At first I wondered why the room felt so safe. Then I realized it was because there were no windows. -Slyvia Plath, The Bell Jar
Tina Kim Gallery is pleased to present I Stepped Into The Room, a group exhibition featuring work by six New York-based artists. Titled after the final line in Sylvia Plath’s seminal work The Bell Jar, this exhibition considers the intersection and interplay of the psychological and the spatial. At the close of the novel, Plath’s protagonist has been institutionalized and finds herself in a psychiatrist’s office, passively awaiting her fate – freedom or further confinement. As the story is recounted via first-person narrative, it is never explicitly clear whether the character is predisposed to mental illness, or whether she is assigned this label as a result of her rejection of social norms and gender expectations. The literal and corporeal act of stepping into the room becomes a metaphor for the confrontation of this duality and the outcome is purposefully left open to the reader’s determination.
Throughout the novel, sensitivity to one’s physical environment is linked to and implicated in psychosis. Similarly, the artists in this exhibition utilize space – exploring it as both a site of restriction and liberation – in order to confront the tenuousness and uncertainty inherent to both their gender and their profession. Through a variety of media, including installation, painting, photography and video, each artist relates to physical space in a manner that is distinct and entirely her own. Nonetheless, all of the works in the show find commonality in the latent presence of narrative, and in their questioning of identity, etiology and purpose.
Artists: Tracey Goodman, Kyung Jeon, Shiri Mordechay, Habby Osk, Rocio Rodriguez Salceda, Joanna M. Wezyk