While Overture Center remains closed, the James Watrous Gallery is hosting a pop-up exhibition in the Garver Canvas space at Garver Feed Mill, on the east side of Madison (map here).
Vulnerable Bodies features six artists — Erica Hess, Masako Onodera, Yevgeniya Kaganovich, Demitra Copoulos, J. Myszka Lewis, and Valaria Tatera — whose work speaks to the paradox of fragility and resilience. Our bodies are a landscape of both internal and external tensions; they map the fissures of this cultural moment. Fear of a deadly virus is compounded by the palpable dangers of economic uncertainty, political division, and the emboldened expression of racism, xenophobia, transphobia and other forms of othering. As the cracks in our system are laid bare, we feel them in our bones.
In work ranging from small sculpture to ambitious installations, these artists address the body obliquely, working with metaphor and proxies from everyday life. Hess and Onodera make sculpture and objects that examine aging, disability, and mortality through surrogates like dishware, balloons, and blankets. Copoulos' Self Portrait in 11 Parts documents the organs and bones of the human body, isolated in a way that emphasizes their fragility. Kaganovich's mouth pieces and hand pieces remind us of the fraught intimacies of touch and shared breath. Rendered with cross-stitch and flocking, Lewis's Bricks and Access Covers toy with our assumptions about strength and weakness. And Tatera, working in ribbon and ceramic, challenges us to respond to the twin crises of Indigenous suicide and missing and murdered Indigenous women.
Gallery hours are Thursday 12-7, Friday and Saturday 12-8, and Sunday 12-4. Please note that the gallery may close for private events on select dates. Contact director Jody Clowes to ensure we're open or to make an appointment for private viewing.
We are glad to be able to present this work in a safe environment. The Garver Canvas space is spacious and well ventilated, and we will observe occupancy limits to support social distancing. Masks are no longer required, but our staff will gladly wear them if requested.
Thank to Wisconsin Academy donors, members, and the following sponsors for their support of this exhibition: