A Smeary Spot Analysis

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Weekly Exhibition Reviews 3 Vanessa (Mengqi) Wan A.K. Burns’ A Smeary Spot at PARTICIPAN INC A.K. Burns is a New York-based, multidisciplinary artist employing a vivid combination of sculpture, video and more in an exploration of political attitude, new language, feminist aesthetics, and queer sex. Burn’s most recent solo show A Smeary Spot on view at PARTICIPAN INC, extends the artist’s traditional discussion on body and sexuality, suggests a reorientation of our visions and space outside to inside, positive to negative. Born in 1975 at home on the coast of northern California, Burns was influenced by her family from early age. Her maternal grandmother was a painter, paternal grandparents were photographers, and her mother is an articulate and highly opinionated hippie, which influenced her artistic practices and political leanings. She started with graphic design, and devoted into video, performance and sculpture in 2003 after moving to New York.…show more content…
A Smeary Spot is a multi-channel video that blurs the lines between science fiction and documentary. According to Bruns, the title is borrowed from Joanna Russ’s sci-fi novel We Who Are About, and the conception of negative space is guided by feminist theorist Karen Barad. This episode was shot in desert of southern Utah and inside a black box theater. The performers in Burns’ work are called the Free Redicals, these bodies change and move among persistent matters—landscape, water, junk pile—that make up the material world. Taking place in an indeterminate time and non-narrative sequence, the work is in a surreal collision of past, present and future, sets the stage for performance and daily rituals of bodies in transition and their relationship to nature, technology, territories and

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