Te Tuhi presents, for the first time in Aotearoa New Zealand, the work of Maria Ezcurra, a Mexican artist based in Canada.
Invisible, 2018 is a sculptural installation that employs garments as a medium to enable an enquiry into body politics. The genealogy of the piece lies in Ezcurra’s early experiments where she began stretching women’s clothes cut open on the wall – reminiscent of hunting trophies made out of animal skins – to critique the role play induced by garments.
Constructed using 120 nylon pantyhose that conjure body silhouettes, Invisible invites the audience to experience multiple views into its towering translucent structure. Psychologically, the piece echoes the body in absentia, a strategy frequently employed by historical and contemporary women artists. Here, such absence can signify either violence or sensuality and relays Ezcurra’s concept of clothing as both refuge and marker of identity.
In her own words, Invisible exposes “the ethical and aesthetical decisions that we make every day, reflected mostly on our gendered and racialized bodies. Based on our daily exposure to both subtle and explicit forms of violence towards women, this piece intends to reflect the veiled aggressions in which we all participate.”
Furthermore, as a matrix of absent bodies, the work inverts the logic of sculpture casting by placing the emphasis on the mould rather than the object. As a result, restricted notions of femininity and socially accepted parameters of beauty are brought into question in a captivating, sensorial way.
Invisible was first commissioned in 2005 by Firstsite Gallery, Colchester, UK, for Nostalgia of the Body in homage to Brazilian pioneer artist Lygia Clark and has since been shown in various international locations.
Maria Ezcurra in Auckland - EyeContact