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Stephanie Powell: I can see it in your eyes
On View Friday, April 16, 2021 - Sunday, May 23, 2021

Stephanie Powell: I can see it in your eyes
Friday, April 16, 2021 – Sunday, May 23, 2021
Presented in Black Box
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ABOUT THE EXHIBITION
I can see it in your eyes,” is the most common phrase said to me when people find out I am half Japanese, and half White. It has been a consistent phrase since childhood and consistently awkward as once the phrase is voiced there is a lingering gaze in my eyes looking to locate or validate my cultural identity. There is also a sexual tension and sense of authority that comes along with the lingering look, that taught me at a young age the complexity of desire and the power in looking back as opposed to away.

The performers in the video works are dancers who I work with to express narratives and gestural memories into movements within, out, and away from their bodies. The mask they are wearing is a traditional Noh theater mask, which is also a popular object for collectors of Japanese antiquities. This mask has many interpretations, ranging from being a mask to welcome the good spirits into a home if hung on a wall to a mask that will absorb souls. I grew up with this mask on my family’s living room wall, and it always brought a sense of pleasure and horror.

My work speaks to the imbalances of cultural hybridity, displacement within the body and how memory can extend from the mind to the flesh. I have been working with somatic psychotherapy and movement for the past few years as a way to process complicated memories and emotions that have become lost in the body. Connections and disconnections with ancestors, myths and spiritual illusions, and colonial vestiges in desire are all central to my art practice.

ABOUT THE ARTIST
Stephanie Powell is an interdisciplinary artist who works in video, photography and sculpture. She has exhibited at Guild Hall, East Hampton, NY; Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok, Thailand; Sgorbati Projects, NYC; Mallorca Landings, Palma de Mallorca, Spain; and Mills Gallery at Boston Center for the Arts. She has received grants and fellowships from the Sustainable Arts Foundation, apexart, the Jerome Foundation, and the Illinois Arts Council. Her written and art work has appeared in apexart’s journal and Flaunt Magazine.

Powell received an MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2001 and her BFA in Studio Art from the University of Oregon in 1996. She was born in Yokosuka, Japan and raised in Portland, Oregon and currently resides in Brooklyn, New York. She is currently an Adjunct Associate Professor in Photography at Pratt Institute.

More Info: stephaniepowellstudio.com / @steph_rei