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Home / Articles / Arts / Art Features /  Pussy Riot
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Pussy Riot

New art install gets up close and personal

February 12, 2013, 8:00 pm

According to the One Billion Rising campaign’s website, one in three women the world over will be beaten or raped in her lifetime. “One billion women violated is an atrocity,” the site expresses; “One billion women dancing is a revolution.”

As evidenced in this week’s cover story, Santa Fe joins the ranks of several cities around the globe taking a stand against domestic abuse this Thursday with a flashmob and march. 

Among the standout satellite events surrounding the day, Jerry Wellman and Matthew Chase-Daniel—the masterminds behind Axle Contemporary—plan to roll into the Roundhouse, their mobile gallery outfitted with banners displaying the word “Vagina,” composed of 250,000 individual pink dots—one for each New Mexican woman who might experience violence during her lifetime.   

Furthering the theme, the truck’s interior will display a series of vaginal plaster impressions by contemporary artist Shirley Klinghoffer.

“My life and my work run parallel,” the former board member of the Santa Fe Rape Crisis and Trauma Treatment Center (now Solace Crisis Treatment Center) tells SFR.

Klinghoffer, who describes herself as an “active, enthusiastic advocate on the fight against abuse,” took the vulvar imprints of women—both victims of abuse and not—as part of her personal and artistic mission “to promote pride and strength instead of shame.”

She says she chose to line up the casts side by side as a way of promoting “strength and sisterhood in women.”

The artist, whose previous work includes vivid, vaginal/floral sculpture and stilettos trapped in a rusty barbed wire confine, calls her current endeavor a celebration of the “uniqueness of women’s bodies.”

She also says she’s shaken off the “feminist” badge that many have tried to to stamp her past work with.

“I’ve been labeled as a feminist, but I consider myself a humanist,” the imagemaker-cum-activist says.

Klinghoffer hopes her V-Daycentric piece has universal appeal.

“In a way, it’s an abstract landscape [that shows] curves and crevices in a very meaningful way,” she says.
“Its multiplicity in form speaks to the idea that there’s a multitude of involvement.”

Asked what her motivation is, her answer is swift and heartfelt.

“We’re rising up,” she shares, “and saying ‘We’re not taking it anymore.’”

VaginaVan for V-Day
9 am Thursday, Feb. 14. Free
The Roundhouse. 490 Old Santa Fe Trail
For subsequent locations, visit axleart.com

 

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