Exhibit explores trauma in "The Space Between"

The McMaster Gallery at the University of South Carolina’s School of Visual Art and Design presents “The Space Between,” a solo exhibition exploring the effects of psychological trauma and physical movement among black women. The exhibit showcases photographic prints, a site-specific installation and a live performance by multidisciplinary artist Michaela Pilar Brown.

“This body of work is an intensely personal exploration of a larger phenomenon of psychological and physical disease among black women and the roots of that disease in the oppression of black American women beginning with the trans-Atlantic slave trade,” says Brown.

Using sound, video projection and body markings, Brown will present “Mother Wound,” a live performance that explores the genetic memory of trauma. The performance and exhibition reception is at 6:30 p.m. Jan. 21. “I will explore the history of my mother’s wounds, both physical and psychological as a metaphor for the existing psychological and physical disease among black women and the connection of that disease to the oppression of black women in the Americas,” says Brown.

The performance may include nudity, adult subject matter and situations. It may not be suitable to everyone. Audience members must be over 18 and must show identification.

Brown's art makes statements about the body and its relationship to larger cultural themes of age, gender, race and sexuality, history and violence using nontraditional materials, and considers memory, myth, ritual desire and the spaces the body occupies within these vignettes.

“This exhibition fosters an ongoing examination of the contemporary cultural and social contexts regarding race and gender,” says Shannon Lindsey, the director of the McMaster Gallery. “The imagery, installation and the performance should evoke reflection to social constructs that determine who we are and how we respond to each other.”

Born in Bangor, Maine, and raised in Denver, Colo., Brown studied sculpture and art history at Howard University. As a child she cut her teeth in the halls of a museum, where her mother worked as a security guard. Currently living in Columbia, S.C., Brown has exhibited through the Southeast and was the 2011 Fall Gantt Artist in Residence a the McColl Center for Art in Charlotte, and a 2012 recipient of an Artist Grant from The Vermont Studio Center in Johnson, Vermont.  

Brown’s exhibit continues through Feb. 5.

If you are going

Michaela Pilar Brown will present “Mother Wound,” a live performance that explores the genetic memory of trauma at 6:30 p.m. tonight (Jan. 21) at McMaster Gallery. McMaster is in the University of South Carolina's School of Visual Art and Design at 1615 Senate St., with accessible street parking on Pickens, Senate and Henderson streets. The gallery is free and open to the public from 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m. weekdays. For more information, contact Shannon Rae Lindsey, gallery director, 803-777-5752.

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