Who's In Control Here? | An Artist's Perspective

May 10, 2017

Kelsy Gossett is off like a Saturn Five rocket with her new exhibition called "For Your Viewing Pleasure" at The Diver on Commerce Street.

Ms. Gossett describes the show as "a tongue-in-cheek analysis of power, pleasure, and consumption of women's bodies on screen."

The exhibit features videos, sumptuous and artfully shot, of Ms. Gossett and her female partner, involved in various exercises or escapades. Clothed in nude-colored undergarments, brushing each others' teeth--the foaming toothpaste slowly running down their chins. Dressed in school girl uniforms-- spanking each other with a principal's paddle. Filmed from the neck, down, dressed in underwear, standing still, and presented on a semi-porn website while we, the viewers, read comments from male viewers. The two headless female figures--are they mindless? Are they sad? Disgusted? And for yet another I watched male and female viewers in alternating states of humor and discomfort fidget while they watched a video of Ms. Gossett, again in nude-colored underwear, having suggestive relations with a large, skin-tone colored balloon.

Kelsy Gossett is clearly pushing big buttons in the Bible belt, and she knows it. She wants us to confront these so-called taboos. Society has encapsulated women and the female form. She's hitting us with a keen humor and then backhanding us with the reality and sadness of it all. Who's in control here? Ms. Gossett--or the viewer? I was mesmerized by the exhibition’s power.

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