Suzy Kellems Dominik
January 18 - February 24, 2019
The Laundry and the SKD Studio are pleased to announce the first solo exhibition by artist and emotional autobiographer, Suzy Kellems Dominik in San Francisco opening on January 18.
For her solo debut in San Francisco, the artist will present a selection of works from her INVISIBLE and We the People series, respectively. Located in the Main Gallery on the first floor, Kellems Dominik’s monumental soft-sculpture installation, INVISIBLE, features five surrealistic totems of the nude female form measuring over 11 feet tall. Each sculpture is rendered in the nude, representing the particularities of the female body beyond middle-age and positing an unabashed investigation of the psychological and physical toll of time and maturity on the body. The totems are illuminated by a white-neon caption rendered in the artist’s handwriting stating: “for without feet, one cannot escape.” Like the caryatids of ancient Greece, the sculptures have no feet and therefore cannot run, cannot escape from societal expectations, and cannot forgo the glorious yet infinitely complicated ravages of time and biology. The totems stand tall, eschew invisibility, and embrace female agency.
In the downstairs Theater Gallery, Kellems Dominik is debuting for the first time a film from her We The People series, entitled We The People – Stoned (2018). This film is one element of a larger body of work that poetically reimagines the experience of community turning in on itself. The installation confronts the myth of “America” and subjects the viewer to an investigation of the freedoms of self-determination, of speech, and of expression in light of the contemporary social phenomenon of non-listening. We The People – Stoned is projected on three of the four gallery walls, immersing the viewer in a compelling 2:57 video and surround-soundtrack.
We The People – Stoned opens to the early moments of a ritual stoning — the moments when a victim is cast and judgement passed — while deliberately denying the viewer a specific protagonist. The swelling action is indicated by a hypnotic stereo soundtrack subjects the viewer to a series of systematic incantations that function to indicate rising action, an accumulating mob, and prescient danger. The script, which springs from the opening line of the United States Preamble, mirrors the anxieties of our contemporary political environment and alludes to freedom of opinion, the rhetoric of violence, and the sanctity of human rights. Viewed independently, the film is a contemplative statement on and an investigation of our ridged, entrenched, and polarized society.
Suzy Kellems Dominik (b. 1961) is a multi-disciplinary artist and emotional autobiographer known for her fearlessly confrontational work. The deliberately feminist themes she explores are realized through various mediums and serve to dissect the most intimate moments of human relationships. Kellems Dominik seeks to encourage the amplification of strong female voices with a focus on self-empowerment, pleasure, and the private-made-public. Her extensive and varied body of work is underscored by a profound empathy for the vulnerability of the human condition and for the principles that underlie our efforts to connect, communicate, and commune. Kellems Dominik’s work is characterized by her diligent research of our culture’s visual traditions, societal taboos, religious legacy, and the body of the individual. She often uses her own body to expose rigidly antiquated social constructs and to examine the role of female sensuality and agency in subversion of patriarchal social and aesthetic conventions. Drawing on the endlessly expressive qualities of film, performance, photography, and sculpture, Kellems Dominik explores objectification and the male gaze, human trauma, female sexuality, agency, and her own experience of loss and survival.