Presented in the Media Room is a selection of three videos by Kate Gilmore. In her videos Gilmore’s protagonists act out nearly impossible, always awkward or uncomfortable, and somewhat absurd physical challenges. Gilmore’s characters exhibit a persistent desire to succeed in the face of challenging obstacles and an ability to cope with self-imposed high expectations. These concerns are human ones, but the way they are portrayed owes something to self-representational feminist work of the 1960s and 70s, such as that of Hannah Wilke, Carolee Schneemann, and Lynn Hershman, and to the performance art of Joan Jonas and Marina Abramovic.In By Any Means Gilmore, dressed in a dainty pink dress and covered in mud, struggles to climb her way barefoot out of a deep ditch surrounded by protruding, sharp pieces of wood. In Higher Horse Gilmore, wearing high heels, stands atop a mound of white plaster blocks as two men strike the blocks with sledgehammers and cause the mound to crumble down around her. In That Human Touch the shaky spinning camera reveals in chaotic glimpses Gilmore aggressively kicking and tearing her way out of an enclosed structure.Gilmore's video works employ anxiety, humor, and hyperbole to reveal role-playing and a kind of Sisyphean absurdity in her actor’s pursuits. Her women are desirous, even desperate for love, attention, and success—desires which have been historically the concerns of women, but are also deeply connected with the conditions of making art.
Kate Gilmore (b. 1975 Washington, DC) received a BFA from Bates College and an MFA from the School of Visual Arts in 2002. She has had solo exhibitions at venues including Artpace, San Antonio; Maisterravalbuena Galeria, Madrid; White Columns, New York; and Real Art Ways, Hartford. In 2009 her work was on view at Franco Soffiantino Arte Contemporanea, Turin Italy, and last summer Gilmore’s performance art piece Walk the Walk, sponsored by Public Art Fund, was filmed in New York City’s Bryant Park. Selected group exhibitions include Environments and Empires, Rose Art Museum at Brandeis University, Waltham (2008); Reckless Behavior, J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles (2006); Greater New York 2005 andGreater New York: 5 Year Review in2010, PS1 Contemporary Art Center/MoMA, Long Island City; and 2010 Whitney Biennial, Whitney Museum of American Art, New. Gilmore was recently awarded the Rome Prize, American Academy in Rome, Italy (2007); the Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation Award, New York (2009), and Lower Manhattan Cultural Council Award for Artistic Excellence, New York (2010). This is her second exhibit at Catharine Clark Gallery.