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Body, Mind, Spirit: Embodiments in Time – a collaborative project by Kirsten Leenaars and Whitney Bradshaw

Kirsten Leenaars, still from “We Are Not All That Is Possible (Portraits),” 3-channel video work, 2021. Courtesy of the artist

Kirsten Leenaars, still from “We Are Not All That Is Possible (Portraits),” 3-channel video work, 2021. Courtesy of the artist

Kirsten Leenaars, still from “We Are Not All That Is Possible (Portraits),” 3-channel video work, 2021. Courtesy of the artist

Whitney Bradshaw and Kirsten Leenaars, archival image from joint project “Revelations from the Archive,” 2021. Courtesy of the artists

Mon, Jan 10 - Fri, Feb 25  2022

Moreau Art Galleries at Saint Mary's College

The Moreau Art Galleries at Saint Mary’s College present Body, Mind, Spirit: Embodiments in Time — a collaborative project and gallery exhibition by Kirsten Leenaars and Whitney Bradshaw. On view from January 10 – February 25, 2022. A public lecture will take place on Tuesday, January 25, 3:30 pm – 4:30 pm, at the Vander Vennet Theater, Saint Mary’s College Student Center.

In this two-person show Chicago-based artists Whitney Bradshaw and Kirsten Leenaars each show individual projects and their collaborative project: Revelations from the Archive (2021).

Whitney Bradshaw and Kirsten Leenaars, archival image from joint project “Revelations from the Archive,” 2021. Courtesy of the artists

Bradshaw’s OUTCRY series is an ongoing social practice project that provides a safe space for womxn to express feelings that have been silenced, or dismissed in our culture. Bradshaw invites diverse groups of womxn, who don’t know one another, to gather together in her home, practice speaking up and out for themselves, connect with one another and bravely stand before the camera to be photographed mid-scream. To date Bradshaw has photographed nearly 400 womxn. When seen together these intimate representations of individual power and expression become a monumental act of collective resistance.

Leenaars worked with former and current Saint Mary’s students to create a multi-channel video work titled: We Are Not All That Is Possible (Portraits). Leenaars invited the young womxn to consider what a culture of belonging looks like and what this would mean to them?

The work addresses some of the following questions:

What does being a woman or identifying as female mean to you?
Who gets to belong?
What does inclusion mean?
What spaces make you uncomfortable?
What do you stand up for?

Kirsten Leenaars, still from “We Are Not All That Is Possible (Portraits),” 3-channel video work, 2021. Courtesy of the artist

Their collaborative project Revelations from the Archive mines the Saint Mary’s archive for representations of belonging, community, empowerment and activism. Questioning what these images and documents represent and subsequently what the absences in the archive reveal about what it means to be a student at Saint Mary’s. Through this research they try to make connections to the discussions that are happening right now, at campus and in society at large. These current topics are reflected in Bradshaw’s and Leenaars’ individual artist projects as well.

Kirsten Leenaars, still from “We Are Not All That Is Possible (Portraits),” 3-channel video work, 2021. Courtesy of the artist

The connecting thread between Bradshaw and Leenaars’ projects and practices is that their work is underpinned by a strong desire for social change and creating space through their work for womxn to reclaim their voice, tell their stories, take up space and each offer a platform through their work for a multitude of voices and self-expression. As lens-based artists Bradshaw and Leenaars envision their work through the female gaze and the lens of intersectional feminism. They believe that the process of producing images and narratives should be a participant powered process. The collaborative process is inherent to the photo and video work that is produced and offers alternative representations to the dominant discourse.

Kirsten Leenaars, still from “We Are Not All That Is Possible (Portraits),” 3-channel video work, 2021. Courtesy of the artist

Bradshaw and Leenaars invite you, the visitor of this show, to participate directly in the exhibition and share your reflections on the two walls of the exhibition space that are marked by questions.

DutchCulture USA