, Betye Saar, Sola Augustsson Saar, Lezley Saar, Reva Santo, Sylvia Sher, Amy Shimshon‐Santo, Elena Mary Siff, Doni Silver Simons, Linda Vallejo, June Wayne, Ruth Weisberg, Miriam Wosk, Kim Yasuda, and Stella Zhang.
February 11, 2012, 5–6 pm VIP opening, 6–9 pm Public opening
February 26, 2012, 12–3 pm Walk-through curator and artists
March 17, 2012, 3–5 pm Mothers on Motherhood: Dance and Spoken Word Performance
March 31, 2012, 2–5 pm Panel discussion, the social and aesthetic implications of Motherhood, a scholarly interaction
April 14, 2012, 6–10 pm Exhibition closing celebration
Emerging from the educational programs at the Woman’s Building in Los Angeles, Feminist Art Workers incorporated techniques of feminist education into participatory performance structures. We addressed issues of community (Heaven or Hell?), violence against women (This Ain’t No Heavy Breathing and Traffic in Women: A Feminist Vehicle), and equal pay for equal work (Bills of Rights). Our performances took place in locations as varied as city streets (Pieta, Afloat), during protest rallies (Draw Your Own Conclusions: Know on 13), in coffee houses, art galleries and museums.
Klick and I will offer insight into this historic art work, the time period, and the Woman’s Building, an organization that has had a huge impact on the form and content of contemporary art. We will also have a sneak preview copy of our new 230-page book, Feminist Art Workers: A History, as well as the book, Sisters Of Survival, about the anti-nuclear performance group that I cofounded. Both books will be available for purchase at $20 (SOS) and $25 (FAW) – cash or check only. This is an excellent opportunity to see one of the most interesting Pacific Standard Time exhibitions and hear personal stories from two artists who lived the history.
I hope to see you on Saturday at 11 am at Otis College of Art and Design Gallery, 4500 Lincoln Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90045. For more info, go to the gallery website: http://otis.edu/public_programs/ben_maltz_gallery/womansbuilding.html. There are all kinds of video interviews and other interesting stuff that can be found there. And it’s all free!
Also stay tuned for notice of a private tour of my other Pacific Standard Time installation at LACE in Hollywood, which closes January 29. You can always check my blog for information about what I’m up to and if you sign up you’ll receive occasional notices.
Thanks and I hope to see you Saturday!
- Cheri Gaulke
The composer for my Peep Totter Fly installation at LACE is Wiley Webb. Wiley is a young talent who already has a good body of work available online at http://soundcloud.com/wileywebb. I teach Video Art at Harvard-Westlake School where Wiley is a senior. Last year he asked me if he could get involved with my student filmmakers by providing audio sweetening, sound effects and original scores. I was very impressed with his work and his professsionalism. I was already working with some of my just-graduated students — Nick Lieberman was the assistant director and Gabe Benjamin was the editor – so I asked Wiley to join the team. He put together a beautiful soundtrack – a rich layering of natural sounds, many of which he gathered himself, to accompany each scene. He then added a subtle but powerful layer of tones derived from a recording session with musical artist Ananda using her voice and instruments like a harmonium, frame drum and singing bowl. I put together this video documentation for Wiley to show off his music (although the final version that I went with is a little different than this – more natural less human-generated sounds). The sound is an important aspect of the installation. It causes the video to become mesmerizing (even for me who’s seen it a million times)! But to really experience it you need to go to LACE at 6522 Hollywood Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90028.
Peep Totter Fly was commissioned by LACE and is part of Los Angeles Goes Live: Performance Art in Southern California 1970-1983, September 27, 2011 – January 29, 2012, which is part of the Getty initiative Pacific Standard Time: Art in LA 1945-1980. For more info go to http://www.pacificstandardtime.org/.
- Cheri Gaulke
Here are a few shots from my performance Peep Totter Fly at LACE on September 27. Performers in white activated my wall of red high heels by putting them on and walking on Hollywood Boulevard. When they returned to the gallery they offered the shoes to the audience and all mayhem was unleashed as people tried on the red high heels. I’ve got shoes in women’s sizes 5-16 which means they fit men sized 6.5-17.5 or so. The wall of shoes is meant to be interactive and viewers are allowed to wear the shoes while in the gallery. I have found that men really get a kick out of this as they have been curious about what it feels like but have never had a chance to try on shoes that would fit them.
So I invite anyone and everyone to come check out the installation which will be open through January 29, 2012. The installation is more than a wall of high heels. It has a beautiful video of high-heeled legs walking through natural environments – slogging through streams, lavafields, beaches, geo-thermal sites and against dramatic vistas. It was shot in locations as varied as Los Angeles, Death Valley and Iceland. There’s also a lovely sound score that makes the video quite mesmerizing. For more info and the hours of LACE, go to http://www.losangelesgoeslive.org/. All photos in this post are by Paul Redmond.
- Cheri Gaulke