My Experience Beyond the Exhibit

We attended the Latin House Gallery this week as a class and the artwork and displays were very different than what I had imagined.

Written by Emily Reeter

Going into this class trip, I thought that I would be encompassed with Latino inspired artwork with vibrant colors, character, and years of history.  However, I was surprised to have found some engaging videos, and art pieces that played immensely on emotions.  Some of the exhibits left students feeling intrigued, while others had people feeling very uncomfortable or uncertain about how to feel.

The most controversial exhibit was Gressman’s video and photos portraying a woman dressed in drag style, operating a surgery on her own body.  The video was gruesome, and at some points disturbing with heavy, punk rock music blaring in the background.  Throughout the video, she used a drill to open her womb and cut it up revealing her intestines and inner body parts.  That instant was already enough to make my stomach turn! But, as time went on she started to eat her intestines and smile while doing so.  The class was very confused on the direction of the video and the message she was trying to get across.

However, my personal take away from the creative, but graphic video, was that the woman doing that to her body wasn’t happy with herself, and was frankly uncomfortable in her own skin.  I think she wanted to demonstrated her disgust and disapproval with the audience.  She succeeded because everyone watching felt uneasy, and uncomfortable much like she probably felt in her position in life physically and mentally.

Another thing I also found intriguing about this exhibit was that they had a section called the “touch station”.  It had the real props from the filmed performance sprawled out for people to pick up and look at.  It was neat because it brought the film more to life and it helped imagine it more as a reality since everything was right there in front of you.

Overall I really enjoyed the exhibit and thought it was stimulating compared to other art programs I had attended.  All of the art was very different and although I thought it was morbid it got my brain working and asking questions.  I enjoyed how all of the exhibits were engaging and brought up unique conversations within the class.  It made my experience way more enjoyable and enhanced my understanding of the different pieces.

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