Winston Wächter Fine Art, New York presents Inside/Outside Voices, a dynamic group exhibition of photography and sculpture that explores four feminine and powerful voices: Meghan Boody, Zoë Buckman, Penelope Umbrico and Jil Weinstock.
The phrase, “please use your inside voice,” is often addressed to those speaking too loudly. “Inside voices” are also the internal dialogues we have that comment on moment-to-moment experiences, critiquing decisions and interactions with others—thoughts best left unspoken. In contrast, sometimes an “outside” voice is required when something needs to be heard, something that contributes to the human experience. The four artists in this exhibition generate a critical and visual dialogue around issues that are at once deeply personal and universal: adoption, voyeurism, aggression, mortality, beauty, and life. These artists question the unwritten but deeply felt rules of internal vs. external expression.
Meghan Boody states, “the mechanism of human change consumes me.” The Lighthouse and How She Got There is a narrative based on Victorian female orphan characters, illustrated with digitally constructed images. Throughout the series, the hybrid heroine faces character-transforming challenges but the tale is left vague. Familiar fairy tale tropes such as a noble white horse, a strict schoolmistress, a haunted house, invite the viewer to fill in the blanks and enter an emotional experience with the character, blurring the lines between lived experience and fantasy.
In Let Her Rave, Zoë Buckman sews wedding dresses into boxing gloves, and hangs them from chains in clusters. The masculine sport of fighting is united with, but not concealed by, the feminine trappings of silk, lace, and embroidery. Buckman challenges the notion that women are fragile, or that they require a man’s permission to “rave.” In Present Life, Buckman photographs flowers on the brink of decay, preserving the very moment between life and death, challenging notions of permanence and transience.
Penelope Umbrico continues her decade-long exploration of broken screens in Broken Sets and TV’s from Craigslist. Umbrico is “interested in the incidental beauty of the screens as messengers of failed technology.” Broken Sets feature photographs of LCD-TVs listed on eBay for parts, cropped to show just the screen and its abstracted colorful display. TVs from Craigslist features images of blank screens, capturing the presence of the photographer/seller in the reflection. In both series, Umbrico explores and exploits the beauty of the space between function and ruin, material presence and absence.
In The Language of Flora, Jil Weinstock explores the powerful and historical symbolism found in flowers and weeds, particularly those found in uninhabitable areas, such as ruins, architecture and antiquities. In Why These Seven?, Weinstock explores the interpretation of weeds within the theme of (im)migration. As their seeds settle on passengers, weeds follow the paths of newcomers and resettle in environments across the globe. A parallel can be made between the spread of these plants and (imm)migration. Like weeds, immigrants seek to settle in foreign lands where they are often rejected, and yet they resist the sometimes unfriendly and unfavorable environment as they replant their own roots.