The future is definitely female in LIFEFORCE, a new exhibition at The Untitled Space. Presented by sister curator duo Kelsey and Rémy Bennett along with gallery director Indira Cesarine, LIFEFORCE will open July 26th at the gallery’s Tribeca location. Inspired by Donna Haraway’s seminary text, A Cyborg Manifesto, and the Afrofuturists of the 1970s, LIFEFORCE features more than 20 female artists and continues The Untitled Space’s mission of highlighting women in art. The work of the exhibition, which includes performance, sculpture, painting, comics, and photography, explores the feminine in the context of a genderless future by focusing on the all encompassing power of “the female” on both physical and metaphysical levels. In this way it aims to re-code normative experience and to celebrate the LIFEFORCE that is beyond human physicality and matter.
In A Cyborg Manifesto, Haraway writes about “a world without oppression and domination; where sexual, racial, and other so called natural distinctions have lost their meaning.” By presenting work that transcends constructs of race and gender, reclaims representations, and explores the intersection of science and technology, LIFEFORCE will offer gallery visitors a visual manifestation of Haraway’s utopian ideas and a view from the fourth wave perspective of the cyberfeminist movement. Of cyberfeminism, Signe Pierce, LIFEFORCE participant and “reality artist” states:
“The word ‘feminism’ can often feel binary but I think that the cyberfeminist movement is interested in eliminating these binaries by advocating a concept of expanding identities beyond the limits of our bodies and/or assigned genitalia to be something more than human.” -Signe Pierce
Through the lens of cyberfeminism, artists in LIFEFORCE use defiance and a sense of humor to materialize a world in which the past’s demonized depictions of females are reclaimed and stereotypical social constructs are satirized. Women in the exhibition, such as 16-year-old illustrator, Panteha Abarasha who creates futuristic comic strips that feature powerful women of color, use fantasy to imagine the social possibilities of a future unaffected by history’s misdeeds and abuse of women and others traditionally relegated to lower social status. Of her work Abarasha proclaims:
“It’s really time that people of color are portrayed in art as the deep, diverse and beautiful characters they truly are.”
Other artists in LIFEFORCE use grotesque imagery that is traditionally deemed unappealing to challenge today’s misogyny. Of her work, which is inspired by “all things gross and human, ”acclaimed British photographer, Maisie Cousins offers,
“I make work that is erotic, visceral and always inspired by the fluidity of sexuality and gender…I like to create beautiful satisfying images from disgusting mess.”
Don’t miss a chance to glimpse the future in LIFEFORCE, the exhibition runs from June 27 through August 6 at The Untitled Space. Arists in LIFEFORCE include Amanda Turner Pohan, Aria McManus, Chiara Girimonti, Elizabeth Ilsley, Hein Koh, Jeanette Hayes, Jessica Stoller, Jo Shane, Juno Calypso, Kelsey Bennett, Maggie Dunlap, Maisie Cousins, Monica Garza, Nadia Lee Cohen, Nicole Nadeau, Panteha Abareshi, Parker Day, Raine Trainor, Remy Bennett, Sam Cannon, Signe Pierce, Tafv Sampson, and Taira Rice.
ABOUT THE CURATORS:
Sister curatorial team Kelsey and Rémy Bennett have been creating art together since they were children. When Kelsey started taking photos at the age of 12 Rémy, who later became an actor and filmmaker was always her subject, together they would brainstorm concepts and execute them on film. It was only natural for them to continue working creatively together throughout their lives. Their professional collaborations include the group show Glory Hole at the Springbreak Art Fair that was featured as the top 5/must see by The Gothamist and W Magazine, solo shows War Wagon by B Thom Stevenson, Last Chance Salon for artist Heather Morgan, and Another You for the Lu Magus gallery. Kelsey’s art work has been shown in solo and group shows in New York, LA, and London and and she recently curated a show featured in the Todd Solondz film, Weiner Dog. she has contributed to Interview Magazine, Dazed, Polyester Zine, and VICE. Rémy Bennett wrote and stars in her directorial debut feature film Buttercup Bill that will be released in the U.S. in 2016. They live 10 blocks away from each other in NYC.
Founded in 2014 by Indira Cesarine, The Untitled Space gallery features an ongoing curation of exhibits of emerging and established contemporary artists exploring conceptual framework and boundary pushing ideology through mediums of painting, sculpture, printmaking, photography, video and performance art. The gallery is committing to exploring new ideas vis-à-vis traditional and new mediums and highlights a program of “Women in Art” as well as special events aligned with our creative vision. Recent press: Huffington Post, AnOther, Vice The Creators Project, Bullett, ArtReport