NEW LEXICONS FOR EMBODIMENT. BÁRBARA SÁNCHEZ-KANE IN KURIMANZUTTO
Kurimanzutto Gallery presented the exhibition New Lexicons for Embodiment, the first-ever solo exhibition by Mexican artist and designer Barbara Sánchez-Kane in New York.
The artist considers the clothed body as the interphase with which we experience the world and interact with reality, and examines how these clothes contribute to the performance of identity and self-expression.
Sánchez-Kane, who alternatively uses she and he pronouns, is interested in the deconstruction of identities and the duality of the presented self: through her clothes and sculptures, there is a perpetual tearing and fracturing of the structure, voids that seemingly shouldn’t exist, and the recurring repurposing of traditional objects through the destruction of their functionality.
As an introduction to Sánchez-Kane’s practice, the foyer of the gallery will house a pop-up shop of his fashion brand with items from his latest collection. This space will serve as an interlude into the art exhibition, which will in turn showcase her sculptural practice. Many of the works on show are based on a 1920s design treaty (The Koester School Book of Drapes), which ordered that plinths or structures selling goods were transformed into fashionable and desirable vitrines. For her presentation, she has studied these techniques and transformed them into sculptures in their own right. These objects, made from tissue, resemble infinite and organic landscapes where the “desirable goods” for sale are absent. These pieces in Sánchez-Kane’s project tackle the void and the empty space that would normally be occupied by objects and bodies, both materially and metaphorically.
Through the repetition of patterns with slight variations, the artist creates a number of possibilities of “wearable” sculptures. In the fashion industry, molds and repetition, pattern creation and weaving are central to production. The artist takes these ideas and constructs experimental structures that deform, expand and multiply different materials to create what she calls “monsters” that inhabit the gallery space.
Three hanging sculptures made of aluminum were created as a reaction to the dress form fitting system, where mannequins can be modified, enlarged, and stretched to simulate different body types for cloth-making. Sánchez-Kane creates abstract sculptures inspired by this anthropomorphic object, presenting deformed, stretched, and modifiable bodies that use the technology from the fitting system.
Bárbara Sánchez-Kane (1987, Mérida, Mexico) resists traditional notions of Mexican machismo through her ethos of the macho sentimental: a person who does not deny their natural impulses towards feminine and masculine forms of expression. Whether using her unisex fashion label Sánchez-Kane, or his installation, painting, performance, poetry, and sculpture practices, all of her works question hegemonic masculinity, the social construction of gender and sexual identity, and the ways in which each present themselves in daily life. Often addressing the role fashion plays in aiding these identities, Sánchez-Kane appropriates everyday objects and items of clothing that surround him to deconstruct, rebuild, and imbue them with new meaning. The outcome becomes a conceptual exchange between art and fashion that neutralizes the binary associations of objects, bodies, and symbols and underscores their performative nature.
New Lexicons for Embodiment. Individual exhibition by Bárbara Sánchez-Kane.
Until October 23, 2023.
Kurimanzutto. 520 w 20th street. New York, United States.