ELEVATOR MONDAYS is excited to present DISSOCIATION featuring Cheryl Bentley and Artemisa Clark at Spring Break Art Show, Los Angeles. Working with Performance and Drawing influenced by bodily experience and classical literature, both artists will present unique interpretations of fact and fiction. By placing their own body at the center of their respective practices, each artist explores issues related to trauma, identity, and gender politics through an autobiographical voice.
In psychology, Dissociation is any of a wide array of experiences from mild detachment from immediate surroundings to more severe detachment from physical and emotional experiences. The major characteristic of all dissociative phenomena involves a detachment from reality, rather than a loss of reality as in psychosis.
Cheryl Bentley will present small, mixed media drawings informed by a melding of personal fantasy and personal trauma. These graphic drawings mix vibrant, psychedelic colors with claustrophobic scenes to create dark but highly cerebral images. Artemisa Clark will present “And those in the city, who were in the streets below, shot at the women with arrows and darts, which pierced them through the sides, so that they received many wounds, because their golden armor was so weak.” a durational performance in which Clark lies on the gallery floor naked and covered in gold body paint. The viewer is invited to lay on the floor to make eye-contact with Clark. Inspired by the work of 16th century Spanish writer Garci Rodríguez de Montalvo, Clark’s performance references a scene from “Las Sergas de Esplandián” (1510) in which an army of all female warriors from the mythical island of California are convinced to leave their home for the first time to fight with the Moors in a Reconquista-era battle. Their gold armor proves to be too soft to protect them, and many fall. This story of a golden army is thought to have inspired the naming of the California peninsula. Clark’s work, originally commissioned for the “MexiCali Biennial: CALAFIA: Manifesting the Terrestrial Paradise” (2018), imagines two of those fallen soldiers in the last moments before their deaths, each keeping the other alive through their gazes. By asking the audience to lay down across from her, acting as a proxy for her fellow soldier, Clark is subverting capitalist, patriarchal ideologies that determine who is granted subjecthood and what the performance of that subjecthood is expected to look like.
Cheryl Bentley is an interdisciplinary artist whose deeply private work is often influenced by spirituality and survival. Bentley has exhibited with Central Park, Los Angeles; Junior projects, NY; and 80WSE, NY. Bentley received a MFA In studio art from New York University and a BFA from the University of California, Berkeley. Bentley lives and works in Los Angeles, CA.
Artemisa Clark is a Los Angeles-based multidisciplinary artist and performance studies scholar. Clark’s work uses historical and personal archives to highlight the mundane and continual nature of violence against the Chicanx, female body. Often working in performance, Clark embodies and celebrates abjection as a site of survival, creation, and subject formation. Clark has exhibited at MOCA, The Hammer, Armory Center for the Arts, CalArts, the Vincent Price Art Museum, the Hemispheric Institute of Performance and Politics, SOMA, and Commonwealth & Council, Los Angeles. Clark received a MA in performance studies from Northwestern University and A MFA in visual arts from the University of California, San Diego. Clark lives and works between Los Angeles, CA and Riverside, CA.
ELEVATOR MONDAYS is an artist-run curatorial project inside a converted freight elevator founded by artist Don Edler in 2017. The project focuses on bringing together working artists in a experimental social exhibition space to foster dialogue and community through exhibitions and special programing. ELEVATOR MONDAYS has exhibited over 70 artists across 19 exhibitions. ELEVATOR MONDAYS is open Mondays from 7PM-10PM and by appointment. Spring Break Art Show Los Angeles features 40+ LA-based curators and artist-run spaces. Opening Friday, February 15th, 5pm-9pm, Spring Break is on view February 16th and 17th, 12 noon-8pm at 1925 E 8th Street, DTLA. Tickets are available at http://www.springbreakartshow.com/