photos: Bob Raymond (MAG)
Shana Robbins (Atlanta, Georgia):
May 24, 2009 - performance art with tree installation
Videos of Shana Robbins' "Tree Ghost":
Extreme Beauty: The Body Transformed--by Harold Koda: “..the platform sole's impairment of a woman's walk was seen as a way to control her morality, since mobility was directly associated in many cultures and times with the potential for unrestrained sexuality."
"..the Oiran of the Yoshiwara, the quarter of the "Floating World," wearing their dochu-geta, were known for their slow progress when walking through the streets. These shoe styles lifted women higher than the norm, endowing them with greater public stature. Their encumbered walking was also an asset; it imposed a slow ceremonial gait that allowed the crowds to study the courtesan's beauty and fashions more closely.”
Shana Robbins is a painter, performance, and multimedia artist based in Atlanta, Georgia. She has exhibited and performed internationally in a variety of galleries, alternative spaces, and natural locations. Many of Robbins’ performances occur in remote areas with no audience except for the natural environment. This year, her work was featured in STUDIO VISIT MAGAZINE, OFF THE STRIP at the Las Vegas Contemporary Arts Center, and the STATE OF THE NATION V: Tipping Point--Art and Performance Festival in New Orleans.
Creating drawings/paintings as visual maps or references for handmade costumes, performance objects, and ritualistic actions, Robbins is engaged in an ongoing exploration and dissemination of the ecofeminist character she calls Monstrous Feminine. Various iterations of Monstrous Feminine, such as Tree Ghost and Axis Mundi, “haunt” places in order to reclaim space and destabilize static notions of the female body and of the natural realm.
http://www.shanarobbins.com/ (not fully updated)
Notes from the Curator:
1. First of all, I want to thank Shana (pronounced Shahna not Shayna) for her wonderful performance and for driving her tree all the way from Atlanta, Georgia to be a part of the Politics of Shoes.
2. Because all the other performances on Sunday night were going to be dance/movement pieces and were all relatively short (15 minutes or less), I told Shana that she could make her piece as long as 40 minutes if she w anted to. As Shana told me after her piece without laying the blame at my feet (although she could have most definitely), she would have made her performance 20 minutes or less.
3. There was a nine year old girl in the audience who was enjoying herself tremendously (throwing shoes at gongs and in the air) throughout the entire evening. When the performances ended that evening, her mother approached me and after some innocuois chit-char suddenly said that she thought Mobius should "warn parents" ahead of time of "unsuitable material". Needless to say, I could feel the surge of anger rising when I almost choked out: "You mean you think we should CENSOR the artists and performers?" and had trouble keeping myself from going into a long and angry discourse on Civil Liberties and pointing out that her offspring could see a hell of a lot worse on television and the trouble with the world is due to _ like you! and what do you think this exhibit and set of performances is all about and what is wrong with you, do you call yourself an AMERICAN? Fortunately, when I told Joanne Rice, one of the other Mobius Artists, about what had happened, she was able to calm me down.