6 Sep 2014 – 28 Sep 2014 · Erroneous Predisposition · New York, U.S.A
As part of the Governors Island Art Fair.
Erroneous Predisposition is a body of work incorporating photography, installation, sculpture and video and was curated into the 2014 Governors Island Art Fair in New York City, debuting within the confines of an abandoned building that created the perfect setting.
Using the humble pantyhose with the addition of real human hair extensions that are used within the beauty industry, the artist created sculptures intended for the cameras eye and it’s confines. By stuffing and twisting the pantyhose and placing them onto a mirrored surface, a surrealist stage was set where the distortion and manipulation of the forms into familiar yet unrecognizable imagery of the human body, particularly female, banishes the viewers mind into unfamiliar territory.
Reminiscent of a bodily landscape, a slow moving camera’s eye voyeurs one of the stuffed sculptures sitting on the surrealist mirrored stage setting, creating a 20 minute video piece. A discussion about vulnerability within relationships between a popular self help guru and her protagonist in front of a live audience creates an accompanying audible landscape. The video piece was installed into the cupboard of the bedroom setting and the dialogue could be heard whilst viewing the bed installation which suggested two figures postcoital. The result was an intimate, yet uncomfortable experience between the viewer, the invisible characters creating the dialogue and the stuffed pantyhose figures in the bed.
Following is an extract from the essay “Observing Objectification” that appeared in the catalogue accompanying the exhibition by Melissa Bianca Amore, an independent scholar, art critic and curator based in New York.
“It is this way with all of us concerning language," wrote Nietzsche. "We believe that we know something about things in themselves when we speak of trees, colors, snow and flowers; and yet we possess nothing but metaphors for things- metaphors which correspond in no way to the original entities.” The human form, as a reiterative representation and as a physical entity, is also subjected to the same fate as a tree or a color, and in many ways, the body is, primarily objectified by the personification of metaphor. So, when we speak of “the body," do we know of its original entity estranged from the object of association or rather, the object’s "erroneous pre-disposition”?
Santina Amato’s entire assemblage titled Erroneous Predisposition is staged in a familiar space- the bedroom- a private and sacred space. Her installation, consisting of fragmented body parts, seems nothing but familiar. Amato has re-worked each form, within the installation, so this seemingly ordinary space has become a strange surrealist amorphous- a liminal psychological state that is continuously becoming. In an attempt to destabilize and challenge the traditional conceptions of the body, Amato has set up an environment that unconsciously reveals itself to itself, yielding though, a trace of being watched by another.
This project was supported by the American Australian Association’s Dame Joan Sutherland Fund
A review of the exhibition by Eugenie Austin can be found at http://eugenie.com.au/governors-island-art-show/