Anna Kustera's Siren features the work of four bold, bad-ass women artists. Though the four artists' styles are very different, they fit together nicely in a small yet effective show. Entering the gallery you first encounter Dineo Seshee Bopape's minute-and-a-half video portrait Feeling Cosmic which shows the artist in "whiteface that is part clown, part tribal ritual adornment" (from show's press release). Bopape also wears oversize, round glasses and a "Protea flower, the South African bloom said to symbolize diversity and courage." The flashing images of the artist, alternating between black-and-white and color, are surreal and haunting.
Sally Dennison's two photographs each show a woman from behind, desperately twisting and contorting her upper body trying to remove a sheet of plastic disturbingly affixed to her back. Her series, titled Plastic Power, "addresses the potentially self-destructive outcomes of our voracious consumption and waste, specifically that of plastic bags." I like to think that the women in Dennison's photos wish to rid themselves of "plastic" not only ecologically but also in terms of beauty standards.
Pinar Yolacan shows up again (this is the third show I've seen her in this summer) with another photo from her Mother Goddess series inspired by "prehistoric stone figurines excavated from her homeland of Turkey." Yolacan uses women Turkish farmers as her models and selects them for their body types. Her imposing subject in Boro is covered in a denim-like bodysuit this time, and "though faceless and mute, demands to be worshipped." Lying on the floor under Yolacan's photo is one of the artist's handmade jumpsuits looking lifeless and flaccid without a model wearing it, filling it with her personality.
And the centerpiece of the exhibit is performance/dance artist Narcissister's Man/Woman video and accompanying installation and photos. Man/Woman is an amusing six-minute video that starts off with the artist dressed in a crude "Man suit" waking up in a stereotypical dude's room filled with porn, records, and beer cans. The artist as "Man" whacks off to the totally 80's guilty pleasure Photograph by Def Leppard before peeling off his "Man suit" and revealing Narcissister. She dances around and simulates sex with the "Man suit" before walking out the door with a skateboard. The bedroom is recreated in a corner of the gallery complete with a poster of Narcissister hanging on the wall and the "Man suit" lying on the bed. Man/Woman is a funny and gritty "parody [of] contemporary desire".
Siren packs a punch showcasing work by four ballsy, intelligent artists each with a unique story to tell and a unique way of telling it. Learn more at Annakustera.com. Through August 6th.