Referred to as perverse, neurotic, or bestial, our sexuality is often inhibited by fear and judgment. In Dark Corners, Savage Secrets, Robyn Hasty, in collaboration with Alex Pergament, reveals the most intimate moments of her sexual relationships, openly tearing apart these inhibitions in an interactive exhibition of photography, sculpture, and performance. Questioning the legitimacy of our socially-dictated taboos about sex, Hasty invites her audience to reveal their hesitations about sexual candor and transcend them.
Tucked away within a found wood installation, suitcases open to reveal nude photos taken clandestinely in the MoMA's painting galleries, collodion tintypes suggest scenes of sexual dominance and vulnerability, and a nook with a slide projector allows the viewer to advance through an explicit slideshow of Hasty having sex with her partner. Opening night, the large-scale anthropomorphized headdresses shown in her tintypes come to life atop semi-nude women chained to the gallery walls.
By offering up these intimate moments to the public eye, Hasty defies our entrenched taboos about sexual transparency. Whether her work debases the moments of intimacy it records or whether this exhibition reveals a fundamentally human connection is left to the judgment of the viewer. Will we choose to reinforce these taboos or to resist them?
Robyn Hasty, a.k.a. Imminent Disaster, has rafted the Mississippi River with the Miss Rockaway Armada, crossed the Adriatic Sea on a junk boat to attend the 2009 Venice Biennale, designed and built the sets for Jeff Starks Sweet Cheat, designed murals with the Philadelphia Mural Arts program, and collaborated with Swoon. Her work has been exhibited throughout the US and internationally. She has been featured on NPR for Homeland, a project which led her across 15,000 miles of the United States taking wet-plate collodion portraits. Her work has also appeared in The New York Times, New York Magazine, The Wall Street Journal, Juxtapoz, and The Village Voice. In 2013, she will be a resident at the Bronx Museum of the Arts.
Weldon Arts is a contemporary gallery in Bushwick promoting the work of emerging and street artists, and creating a dialogue with the public about the relationship between art, culture and community. For more information, visit www.weldonarts.net.