Still Unearthing by Katina Biticias | May 1 – May 31, 2017
First Fridays Reception May 5, 6-9pm
Through this exhibition I am pairing the old with the new, while keeping with the theme of reflection and past traumas. The photographs and video of Unearthed were created in 2012 while I was residing in Italy. This series served as a turning point in my life, when I was finally able to unearth past demons and address them visually through my art. This work is then paired with my most recent works Still Unearthing and Words Can Never Hurt Me, which also discuss past traumas as well as provide a platform to address injustice towards women in today’s society.
In the photographs and video of Unearthed, the process of a forgotten object is displayed. There is a building of memory that occurs by uncovering the past that has been enveloped in dirt and then is rediscovered. Originally these objects served no importance or had any great significance, but through the process of time the objects gained importance and an aura is then built around them. By rediscovering and redisplaying the photographs I am giving the past a chance. In this project I aim to show a series of steps towards the creation of an object of importance. First the photos are buried along with objects from Cinque Terre, which represent the end of the previous life of the photographs. In the video, a hand is uncovering the photos of the past, and within that discovery and the hanging of the objects, a new life is given to them. The final step is when importance is given to the photographs, which are now a type of object, by framing and placing them in a gallery setting. By looking at the past through the metaphor of a fractal, the life of an object is always continuing and reinventing itself.
Through the photographic series Still Unearthing, I revisit and photograph the spaces where traumatic memories are recalled in order to take ownership of my past. The horizontal images of power are vertically interrupted by the visuals that my eyes focus on during the flashbacks; a pause. I have been held back in many ways by the demons of my past, but by taking a stance and envisioning myself as a powerful woman, I aim to overcome these flashbacks. I am not perfect, but I hope that in the future my past can be owned.
In the video Words Can Never Hurt Me, phrases that have been said to me personally as well as phrases said by our current President are reenacted and edited into a triptych of voices. By re-speaking these words, I aim to take ownership of the power they hold and remove it from the male voices that originally spoke them. The three women are in conversation with each other, and are constantly interrupting one another. My goal is to remove the negative power these words hold, and instead empower women to realize that words are just words, but actions speak louder.
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Financial assistance for this program was provided in part by The City of Columbia’s Office of Cultural Affairs.