By Jourden V. Sander
This Article Was Originally published on aviaryreview.com on June 1st.
Women and Their Work is a small but thriving visual and performing art gallery in Central Austin that hosts contemporary art created by women. According to their website, their goal is “to enrich the cultural experience for Texas by emphasizing the value and excellence of art by women.” Their website also states that they are interested in educating audiences, equipping artists with financial and technical support, and engaging the community. Upon visiting their gallery, it would appear they do all this, and more.
I visited Women and Their Work for the first time to view their newest exhibition: #hashtag by Danielle Georgiou. This contemporary exhibit capitalizes on the social media trend of “hashtag-ing” something relatable or popular. The theme for Georgiou’s exhibit has uncanny timing relative to feminist writing and news, as the hashtag #YesAllWomen is currently trending. In response to the tragic UCSB shooting (in which a disturbed white male decided to “punish” the women who have “friend-zoned” or rejected him), the hashtag went viral on Twitter. This hashtag sparked a dialogue about the ways in which women have suffered from misogyny and violence perpetuated by men.
While Georgiou’s exhibit #hashtag is not quite as alarming as #YesAllWomen, her work still relates to current conversations about social media and how it affects feminism, as well as art. Georgiou’s exhibit consists of intimate videos and photos that explore femininity and beauty while scrutinizing the ways in which social media and pop culture affect the perception of the female body. Georgiou’s photos are self-portraits—more aptly called “selfies”—that she takes just after she wakes up, hashtagging it and uploading it to her Instagram account.
In an interview, Georgiou said, “”#iwokeuplikethis is an installation of Stop-Motion Film and Large Scale Prints created in 2014. Using wall panels to break up the open space of the gallery, creating a maze-like pathway through the center of the space, I will project a stop-motion film of stills of my bed head. For nearly 150 days, I have been taking photographs at the moment that I wake up to capture the state of my hair and face.”
The photos and videos in the series #iwokeuplikethis are raw documentations of beauty in the simplest way. The photos and videos are not particularly colorful, beautiful, or artistic; rather, they are real, honest, and strikingly scientific. The series raises questions within art, feminism, and pop culture: what does a selfie say about physical beauty? Can a selfie be considered an artistic method of portraiture? More and more people seem to be irritated by the selfie, so it may be likely that society would not equate selfies with artistic portraits. That being said, those people might question their opinions if they viewed Georgiou’s thought provoking exhibit, #hashtag. The exhibit is open now through July 3rd.
*1 |Originally posted on aviaryreview.com: http://www.aviaryreview.com/?p=292
Aviary Review is an Austin literary and arts journal. They can be followed on Twitter @aviaryreview.
*2 | Photos courtesy of womenandtheirwork.org.