Gymnasia is an installation by Brooklyn-based artist Rose Nestler in the Project Room of BRIC House. The exhibition includes Nestler’s oversized textile reinterpretations of ancient prize amphorae and a multi-channel video installation that places costumed dancers, gymnasts and wrestlers amidst large scale fabric trophies moving to the sound of a hypnotic and syncopated chorus of commentators.
The works included in this show pull from the iconography and structures of the ancient Greco-Roman Gymnasium, while also utilizing the familiar aesthetics and materials of contemporary sportswear. Gymnasia presents an investigation into the correlation between athleticism, spirituality, gender and power through illustrating sports, ceremonies and rewards that sustain the oppressive regime of toxic masculinity within American culture.
As a project based, interdisciplinary artist, Rose Nestler uses fabric as a sculptural material because it is linked to clothing — our second skin, further illuminating how clothing can denote power and profession. Video allows her to activate her sculptures, documenting a physical experience with the objects she creates. She often adapts ancient subject matter with contemporary materials and reimagines iconic patriarchal institutions as feminine spaces, chipping away at the entanglement of gender and history.
Rose Nestler received her MFA from Brooklyn College in 2017. She has exhibited at a variety of galleries including, Thierry Goldberg, CRUSH Curatorial, and CUCHIFRITOS, all in NY; Ortega y Gasset Projects, Underdonk, and Smack Mellon, all in Brooklyn; and University of Illinois Springfield Visual Arts Gallery. Rose has been an artist-in-residence at Lighthouse Works, Chashama Workspace Program, Kimmel Harding Nelson Center for the Arts, Vermont Studio Center, and Byrdcliffe Artists Colony.
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