Objects and Others: Perspectives on Gender and Sexuality
Curated by Jessica Oberdick, featuring: Carrie Marie Burr, Ashley Renee Hoffman, and Tessa Gartin.
July 2017, Hite Art Institute, Schneider Hall Galleries, University of Louisville, Louisville, KY.
Who is an object? Who is the other?
A divide exists today between those of us attempting to embrace and accept the people, religions, sexualities, and voices of everyone around us—and those still attempting to hold on to strict values and norms that do not allow for a break in the binary. They do not allow for a break in gender stereotypes, or freedom of sexual preference.
Objects and Others: Perspectives on Gender and Sexuality seeks to give voice to the marginalized—to women, so often portrayed as objects in the media, and LGBTQ+ individuals who frequently find themselves the victims of prejudice and discrimination.
Believing that artists can create work that challenges unfair social norms and policies, the artists participating in Objects and Others were selected because of their abilities to create art that inspires dialogue, confronts the stereotypes that attempt to define them, the marginalization of their personhood, the objectification of their bodies, and offers alternative ways of seeing and understanding.
Carrie Marie Burr
Carrie Burr graduated Cum Laude with a BFA in 2D Design in 2002 from the University of Louisville. Her concentration was photography and installation. After graduation Carrie exhibited her artwork and received grants from the Kentucky Arts Council and the Kentucky Foundation for Woman. She worked in New York and Los Angeles and later started her education of Yogic philosophy. Subsequently, she attended Yestermorrow Design/Build School in Vermont and studied holistic living and building. This lead her studies back to the University of Vermont where she began her college career. There she studied Ecological Economics with Robert Costanza and Ecological Design with John Todd. Currently, Carrie is working as a photographer and visual artist
Tessa Gartin was born and raised in the Louisville area. She competed in Chicago in 2013 with Generation iSpeak, a spoken word team that represented Kentucky at Brave New Voices. She took first place in 2015 at Lipstick Wars, the first all female slam poetry competition and has competed in many others. She is currently working on submitting her chapbook to publishers and is pursuing her writing while expressing herself in other mediums.
As a poet, I use my words to ignite emotions and relay a story that people can find beauty and truth in as a way to connect. I pull from my own life and the experiences I have observed. Life and interactions with people both pleasant and unpleasant are a never ending source of inspiration for me. This piece is vulnerable in exposing my personal journey of coming out in an environment heavily influenced by old social norms and strict religious beliefs. Creating and developing this piece that I feel so strongly convicted about was not the challenge. The overwhelming undertaking has been claiming my work, this part of my identity and my life experience. This piece is a milestone, marking a place in my journey as an artist and as a person. The purpose of this piece is to start a conversation about honesty and individuality.
Ashley Renee Hoffman
Ashley Renee Hoffman is a collage artist living amongst mountains of magazines not unlike the Appalachian mountains around her. Her imagery is derived from vintage pornography, pop culture magazines, and encyclopedias procured from yard sales and thrift stores.
Within the collages, the artist examines feminine ideals and pressures within social constructs, her love of women, and the detriment of the original woman, Mother Earth. She takes the nude form out of it’s pornographic context to reclaim the capitalization and exploitation of female sexuality. When this powerful imagery is juxtaposed with symbols of the natural and domestic world, the artist creates a dialogue for important feminist and environmental issues.