Ivana Bašić, Amy Butowicz, Juliana Cerqueira Leite, mujero, Ruben Ulises Rodriguez Montoya, Shinique Smith, Rachel Youn
Sargent’s Daughters is pleased to present Her Kind, an exhibition of sculptures by seven artists in diverse mediums, on view from July 29 through August 28, 2021. The exhibition takes its title from “Her Kind” (1960), the iconic and unsettling poem by American poet Anne Sexton. The works on view blend and warp pre-existing materials, transforming them into uncanny, anthropomorphic presences.
In “Her Kind,” Sexton speaks as three different witchy female archetypes. The first is “a possessed witch, haunting the black air, braver at night,” who flies over the rooftops, placing curses on traditional domesticity. The second “fix[es] the suppers for the worms and the elves” in a cave in the woods which she has outfitted as a home for herself. The final speaker declares she “is not ashamed to die,” even as she is driven...naked in a cart to be burned at the stake. Each figure defies normative sociality and femininity, and they are exiled and punished for it. At the end of each description, Sexton repeats the refrain, “I have been her kind,” claiming kinship with these powerful outcasts.
Sexton’s poetic figures embody their outsider status through intense physical states. One has twelve fingers, another’s ribs crack under the wheels of a cart. They are nude, flying, hunched in caves. “A woman like that is not a woman, quite,” writes Sexton. And yet, the poet aligns herself with them; at one point or another, she has been each of their kind. Like a witch in the night, a person may take on many forms, combining disparate attributes into an ever-shifting, ever-evolving assemblage.
Much like the women in the poem, the works in Her Kind are neither women nor anything else. They take on a variety of strange shapes. Some are anthropomorphic, blurring the boundary between flesh and thing as they hold their own in the gallery space. Others assemble and combine objects that normally ensnare the body, rendering them strange and alluring. All of these amorphous forms destabilize fixed categories, calling into question the boundaries between the human and the non-human, male and female, animate and inanimate. While they are archetypes of a certain kind, they are also many things at once.
Entrada actualizada el el 10 sep de 2021
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