Even within the leaps and bounds of modern equality, there is still much beneath the surface that highlights ingrained predispositions and expectations that can spark modern-day debates on shame and morality. However, there are those who are turning the tables on social pressures. Who depicts what is shameful? What counts as taboo, and why? The Hysterical Women Art group are bringing their highly successful show, Glorious Shame, to GalleryX in Dublin, Ireland this September with the aim of throwing back the curtains on topics and experiences often left hidden from the public eye.
Opening Reception as part of Culture Night 2015:
Friday, September 18, 2015 | 5 – 11PM
Featuring an interactive installation and performance by Alexandra Unger.
September 18 – October 16, 2015
3 Herbert Street | Dublin 2, Ireland
Alexandra Unger | Anna Lewenhaupt | Emma Harvey | Indrani Ashe |
Marcela Iriarte | Julia Maddison | Suzann Kundi
“The history of Hysteria is astonishingly revealing of the different stereotypes and the general ignorance around Women’s sexuality and psychology” explains Giovanni Giusti, Director at GalleryX, “The term Hysteria originates from the Greek, ὑστέρα, “uterus”. Female hysteria was a common medical diagnosis in Western nations, made exclusively of women, which is no longer recognised by modern medicine…Hysteria, in its colloquial use, describes unmanageable emotional excesses. The fear can be centered on a body part, or most commonly, on an imagined problem with that body part. It represents the strong link between body and mind.
The lack of control over emotions and the mind is generally seen as a female trait. But the epidemic spread of Shell-shock during the First World War, has proved this stereotype to be wrong. Shell-shock was a major medical challenge, upturning the idea that hysteria was predominantly a female disorder and challenging notions of masculinity, honour and bravery.”
However even with the development of modern science and medicine, certain presumptions regarding females seem to remain thickly stuck in the mud; The Hysterical Women Collective bring together many of their artists’ personal works and invite you to step into the realms of Glorious Shame with an open mind and heart:
In the modern materialistic world we have found ourselves often surrounded by a plastic, fluorescent, digital and coldly suffocating space. With materiality at our fingertips, often sensual delicacies are overlooked; This is what Indrani, a mixed media artist and sculptress, aims to brings to the surface of our being. By forcefully changing commodity objects with brash and ruthless force, she changes their very meaning and value whilst merging them into a new sensual experience to be enjoyed.
Alexandra Unger provides a provocative examination of our relationship with the physical, psychological and social aspects of humanity in the modern age. Throughout the world, how we perceive normality, beauty and traditions produces a variety of principles and assumptions – all of which not only interest Alexandra, but provide an imperative source of inspiration for her works. She has investigated scientific research methods and religious rituals, analysing how they intertwine, and re-modelling social habits and rites to highlight uncomfortable – but very real – subject matters often left undisclosed.
Set of paintings: Baby, Teddy & Doll (2015)
Anna Lewenhaupt’s artwork derives from a passion to alter reality. Using pre-existing photographs she transforms their meanings through collages and mixed media pieces, forging new parallel worlds where we can live beyond our current habits and philosophies.
A Playboy Saint
Emma Harvey’s focus like deep within, questioning the very concept of ‘self’. The responses produced are honourably raw, and often creating juxtaposing reactions including feelings of allure, confusion and evasion. Through collage and painting wandering through different mediums including oils and acrylics, Emma delves into the seen and unseen aspects of sexuality, her own considerations of the human body, and the place of women in contemporary society.
Fleshed series “3” (2013)
Part of the Lust series (2014)
Using old photographs, texts and found objects, Julia’s work reflects her insightful perceptions involving the skewed views society often puts onto women: labels used off-handedly, the physical and mental baggage pressured upon them, and curious expectations that have seeded their way into many men’s minds when it comes to their female counterpart. Her work, comprising of images and installations, attempts to emulate much of the confusion linked to the nonsensical roles and images imposed upon women. From the busy and complex to simplistic embroidery, Julia hints at the combining roles from the prudish lady to shameless vulgarity that are so easily thrown around in modern society.
I’m Going to Sit on your Face (2015)
Fuck Me (2015)
Marcela Iriarte closely examines the use of female imagery from an array of backgrounds including film, photographs and posters. Transforming these materials into intricate collages within 3D settings, she creates new interpretations from existing contexts that allow us to re-think how we react to cultural mechanisms put in place. With the almost playful level of juxtaposition of her graphic models set within traditional teacups, Marcela allows you to probe further past the two dimensional characters created for quick objectification, and into a world of hidden thoughts and feelings just below the surface.
Taking inspiration from her own life experiences as well as others, Suzann Kundi works to bring a world of hidden lifetimes out into the light and encourage the discussion of complex, and often life-transforming, issues. Topics including developing sexuality, illness and disability are explored through sculptures, drawings, prints, photography and mixed media, debating the roles and relationships between learner and teacher.