Cheryl Pope: solo exhibition, "(In)Voluntary Acts," opens tomorrow night at Mandragoras Art Space, NY

posted by Dorsch Gallery on 5 May 2012 at 2:16 PM | Link

Cheryl Pope

Mandragoras Art Space proudly presents (In)Voluntary Acts, the first New York
solo exhibition by Cheryl Pope, opening on May 5th and running through May 26th, 2012.

(In)Voluntary Acts consists of performance, installation and sculpture that depict
the internal battle one has within as reactions and responses to relationships with
the self and with the other. Each work either addresses an involuntary or
voluntary action that is made by the body as a result of confrontation,
suppression, and restraint.

In the main room, one enters into a field of 738 water filled balloons suspended
at head height by gold chains painted white. As the female figure performing
aggressively battles each balloon with her head, the balloons and water oscillate
with a nervous tension referencing the internal workings of the body both
physically and psychologically. Viewers are invited to enter into this
claustrophobic head space and participate with their head attempting to "clear
the air."

Pope continues this exploration of internal battle with her performance Restraint,
which is activated when the viewer enters the room into a one on one encounter.
Here Pope uses only the body vs the body to depict the inner struggle of when to
speak up.

Both performances, Up Against and Restraint, represent voluntary acts by
extracting an internal experience and metaphorically physicalize it into a
repeated gesture that is confrontational for the performer as well as the viewer.
Grind and Perspire display involuntary acts that the body performs without
conscious control, grinding of the teeth and perspiration. A mechanism or motor
activates each work as the isolated action continuously performs. The audio and
the actions of these works become almost background noise or forgotten as the
viewer is drawn to the more spectacle aspects of Restraint and Up Against,
signaling the way these involuntary acts also loose attention in the everyday as
emotions and reactions are suppressed and ignored.

Cheryl Pope’s (In)Voluntary Acts brings to our attention struggles of
confrontation, voice, suppression, restraint, and the results of these reactions.
Together these works create an intense psychological space that is
uncomfortable and aggressive provoking viewers to ask questions of their own
confrontations, debates, and methods to respond and react.

36-01 36 Ave. 3rd Floor North. Long Island City, NY 11106 | + 1 347 527 2269 |

Photo courtesy of James Prinz Photography, the artist and Julian Navarro Projects

Click here to view work by Cheryl Pope.