Aggregations: Ceramic Sculpture by Stephanie E. Hanes

Exhibition Dates: September 1st - September 30th, 2023 in Firehouse Gallery, 713 Monroe Ave., Rochester, NY, 14607

Reception: Friday September 1st, 6 p.m. - 9 p.m. in Firehouse Gallery, 713 Monroe Ave., Rochester, NY, 14607

Join us on First Friday, September 1 from 6 - 9pm for the Opening Reception of "Aggregations." This exhibition showcases ceramic sculpture by artist Stephanie E. Hanes.

Our galleries are free and open to the public. This show will be displayed in our Firehouse Gallery until September 30.

"I am interested in the radical place of in-betweens and its relation to queer identity. The morphing/merging bodies, their hybridization, and their unfixed nature is a figure that is in open relation to the future. This act of becoming is in opposition to normativity and is essential to questioning standardized notions of race, gender, and sexuality. The emphasis on fragmentation and fracture, as well as on emphasis on re-assemblage transgresses the boundaries of the body alluding to the potential transformation of the white patriarchal norm. This is a political and aesthetic act in which each figure participates in the pulverization of past traditions that were traditionally upheld and valued, these bodies shed skin, ooze, and vertebrae protrude outside the flesh, it is a body that breaks out from its allotted space.

My work aims to unfasten the binaries of gender and sexuality in visual representations, I use the female body as a site of resistance because it is normally the site of repression and possession. These figures are in a state of flux, process, and change, they are both vulnerable and powerful, beautiful and grotesque; Inverting social bodily hierarchies. By exploring the notion of the uncanny, it exposes the symbiosis of the feminine division of self for survival. This investigation is an intense search for an identity that will never be defined, its fluidity evokes a maximum number of possible future identities to exist.

The grotesque body is not an ugly body but rather, nonconformist which is opposed to the finished and polished. Conceptually it is used as a vehicle for exploring the effects of its repression, the uncanniness exposes the presumed familiarity of symbolic violence and its reaction to the female forms link to monstrosity. That is linked to the fear of female power and the anti-female message in Greek myth and culture that still persists to this day. By using the strategy of mimesis, in an effort to unravel feminine truths through mimicry of the “ideal” to make the unseen visible, and ultimately disrupting the illusion of singularity, which is contradictory to the multidimensional experience of reality. The grotesque body has both the potential for creativity and destruction. This deconstruction is to dissolve, to oppose traditional binary distinction. It is a critical practice of playing with ideas and thus destroying convention and giving representational form new thoughts."

Artist's Bio:

Stephanie E. Hanes received their MFA in Ceramics from the Rhode Island School of Design and a BFA from NSCAD University. Stephanie was one of the artists awarded the NCECA Emerging Artist Prize in 2020. They have completed several residencies throughout Europe with solo and group shows at c.r.e.t.a Rome Gallery in Italy and Lefebvre et Fils Gallery in Paris, France. Stephanie is currently an Assistant Professor at NYSCC Ceramics at Alfred University, where they teach ceramic sculpture.