Katya Grokhovsky - "Bodybeautiful"
curated by Peter Gynd
September 5 - October 10, 2013
197 Ninth Ave (lower level) New York, NY 10011
Opening Reception with opening remarks by Martha Wilson - September 5, 2013 6-9pm
Bodybeautiful, live performance - October 3, 2013 6-9pm
Bodybeautiful, a solo exhibition by multi-disiplinary artist Katya Grokhovsky, highlights a narrative of the grotesque in the feminine ideal and presents the body as an absurd counterpart to the mind. The title, culled from the beauty pages of women's fashion magazines, relates to the artist’s use of her own body as a medium and to her critique on the representation and relentless sexualization of the feminine. Presenting works in video, collage, drawing, performance and post-performance sculpture - ephemera, Bodybeautiful explores and emphasizes the "ridiculous" qualities inherent in the female existence.
Utilizing the body as a tool, Grokhovsky invests her medium with meanings and points of reference relating to perceived women's roles, personal relationships and the displaced migrant body. Often striving in her practice to define her own sense of belonging within a culture, the work straddles a space between the general (the universal) and the specific (the personal), embedded as a form of sensory memory and engaged through the cultural constructs of gender in various mediums.
Grokhovsky’s collage work presents distorted forms of the body image as represented through juxtapositions of sliced magazine clippings and hand-painted forms in various substances such as beetroot juice, wine, tea and coffee. In her performance work, both live and for the camera, Grokhovsky employs the agent of play through a process of exploratory actions and repetitive process. The themes of these performances, often drawing from a myriad of cultural experiences, center around an engagement of the body as a space or a ‘home’. Grokhovsky’s post-performance sculptures and installations function both as a documentation of this process and as activated objects, building on the themes and specifying the reference of the bodily, to the flesh.
In the combination of these works, a narrative comes forth about the female body as both an object of culture but also as a fluid medium constantly in search of its definition. Just as the body can operate as a metaphor for culture, so too can it function as a cultural barometer in assigning this role. The work in Bodybeautiful serves just as much in highlighting the artists' own story within a specific body as it seeks to deconstruct the prescribed view of female body perception in general, and the ongoing quest to clarify ones own part within it.