kriskelleystudios
artist : freelance photographer
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Monument

Monument

Date: 2011

Medium: Gaterboard, bedsheet, LED lights, gelatin silver prints, metal springs, metal bed structure  

Sizes:  each box,  13 x 12 x 10 inches, bed, 3 x 6 feet 

Exhibitions: Liminal States, Evolving Boundaries, Washington College, Chestertown, MD

Publications: Monument,” The Washington College Review, Chestertown, MD, 2011. 55.

The feminist concept of "male gaze" theorizes that the female body is often seen as a tool for male pleasure and visual stimulation. Monument utilizes the male gaze in that it presents what should be pleasing to a man (the female body), but simultaneously confronts the man with the capability of his own body to be violent and to inflict pain (the bed as a potential place of attack). Monument juxtaposes the real and the poetic, what is hidden and what is disclosed through light, using text and imagery. Photographs of the female body are projected onto the fabric with light. Light is used as a tool to illuminate the assault while it simultaneously withdraws and hides the body, conveying its’ vulnerability. The pulsating light and intensity of the shadows contemporaneously presents and dematerializes the subject, almost as if light itself were an antagonist. The text layered over the photos is a compilation of female words; passages from texts by women, poems by female poets and fragments of testimonies by anonymous victims. The metal springs of the bed, together with lines of writing, create a new poem. By incorporating the thoughts of women who were the subjects of sexual assault, Monument proposes a space for meditation and for questioning our body's fragility and persistent violation, along with its ability to both induce and endure violence.