Sept 15 to Nov 11, 2017
Leslie Robison’s work embodies a strong intellectual aspect which is critical and subversive, purposefully questioning actions that define various power relations. This mixed-media installation presented here in her solo exhibition at t A d epitomizes that.
On the outset, the collaborative decision to feature this extensive installation was made during the height and aftermath of the Charlottesville incident, where, among other issues, the politic of national identity and power relation of race were erupted into a violent confrontation.
Multifaceted on many social and cultural aspects, America is many things. But what is America or what makes America “great” as a political entity and a sovereign nation? This is the myth Robison attempts to deconstruct precisely in this work entitled Becoming Monumental.
In a playful and self-mocking manner, Robison draws attention to the kind of events that write American history, and features some of the historical figures who get to represent this nation and its history and whom the nation glorifies in the form of public statues and monuments.
Robison does so by making a figurative pink sculpture in a phallic form the centerpiece of the work, while juxtaposing it with various public monuments. At first glance, it looks like a feminist gesture teasingly provoking a war on gender. Yet the ingenuity of her work stands out through the way it exposes and challenges certain essentials that make America America and its national identity: war, patriarchal power, and (white) men. What she has in mind appears monumental — to insert something new into the meta-narrative, to rewrite the history of America, and to broaden its identity.
Leslie Robison is an artist and Associate Professor at the Department of Art & Design, Flagler College, Florida.
This exhibition is part of on-onging project, Outskirts: Bodies, Places, and Identities, dedicated to the works of women artists.
Curated and written by Araya Vivorakij.