Robyn Renee Hasty : “Z”
Pioneer Works, Center for Art and Innovation
159 Pioneer St.
June 11th to July 12th
Robyn Renee Hasty’s exhibit, “Z”, brings together old art techniques with new vocabulary to engage in the eternal dialogue on the social construction of gender. Artist and teaching resident during the past year at Pioneer Works, Hasty’s newest works is a group of plate glass portraits of transgender, genderqueer, cisgender, and gender nonconforming subjects. The dichotomy of vintage art form and ‘modern’ subject creates a tension that challenges the idea of what is socially accepted as ‘traditional’ and unchanging vs. fluid and evolving: on what–and who– has always been right in front of the viewer’s eyes.
By associating these subjects (who represent the changing social landscape and rupture of the dominant society’s constructions of gender) with a canonical portrait style, Hasty demonstrates that people are people– whatever the era. The title of the show, “Z” refers to a gender pronoun, also spelled “Ze” or “Zhe”, which has become more prevalent of late.
Artist Statement: My practice deals with paradox and its reconciliation through a transcending act or form. Focusing on the contradictions of the human spirit and the society we have built, I work with the conflict between desire and fulfillment, vulnerability and courage, futility and possibility.
Hasty has worked with multiple mediums, from tintype photography and printmaking, to installation art, ceramics, and wheatpasting. The artist participated in the radical performance collective and voyage of the floating barge, The Miss Rockaway Armada, along the Mississippi river, as did fellow Brooklyn-based artist Swoon, who recently had an exhibit last year at the Brooklyn Museum.