VCS alumna Elektra KB’s second exhibition this month is about to open at Allegra LaViola Gallery in New York. The reception will take place this Wednesday May 29 from 6 to 8 pm, and the exhibition will be on display from the 29th to June 22nd. (You can see a few of the works that will be on display at the bottom of the last VCS blog post, and read about her other current show at BravinLee programs in the post before that).
Here is more information about the show at Allegra LaViola, quoted from the gallery’s press release:
Allegra LaViola Gallery is pleased to present The Cathara Insurgent Women vs The Theocratic Republic Gaia Beings, a multi-media exhibition by Elektra KB. The show will open on Wednesday, May 29th and continue through June 22, 2013. There will be performances by Elektra KB on Wednesday, June 5th and Saturday, June 15th, with exact times to be announced.
Elektra KB’s work is set entirely in the realm of her mythological world: The Theocratic Republic of Gaia (T.R.O.G). This world is undergoing a period of imminent intense geological and social upheaval, during which tensions that have built up over centuries will be discharged. It is populated by colonized Trogians living under the supreme ruler: the White Papess II, her army: The Beings and the heretic Cathara Insurgent Women who lead the resistance and uprising of T.R.O.G. Trogians live as machines in a massive staged fantasy. They are in search of Tetrapharmakos (the essence of pleasure and happiness) and at the mercy of a world fascist empire lead by the White Papess II and the T.R.O.G.’s army, the Beings. Trogians, who live in a hypnotized state, have forgotten what reality is and are at the mercy of unintelligible dogmas and a cult of abstract humanoids and objects. The Catharas are dancing warriors, who lead the uprising of the Magical –Insurgent-Spirits that populate the Aztec territory of T.R.O.G and lead a mystical battle of resistance to the light ray weapons of the beings.
The Theocratic Republic Of Gaia is Elektra KB’s critique against the contemporary status quo, and a call to break from it, encompassing elements of anti-patriarchal struggle and issues of Neo-Colonialism. The entities that populate her work are often purging threads out of their mouths, which allude to a physical and emotional catharsis that expresses what is ignored and repressed– what we are forced to hide: a mute scream.
In the photographs, which are printed on canvas and stitched to fabrics, she constructs alternative realms of resistance, where utopia has not quite been reached. Elektra KB’s interest in female identity and the historical silencing and shaming of women is apparent from the first view of her work. The women in her world are alien beings, yet very familiar. Legendary fighters- Joan of Arc, the Amazon warrior women, the supposed female Pope Joan/Agnes- seep through into the depictions of these otherworldly beings. The symbols associated with them are recognizably altered, yet they still harbor powerful associations. Despite addressing the persistent historical demonization of women, all of the characters in T.R.O.G are female. There are no men to perpetuate violence- the women are the sole inhabitants of this realm. Through the varying media of installation, performance, video, photography and works on fabric, Elektra KB immerses us in her personal mythology.
Elektra KB is a graduate of the School of Visual Arts (2012). In 2013, her work has been exhibited in the group exhibitions All The Best People at 1 to 1 Gallery, New York, reviewed in Artforum (March 2013) by Carolyn Busta, and Changing the World Through Art at Marianne Boesky Gallery, New York. She also has a solo exhibition in New York at BravinLee Programs: There are Women at the Gates Seeking a New World, and a monograph of her work published by Strangers in a Tangled Wilderness due later this summer.
Allegra LaViola Gallery is located in New York’s Lower East Side at 179 East Broadway. Gallery hours are 12 to 6 pm Wednesday through Saturday, and 1 to 6 pm on Sundays. For more information and directions, please visit the contact page on the Allegra LaViola website, or contact the gallery by phone at 917-463-3901 or e-mail at [email protected]