In Greek mythology, Medusa was viewed as a monster, and gazing
directly upon her would turn onlookers into stone. Inspired by this
myth, the artists in Medusa’s Mirror address the able-bodied gaze upon the disabled subject - often viewed with fear, curiosity or wonder - by turning the gaze upon the viewer. This shift allows the disabled
subject to claim agency and gives cause for the able-bodied viewer to
reflect on their own frameworks. The piercing gaze as interpreted
through medicine are explored in Katherine Sherwood's mixed media
paintings and Sadie Wilcox's examinations of the roles of patient,
caregiver and doctor. The medicinal gaze is further skewed into the
world of the sideshow in the work of Sunaura Taylor, articulating the
point of tension in the gaze.
Several works draw from the ruptures between the able-bodied and
the disabled. Deaf artist Joseph Grigely's explores the ruptures and
failures of communication, pointing to the rift between spoken and
signed language. Blind artist Carmen Papalia's Blind Field
Shuttle walking tours leads the closed-eyes participants to experience
the world using their other senses - primarily sound and touch. Visual
representations of the body and our relationship toward body image are
thoughtfully explored in Chun-Shan (Sandie) Yi's latex sculptures and in
the discomfort reflected in Laura Swanson's photographs. The body is
further addressed in Neil Marcus' drawings, an extension of his
performance practice, which grapples with mobility and movement as one with dsytonia. The works in Medusa's Mirror bring to light the
able-bodied gaze upon the disabled subject and in turn point to the
vulnerabilities and fragilities commonplace with all human beings.
Gallery guides in Braille and audio tours will be available in the gallery.
To participate in Carmen Papalia's Blind Field Shuttle walking
tour in Downtown Oakland, please RSVP to email@example.com. Limit
Medusa's Mirror is curated by Amanda Cachia.
The exhibition is part of Pro Arts' annual open call for exhibition proposals. Pro Arts' visual art programming is supported by the National Endowment for the Arts, California Arts Council, and The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts.
150 Frank H. Ogawa Plaza
Oakland, California CA 94612
United States of America