The most dangerous thing about All Women are Dangerous is Samantha Geballe’s project room collection.
Who’s in danger? Who’s creating danger? Samantha Gabelle turns the title of the exhibition on its head. The danger is getting what you want – when you’ve been convinced of what you want. As for who’s creating that danger, well, that would be men and the desires of men perpetuated by society. The danger women produce is through women’s potential to own their own body image, regardless of what men think.
Samantha Geballe’s collection uses photographs and videos of Geballe’s body, post-major weight loss.
Geballe challenges women in the twenty-first century to consider what it is that we really want from our bodies. When you wish to water a seed someone else (men) planted, you will not ever truly grow into who you want. Gabelle doesn’t have the solution, but she brings forth the next wave of feminism, and where feminism needs to go. Women have begun to triumph masculinity, insofar as women are more unafraid to exhibit masculine traits. The next lens for women to break free from is the male gaze. Women will be able to participate in society in profound ways once we become less concerned with what men want of women’s bodies. Women will only do this once women have broken free from this male gaze Gabelle challenges us with.
Samatha Geballe’s work alone is worth visiting the Building Bridges Art Exchange (BBAX).
As for what else is dangerous about women, and who or what is in danger….ultimately, women prove to be a danger to themselves in this exhibition. Women prove to be a danger to themselves in this exhibition, because, throughout the works, the represented notions of challenging society are ideas we have seen expressed before. These notions reiterated include: spaces women are expected to inhabit, depression, lack of progress, women as objects, women fighting the history of overt and tacit oppression, and women being viewed as scenery or as second fiddle to men. However, these challenges that the exhibition embodies are all struggles women are comfortable fighting for today, both publicly and privately. These challenges the exhibition fronts are all issues women have convinced themselves of already.
I wanted to see women threaten a representation of society’s concept of women, and I wanted to see women threaten the socialization of both men and women. Curators, Marisa Caichiolo, Chris Davies, and Daniel Alfonso brought together voices of artists who the curators considered to focus on the use of photography “as a vehicle to explore self-identity and issues of gender presentation”, and the curators brought together women they believe “continue to challenge and change the current photographic landscape”. Additionally, the curators chose artists who they thought bolstered women’s position in art.
My criticism comes from my high hopes, and perhaps my hopes were too high with this exhibition.
I greatly appreciate that women are being represented by the curators as a block and that the intent was to have the collections represent women. That being said, I’d like to give a shout out to some artists in the exhibition who need to be recognized as individuals:
Tami Bahat’s work is clever and a commentary on how we haven’t really come that far as women. The staging and garb of olden days adorn the women in Bahat’s work. This is painfully demonstrated in The Housekeeper and The Dispute.
If Lisa McCord’s photographs are not meant to fetishize the cultural scenes depicted, I appreciate the honesty in the photographs – something intentionally lacking in the other artists’ collections.
While the curators purport that some of the work is experimental in their conceptual and photographic approach, I found that much of All Women are Dangerous has been seen already – both conceptually, and in the featured artists’ use of photography as a medium. Most of the collections harken back to eras which men and women understand are womanizing. The collections also don’t propose any new response, solution, or alternative. The exhibition was a lot of white, skinny women. Some artists’ work bordered on Tumblr – worthy (so, the works entertained, but they simply were not what I was hoping in terms of “dangerous”).
All Women are Dangerous
Building Bridges Art Exchange (BBAX)
[Building F2, which is slightly off the main drag. Walk West in the parking lot, along the metro, and BBAX will be on your left-hand side]
2525 Michigan Ave.
Santa Monica, CA 90404
[Hours: 10am – 6pm Tu-Fri ; 11am – 5:30pm Sat]
Bootsy Holler ∙ Lisa McCord ∙ Eleonora Ronconi ∙ Tami Bahat ∙ Sandra Klein ∙ JK Lavin ∙ Aline Smithson ∙ Susan Swihart ∙ Sarah Hadley ∙ Marian Crostic ∙ Paula Riff ∙ Brandy Trigueros ∙ Pauline Gola ∙ Marjorie Salvaterra ∙ Samantha Geballe ∙ Jane Szabo ∙ Jessie Chaney