Lives and works in Belen, New Mexico.
The smoke furls and runs along with the desert landscapes, licking the ground and twisting over the pigmented women’s bodies as they conduct heteroclite body movements in unidentifiable rich somatic languages. The female forms are both the conductors of the landscape and the rhizomatic moments of its synchronicity. Coming in and out of focus, the viewer’s eyes blur between limb and rock under the lens of one of Judy Chicago’s most notable video works, Women and Smoke.
This series began in 1968, a year which has been ingrained in our minds as one of radical fights, and this work is nothing less than that and still as relevant. A fierce poetics in pyrotechnics ensued for almost a decade as Chicago created these site-specific videos in an effort to feminise the art scene of California which was infamously male-dominated during that time. These pieces were orchestrated by Chicago in order to transform and soften the barren landscape with intoxicating colours and small ritualistic acts that spoke of a time when worshipping goddesses was more commonplace than not. Although Chicago’s videos are beautifully seductive and play with the allure and charm of the female body, there is nothing vulnerable in the shapes that they cut across the scene; they are as much warriors as they are enchanters, as every goddess is.
Women and Smoke, California, 1971-1972, remastered 2016
Digital video, 14’45’’
Courtesy of the artist; Jessica Silverman, San Francisco; Salon 94, New York; and Jeffrey Deitch, Los Angeles