974 Chung King Rd
Los Angeles, CA 90012
February 27 - April 3, 2016
Artist's Performance thru Friday - March 18, 2016
Sulkowicz and visitor Feb 27, 2016
Portrait by EMS (Eric Minh Swenson)
I BELIEVE YOU- CONVIVERE...
by Sandra Vista
Today is the last day to participate in Emma Sulkowicz' self portrait performance. She has been at the gallery for three weeks, courageously exchanging conversations with Chinatown's art affecionados. Sulkowicz has received national press regarding her visual arts senior thesis at Columbia University(2014) in which she carried a college dormitory mattress with her throughout her senior year protesting her rape by a fellow student. The mattress is symbolic of her traumatic experience of sexual assault and her fight- "la lucha" for reparation.
Sulkowicz', a freshly incarnated avatar, appears strong and humble. Unadorned, and make-up free, she shares her most precious gift of herself. Sometimes when we are young our bravery supersedes our experiences. With more opportunities for bravery individual patterns emerge. Sulkowicz is fortunate to have a creative arsenal to process her personal experiences as a woman of sexual assault. When I spoke with her during opening night, I told her that I believed her and that part of my life purpose was to listen and support peoples' stories of emotional and physical abuse. With no physical contact aloud, she gave me an "air high five".
Gloria Steinem said that putting a woman on a pedestal is a good way to know where she is.
Sulkowicz' is challenging this concept by presenting three aspects of herself, a 3-d model, Emmatron, her robotic version, and herself. She represents a positive and encouraging example of the current generation that is portrayed as parakeets looking at themselves in the mirror of their cellphones. For my satori I tried to give her an offering of a sheriff's badge. As her assistant took my gift, she asked what it symbolized. The badge is open to interpretations, for me it was an expression of gratitude for being part of her art performance.
Sulkowicz could be anybody's daughter who is sent away to college. We have high hopes for their future and fear the dangers of their first steps into the adult world. Sulkowicz has received support her for her claims but also has been slandered as an opportunist using "her rape" as a way to get famous. She wants you to see her as a real person, flesh and bones, not a news sound bite.
The Mattress Girl will be with Sulkowicz as long as she needs her. Right now TMG is the first cannon ball. Gallery director and feminist, Mat Gleason was born at the end of the baby-boomer generation, where the womens' rights movement was already in place. He welcomes women artists and respects their perspectives whether he agrees with them or not. Sulkowicz' current exhibit, is becoming a significant contribution, by Coagula Curatorial, for womens' rights, re-defining sexual assault, rape, and the need for human contact. The beauty part is that it is delivered to us through art.
Graduate School CSULB Fall 1979- Painting class student critique...
Mr. Palm : " Hey Sandra, I like your painting-you paint like a man."
Sandra: "Is that supposed to be a compliment?"
Mr. Palm: " Well yeah...!"