Last-look: Let Power Take A Female Form

As a woman contributing to a critique where aesthetics are often over-intellectualized and women making art, or shows starring an all female cast, are too often overtly deemed to be ‘about feminism’ by anatomical default— it’s compelling to come across an exhibit where the ‘female form’ is shaped effectively. At The Box, generational hierarchies of three LA artists are mounted to unravel a trajectory of what the female form could be. With a title borrowed from a drawing by the middle matriarch in focus, the show suggests as it claims, ‘to imagine a form of power absent of patriarchal, capitalist influence’ and contemplate what that power would ‘look like, feel like, smell like, taste like, if it took female form?’

Surveying works by grandmother (Eugenia Butler), mother (Eugenia P. Butler), and daughter (Corazon Del Sol), this form is conjured through fractal narratives, abstract avatars, and resurrected monuments. This ephemeral construct is most literally visualized through Del Sol’s oversight in re-creating a piece by her artist mother, inspired and placed adjacent to remnants of an infamous Dieter Roth installation initiated by the eldest order— purveying art dealing grandmother, Eugenia Butler. Illuminated by fluorescents, panels of honey-soaked linen suspend from the ceiling. At the opening, flies were freed from a duo of compartmentalized netted chambers to swarm the sheets in clusters— speckling the fleshy fabric like inverted constellations of stars.

This cross-generational didactic is digitized through Del Sol’s video game Win to Lose, Lose to Win, conceived through the cognitive collaboration of programmer and Glitch-City co-founder Archie Prakash and design connoisseur Oscar Alvarez. Apparently the game was born by Del Sol’s dictation of a premise based on her grandmother’s life in which the female protagonist employs her status quo to defeat surrounding ‘bourgeois structures’ and ‘ultimately to self-destruct.’¹ This is pictured through an intergalactic interface navigated by a three-legged female avatar, whose path in augmented terrain is animated by the thrust of a joystick. Here, devoid of a set ‘mission,’ experience and space is amorphous and limitless. In this never-ending scrolling topography where vaginas occasionally float by, the female form is an avatar in a web shaped by real-time interaction— a message which seems to be the cyclic conclusion of the exhibition as a whole.

Closing this Saturday, August 8th with a special closing reception 6-10pm at The Box (Downtown). Open Wednesday–Saturday 12–6pm.

All photos © The Box

continued from Curate LA: Aug 6-9

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