Kate Gilmore is an artist who synthesizes multiple mediums including performance, video, sculpture, and painting. Kate Gilmore: In Your Way features eight performances—seven video and one live commissioned by the Bates College Museum of Art. Her videos focus on women, usually herself or a small group of women, wearing stereotypical feminine clothing and footwear while persistently performing difficult, labor-intensive tasks within self-constructed spaces. These works explore feminist themes, modern and contemporary art tropes, and relentless determination.
The videos in this exhibition include her performance My Love is an Anchor (2004), which features Gilmore struggling to remove her foot from a bucket filled with cooling plaster, Standing Here (2010), which features her trying to climb out of a tall narrow column of plaster, and Like This Before (2013), in which she carries white paint-filled vases up a large black structure with troughs, then kicks the vessels over to create an expressionistic, striped painting object. The Bates performance, which is under development, will take place at scheduled times throughout the exhibition.
Gilmore’s performances often combine minimalist structures with the performance of difficult actions such as the destruction of paint-filled objects. The spilling and splattering from her work are an ode to Abstract Expressionism or 1950s stripe paintings. Her works are mischievous and political, as well as humorous and critical of the heroic language and absence of women in these artistic movements. The physical situations and actions Gilmore creates for herself and her performers are metaphors for challenges women face culturally and socially.
Credit: Exhibition overview from museum website.