ISABELLE GARBANI

“Power!” addresses issues of gender relation, body image and culture, relationship between women, the law, and my relations to others. Power is a continuum: I can exert power over someone, while at the same time, an entire group can exert power over me.

In Hangin' Out to Dry, multi-colored, multi-sized crocheted penises, once erect, now deflated, hang out to dry on clothes lines. The penises hang in an environment meant to recall a laundry room (an ironing board, wash basin, drying rack). The image of laundry as a traditional feminine task stands against the deflated penises. Yet one has to walk around in a "sea" of masculine power. The yarn comes from unfinished or abandoned projects by women, who donated the yarn for the artwork. The donated work is unraveled, fashioned into new balls of yarn, and crocheted into the penises. The artwork is about the power of appropriation and asks the audience to consider how we, as women get power: do we get power by appropriating a symbol of masculinity? Do we get power by making something that has been a sign of oppression into something soft and benign-looking? Do we get power by destroying other women? Do we get power by essentially becoming more "like men"? Mostly, can we, as women artists, work with crafts without being relegated to second class artists by art critics and audiences alike? As a feminist, I struggle with these questions, and wonder if we can find other ways to reach equality while preserving our identity, and want to start serious discussions on how we want to live in the 21st century.

 

Hangin' Out To Dry
Yarn, clotheslines, drying rack, ironing board
Stand4 Installation and Performance, Brooklyn, NY, 2018

Hangin' Out To Dry
 
Hangin' Out To Dry
 
Hangin' Out To Dry
 
Hangin' Out To Dry
 
Hangin' Out To Dry
 
Hangin' Out To Dry
 
Hangin' Out To Dry
 
Hangin' Out To Dry
 
Hangin' Out To Dry
 
Hangin' Out To Dry
 
Hangin' Out To Dry
 
Hangin' Out To Dry
 
Hangin' Out To Dry
 
Hangin' Out To Dry
 

Hangin' Out To Dry, 2016
Crocheted penises, yarn, clothes line
Yarn was donated as finished knitted samples, unraveled, then re-used.
Pocantico Artist Residency, Kykuit/Rockefeller Estate, Tarrytown, NY, 2016
As shown here, approx. 20 ft wide

The crocheted penises were moved around Kykuit and photographed in different locarions of the estate.

Hangin' Out To Dry
 
Hangin' Out To Dry
 
Hangin' Out To Dry
 

Don't/Erase Me
Chalkboard paint on canvas, chalk
Chashama Studio Installation, Brooklyn, NY, 2016
18' long by 4 feet wide

In Don't/Erase Me, I write in chalk on erasable chalboard paint, text messages I received. The texts only exist in that new form: in chalk. Audiences are allowed to add their own messages to the chalkboard, however in order to do so, they must erase one of my messages in exchange. They can decide if they want to exercise this ultimate power over my memories. Chalk is the only tool provided.

erase: Immigration Game
 
erase: Immigration Game
erase: Immigration Game
 
erase: Immigration Game
 
erase: Immigration Game