18 July-11 August 2013
“Pre-Existing Condition”: Kathryn Parker Almanas
“Pre-Exisiting Condition” investigates destruction and healing within the body and the terrors and pleasures of embodiment.
Using ingredients found in delectable pastries, Almanas creates and photographs visceral tableaux of surrogate organs that explore destruction, digestion and healing. “Seduction is another aspect present in the anatomical imagery from “Pre-Exisiting Condition”, suggests Curator Robert P. Stack. “One is simultaneously drawn to the salacious appearance of the edible material, while repulsed by the seemingly disemboweled carnage of boldly colored still lifes evoking life’s more unpleasant realities. All of the senses are sharply awakened at once.”
“As an artist, I am dedicated to the expression of the human condition; what it means to be alive existing within our skin, the sensations of embodiment, and the relationship between the ethereal and corporeal,” states Almanas.
By constructing her visceral tableaux and surrogate organs with dough, jelly, fruit juices, white cloth and women’s tights, Almanas’s photography plays with how we recognize ourselves in textures and materials; dough and jelly act as viscera, while light evokes both a surgical and divine gaze.
“I flirt with and subvert the genre of still life from both historical painting and contemporary editorial photography to evoke an anatomical perspective and awareness of the body,” she notes, adding, “Sweet objects, that could potentially be consumed, act as surrogate body parts. The fleshy forms lie, hang, and nestle within these explicit scenes, both seducing and disgusting the viewer. The images provoke sensations of pain and pleasure, creating an intimate tension.”
The collage works in “Pre-Existing Condition” were made prior to and during the making of the photographed visceral tableaux. “Creating theses collages opened a way for me to clarify my thoughts, concepts, and materials for the photographs I constructed,” Almanas explains. “I discovered that collage was a way for me to think, but also a form and medium I want to pursue and evolve in my practice as an artist.”
Almanas’s work has been exhibited in solo and group exhibitions in New York, Boston, Chicago, Miami, and Philadelphia. This is her first solo exhibition in Providence at Yellow Peril Gallery.
About Kathryn Parker Almanas
Kathryn Parker Almanas earned a BFA in Photography from MassArt in 2003 and a MFA in Photography from Yale University in 2007. While at Yale, she was awarded the Schickle-Collingwood Prize, and upon receiving her MFA, was the recipient of the Alice Kimball English Traveling Fellowship to conduct research on the history of anatomical dissection in Italy. Her work has been published in 25 Under 25 Up-and-Coming American Photographers, Photo District News, Metropolis, to name a few. She has created art on commission basis for New York Magazine, Time, Details, Culture+Travel, among other magazines. For more information about visit kathrynparkeralmanas.com.
(adapted from the gallery’s press materials)
60 Valley Street
Providence, Rhode Island 02909 USA
other times by appointment
Image from “Chronic Care Collection”
by Kathryn Parker Almanas
photograph cut from a surgical nursing guide book, sections of the artist’s own photographs, medical bandaging, suturing thread
Image courtesy of the artist