Places of Freedom and Containment is a new exhibition organized by Charlotta Kotik, the third iteration of Moore’s Visiting Curators Initiative, a program that engages curators interested in bringing their vision to The Galleries at Moore, a hub for contemporary art and creative exploration in the heart of Philadelphia. Kotik's project focuses on a multicultural approach that explores how architectural and domestic spaces are conceived, modified, and inhabited based on women's roles as providers in various societal structures. The prompt for this presentation asks "how are existing gender roles, primarily those rooted in feminism, affecting our perception of space and consequently influencing current design and architectural thinking?"
The show brings together four women artists who explore relationships to/with/in various locations—often places of origin—and the formal and psychological impact of such places on their creative work. They illuminate intricacies of urban design as well as individual domiciles, all having an immense impact on society’s functionality. These unique perspectives explore how cross-cultural gender roles can be employed to create more enriching environments and offers a multicultural examination of urban and domestic spaces through art.
Artists in the exhibition include Sara Jimenez, a Filipinx-Canadian multidisciplinary artist who explores transcultural memories and creates work that addresses existing global narratives around concepts of origins and home, loss and absence; and Rehab El Sadek, an Egyptian-born artist of Sudanese ancestry who works at the intersection of conceptual art, architecture and language—her work explores themes of identity, displacement, immigration, and belonging.
Similarly, Shervone Neckles, an interdisciplinary artist of Afro-Caribbean origin, integrates themes of identity and immigration into her work. She also explores many of the Caribbean arts and crafts traditions in her practice. Her ancestral home in Granada, rendered in various techniques, is a recurring theme of Shervone’s work.
For Kara Rooney, an American multidisciplinary artist living in Mexico City, architectural forms and a spatial perception are the main inspiration. Rooney uses painting and weaving to document the disappearance of the sections of historical neighborhoods to preserve collective memory and to pay “an homage to architectural spaces that house our sense of cultural and personal identity.”
Image: Sara Jimenez, Roots Burrow Through Stones and Hard Facts, 2021. Fabric, foam, vinyl, wood, sound, carpets, and wallpaper. Dimensions variable (site-specific installation). Courtesy of the artist.