Christina A. West
January 12 - February 11
Exhibition Essay by Madeleine Seidel
This exhibition contains male nudity
APSU’s New Gallery starts 2022 with Christina A. West’s ‘mere mortals’
(Posted on Monday, Jan. 10, 2022)
The New Gallery, with support from The Center of Excellence for the Creative Arts and the Department of Art + Design, is pleased to present mere mortals by Christina A. West to continue an engaging 2021-22 exhibition season.
“I am excited to bring the work of Christina A. West to Clarksville as her sculptures and installations have been exhibited by world-class art venues such as the Mattress Factory in Pittsburgh and the Atlanta Contemporary,” said The New Gallery Director Michael Dickins. “Her work deals with the human figure as a way to try to understand and connect with others. It is informed by contemporary art criticism and social theory about the gaze as a way to call out dynamics and politics that complicate the act of looking.
“mere mortals is part of Christina A. West’s recent ongoing project that uses sculpture, video and photography to direct her gaze on the male body,” he added.
The exhibit is opens on Wednesday, Jan. 12, and runs through Feb. 11 at The New Gallery, located in the Art + Design building on the campus of Austin Peay State University. The exhibit is free and open to the public.
“My most recent installations explore the female gaze on the male body as a way to empower and understand this underrepresented perspective,” West said. “These works include video made during multiple sessions with male models as I directed them to perform a range of activities that convey vulnerability with strength and beauty with awkwardness, sometimes overlaid with references to classical art.
“These videos flip tropes common to the male gaze while presenting a perspective that moves beyond a simple reversal of the objectifying male gaze, conveying a mixture of desire, curiosity and empathy,” West added. “The presentation of these videos is an integral element of the installation. With strategies such as placing the videos within small boxes that require people to lean in to view, or integrating mirrors into a display composition, viewing these videos engages the viewer’s own body and creates a hyper-awareness of the act of looking.”
There are several events associated with this exhibition:
- West will present an artist lecture on her work and creative practice at 6 p.m. Feb. 1 in Room 106 A/B of the Sundquist Science Complex. This event is in-person but also will be offered via livestream, courtesy of CECA. You can register to see the livestream at this website.
- West will have a gallery talk at 12:30 p.m. Feb. 2 in The New Gallery.
- This exhibition will be open during Clarksville’s First Thursday Art Walk, from 5-7:30 p.m. Feb. 3.
All events are free and open to the public.
A virtual tour of the exhibition will be available soon at www.apsu.edu/art-design/thenewgallery.
Hours for The New Gallery are 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday-Friday and is closed on weekends and holidays, following the University’s academic calendar. For more information on this exhibition, contact Dickins at firstname.lastname@example.org.
About the artist
Christina A. West is a sculptor and installation artist who has extensively exhibited her work across the country in venues such as the Mattress Factory (Pittsburgh), The Everson Museum of Art (Syracuse, New York), Hallwalls Contemporary Arts Center (Buffalo, New York), Plug Projects (Kansas City, Missouri), and Atlanta Contemporary (Atlanta, Georgia). Additionally, West’s work has been supported by grants and fellowships from the New York Foundation for the Arts, The Archie Bray Foundation for Ceramic Arts, the National Council on Education in the Ceramic Arts and the Virginia Groot Foundation.
West earned her MFA from Alfred University (Alfred, New York) in 2006 and lives in Atlanta, where she is an associate professor of ceramics and three-dimensional studies in the Ernest G. Welch School of Art & Design at Georgia State University.