76 Grand Street
Portraits & Playthings by artist Beth B opened at Deitch Projects on February 6, 1997. The exhibition was divided into two installations, each taking a different approach to sexuality, social conventions, and loss of innocence. Portraits was a series of thirty-one photographs. Playthings was an installation of sculpture and video. The exhibition called into question issues of violation, corruption, cultural and sexual identity, and the historical representations that bind us to traditional roles and values.
Portraits was composed of twenty-one black and white, and ten color photographs. These were abstract portraits of female genitals. By individuating this particular part of the anatomy, Beth B attempted to demystify this most vulnerable, private, and exploited part of the body. It looked to celebrate the seductive and sensual aspects reveling in the extraordinary distinctiveness of size, shape, contour, and coloration. These were portraits that revealed the uniqueness of our sexuality, capturing a moment of innocence, a feeling of precious beauty.
Playthings was composed of seven sculptures--dolls and toys--some mechanized and motorized, others silent and brooding. Initially, we were seduced by the playful, interactive nature of these objects. Upon closer examination, these childhood images began to trigger memories of trauma, confusion, and vulnerability.
In the words of the artist, "Playthings explores familiar situations and brings to light the importance of not what is seen but what is hidden: the secretes, the mysteries and the fears. It looks at the seductive nature of our sexuality and reveals the violence below the surface of a seemingly harmless apparatus. These mechanized, motorized images engage the viewer in a chaotic cacophony of sound, light and animation which instigates a dialogue between disparate voices, creating a dissonance of sound, image, and thought."
Concurrently, a book entitled Portraits was available, published by Deitch Projects. Additionally, her new feature film, Visiting Desire, had its New York theatrical premiere at the Cinema Village Theater on February 7, 1997. Beth B created an entirely original and compelling film where people came together to act out a fantasy of their choice with a stranger...in a bedroom. The results were sensually erotic, childishly comic, emotionally shattering, and ultimately revealing. Visiting Desire premiered at the 1996 Toronto Film Festival and was invited to the 1997 Berlin Film Festival.
March 8 - 11, 2018
We will present a special solo project by the artist JR.
Image: JR, Migrants, Walking New York City, 2015
April - May 2018
18 Wooster Street
76 Grand Street
New York, NY 10013
Monday – Friday
10 AM – 6 PM
Tuesday – Saturday
Noon – 6 PM
The gallery reopens with People in April 2018.
+1 (212) 343-7300
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