Artist: Pamela Rosenkranz
Venue: Karma International, Zurich
Exhibition Title: My Sexuality
Date: June 14 – July 26, 2014
Full gallery of images, press release and link available after the jump.
Images courtesy of Karma International, Zurich
“It’s Alright, Ma (I’m Only Bleeding)” Bob Dylan
Pamela Rosenkranz realized this set of new painting by isolating the gallery and wrapping it with thin transparent plastic sheeting. After this, she placed human-sized aluminum plates against the clear plastic shrouded gallery walls. She then took Viagra to paint. The aluminum sheets were painted by hand in layers of slimy serum-like polyester medium, tinted with various pigments of skin tones. The sensual use of skin colored pigments points to the complicated web of tissue that allows our anatomy to shine through.
Expression in painting is a story loaded with masculine attributes. How does ingesting Viagra then affect the act, the painting? Under the influence of the Sildenafil, the works are inherently symptomatic. Those who observed the creation of the works say that her complexion appeared to glow with a strange red flush.
Since it’s introduction, Viagra has acted as a substitute for alternative remedies and saved many animals that might have been poached for their aphrodisiac powers. Tiger Penis Soup for example, is an illegal delicacy that is said to enhance performance and increase virility.
Projectors placed in the space are spreading light and smell. The complimentary colors, red and blue, cast by the projectors shine basic luminescent light reminiscent of sunrise and sunset, which further translates to the interior or exterior layers of our bodies. The hot air that the projector produces, diffuses a subtle scent from a synthetic cat pheromone that discreetly emanates throughout the gallery.
As a consequence of the host-parasite relationship called toxoplasmosis, an individual infected is intrinsically linked to the sexuality of the cat, the parasite’s primary host. Calvin Klein’s “Obsession” owes a great deal to this synthesis – it is even used to attract wild cats. A behavioral study conducted at the Bronx Zoo found that cheetahs are attracted to particular artificial perfumes. Wild cats respond to these various perfumes and colognes by vigorously rubbing up and down and wrapping their paws around the site of the scent.
It is reported that 30% of the general human population on earth is carrying the parasite. Mice, who are also hosts to the parasite, are shown to be attracted to—rather than repelled by— cat odor, which manipulates them near the main host. When the cat ingests the mice, toxoplasmosis can finally procreate.
By engaging sensory cues, Rosenkranz undermines the claim that art might transcend its immediate reality. Here, the significance of artistic gesture is reduced to an evolutionary trigger that surpasses our still modern idea of individual expression.