Kate Gilmore, a performance artist, has a four-week-long exhibition, titled “Kate Gilmore: Top Drawer,” at Stony Brook University’s Paul W. Zuccaire Gallery in the Staller Center.
On display, Gilmore has performance, sculpture and installation work in which she captures her actions through a camera fixed in set angle.
The gallery consists of videos of Gilmore executing actions which, through interpretation and meaning, create the art of each piece.
In addition to the video art performance, Gilmore installed a work titled “Top Drawer.”
The piece showcases large yellow drawers that appear to be oozing with blood due to Gilmore’s placement of large plaster cubes.
During the performances, Gilmore wore stereotypical feminine clothing, like dresses, heels and flats.
To make a statement, Gilmore would move in ways to illustrate the labor of her art.
Lauren Sadowski, a student who was present at the gallery, commented on Gilmore’s work, saying when she first entered she saw “girls destroying things and making a mess in a pretty way.” After giving the gallery further thought, she said “if you listen you can hear her stress” and that Gilmore is “overcoming struggles to reach a goal that you can see.”
Another video in the “Top Drawer” installation is titled “Between a Hard Place.”
In this piece, the viewer sees Gilmore kicking, tearing and breaking through a series of gray and walls.
Using the high heels of her shoes, she effectively breaks through the surface but in the process her shoes fall off causing her to stop and fix it and then resume her work at tearing down the wall mercilessly.
In this video, Gilmore’s actions reflect everything young girls are told not to do in dresses.
Another piece in the gallery is titled “Wall Bearer.”
The work itself is solely a picture, unlike the other pieces, which have performance and physical aspects to them.
In the photo, Gilmore has six women who are dressed identically in pink dresses and white shoes stand in spaces between a pink walls for three hours. The women are meant to symbolize the pillars on which the rest of the structure stands.
Dakota Jordan, an art student student who visited the gallery, was able to give insight to the meaning of performance art. Jordan said in performance art the artist “interacts with a physical space that is crafted.”
Commenting on Gilmore’s work, Jordan says she “Constructs spaces and destroys them and moves around to show the physical struggle within the art that represents other struggles especially those dealing with femininity.”
Gilmore attended a talk on Monday, Sept. 15 at the exhibit to discuss her work.
On Saturday, Sept. 27, there will be a reception in the gallery to celebrate Gilmore’s exhibit. One of Gilmore’s works will be shown at the reception.