A Subject to Avoid
August 29 - October 11, 2014
Artist Reception: Friday, August 29th 5:00 - 7:00 PM
Levenson tackles a challenging subject, violence against women and girls, largely committed by males the victims know and love in their family, such as husbands, fathers and brothers. This unspoken subject is explored with symbols of matrimony— such as wedding cakes made of fragile glass—glass casts of the objects most frequently used by males to harm these females and photographs that capture awkward moments between couples suffering from this horrible dilemma.
Silvia Levenson uses objects and images to say what is generally not said aloud, either because the subjects are considered taboo or because of the potential shame and fear of retribution or harm to the accuser. She explores this unspeakable space that is situated between what can be seen or guessed by observers. The exhibition consists of installations, objects made in glass, photos and lenticular prints meant to explore feelings and actions that we often prefer to avoid. She explores this awkward “double feeling” in different ways. We are all raised with the notion of family as a sanctuary, while evidence shows that it can also be a very dangerous place. Family can imperil lives and breed some of the most drastic forms of violence perpetrated against the female gender. In Levenson’s exhibition, “Until Death Do Us Part”—a beautiful wedding cake that is empty and fragile with a pink hand grenade on top—and “Body of Evidence”—a wall installation of kiln-formed glass and found objects frequently used by men to cause harm to females—underscores this condition. Statistics speak to the violence in families, as the aggressors are mostly “known” by their victims and people who were once loved by the women and girls they harm. In others works, such as photos and lenticular prints, Levenson explores the dynamics and tensions in relationships between couples, those razor thin differences between what we really feel and what we actually express. Sometimes it’s hard to face our feelings. Since we wish to fit into the idealized and idolized picture of “happy ever after”, we often pretend that things are OK; which is easier than confronting the real issues, our feelings or those who we once loved. Often, we worry too much about the other person’s feelings or we simply fear them. That is why it is “A Subject To Avoid” and "let's not talk about it”.
Silvia Levenson was born in Buenos Aires and currently lives and works in Italy. She is an international artist and has had more than 40 solo exhibitions in Venice, Rome, Milan, Amsterdam, Lyon, Buenos Aires, Barcelona, Berlin, Portland and San Francisco, among other cities, and her work has been included in numerous group exhibitions. Levenson’s art can be found in the permanent collections of the Museum of Fine Arts (Houston, TX), New Mexico Museum of Art (Santa Fe), Corning Museum (Corning, NY), Musée du Verre (Sars Poteries, France), Tikanoja Art Museum (Vassa, Finland), Glasmuseum Ebeltoft (Denmark), Ernsting Glass Collection (Coestfeld, Germany), Museo Leon Rigaulleau (Argentina) and Museo del Vetro (Altare, Italy) among others.