June 2 – July 2, 2011
Press Preview: May 31, 2011 12-5PM
Opening Reception: June 2, 2011 6-8PM
New York, New York, April 18, 2011 – The Bill Hodges Gallery is delighted to announce Dessert & Disorders, artist Erica Schreiner’s first solo exhibition. In a dark humor vein, Dessert & Disorders links together the ideas of the final course of a meal and human obsessive-compulsive disorders. Murky impulses and mental dysfunctions are presented or “served” as a treat, through a combination of video and stills. The show features Schreiner’s most recent work and will run from June 2 to July 2, 2011, with an opening reception on Thursday, June 2 from 6 to 8 PM, and a press preview May 31, from 12 to 5 PM.
Schreiner’s exploration of problematic states of mind is conveyed through self-representations consisting of obsessive repetition of the same actions. Self-representation and prominent use of the body have been key elements for feminist interpretations of works of art by female artists, such as Ana Mendieta and Cindy Sherman. Nonetheless, Schreiner’s work significantly differs from Mendieta’s and Sherman’s. Compared to Mendieta, Schreiner does not disguise the body in natural environments in order to signify a return to Mother Nature; instead, she emphasizes and dramatizes the presence of the body through the use of sensuality. And unlike Sherman, Schreiner’s use of self-representation does not involve playing stereotypical female roles in front of the camera; self-representation is, for Schreiner, instrumental to portraying mental states that affect behavior and the body, regardless of gender. Her video portrayals are often accompanied with flowers, glitter and food-smashing gestures in what seems to simultaneously be an attempt to establish an imaginary world filled with magic, and an effort to destroy it. Her preoccupation with the theme of an existence, spoiled by illness, reflects Schreiner’s concern with the idea of vulnerability, an interest that also appears in her previous work. In her portrayals of emotionally and psychologically wounded minds, food and flower crushing and/or glitter and flower embellishments are indicative of a pursued desire to gain control and break the confinement of the mind. Somewhat playfully embedded in the short videos’ narration, those actions reveal an aggressive and more confrontational predisposition in facing human fragility.
In performing acts such as smashing, smearing, eating and glittering, Schreiner brings emphasis on the body as medium. Bodily gestures become, in Schreiner’s videos, compulsive actions that paradoxically signify empowerment through their morbid and comical repetition, as if saying the same thing multiple times makes it more effective. Furthermore, the body assumes a preeminent role in demonstrating the link between the mind and the body itself, becoming the canvas through which the artist expresses herself.
Erica Schreiner has presented her work extensively throughout the United States and abroad. In addition to video, Schreiner works in the mediums of writing and performance. Her first collection of short stories, Hellos and Goodbyes was published in 2009. Recent exhibitions, screenings and installations include: premiere of Sauce, Thistle, Anne, and Dance (2010), Downtown Independent, Los Angeles (2011); screening of Sunbeam, The Elizabeth Foundation for the Arts, New York (2010); video-installation of Paper Cup, Ohio and Lover, Bill Hodges Gallery (2010). To view excerpts from Schreiner’s videos, please visit http://www.youtube.com/analogcinema.
The Bill Hodges Gallery is located on the 6th floor of 24 West 57th Street between 5th and 6th Avenue. Our closest subways include the F train’s 57th street station, the E/V train’s 53rd street/5th ave. station, and the N/R/Q/W train’s 57th street/7th ave. station. Gallery hours are Tuesday to Friday 10am – 6pm and Saturday 12:30pm – 5:30pm. Press viewings can be arranged prior to the exhibition. For more information, or to arrange a viewing, please call Bill Hodges at 212-333-2640.