Bethany Shorb "Supplemental Restraint System"

Devotion Gallery

poster for Bethany Shorb "Supplemental Restraint System"

This event has ended.

Her work is tightly wrapped in an outer skin made exclusively from previously deployed airbags, beaded and sutured back together forming another protective barrier in an imagined automotive crash narrative, then further fetishized in glass scientific vitrines. Also included in the show are neon and automotive emblem text assemblages as obsessive tropes on car-culture.

Schooled in both sculpture and photography, Bethany Shorb creates elaborate prop, costume and set constructions that blur the line between both editorial fashion photography and performance art documentation. Her most recent LANGUAGE PRIMER series investigates the ideas of gender ambiguity and cultural assimilation/disallowance of such—in the context of self and self-portraiture—showing it’s onion-skinned layers as sides of self through the exploration of gender identification and accepted societal gender roles. She examines how these established roles may change in the future through parallel comparison to rigid English language grammatical rules.

Referencing the literary work of futurist Donna Haraway to the classic androgynous fashion photography of Helmut Newton, she plays on the current tropes of hyper-overdriven image retouching/manipulating seen in fashion magazines and illustrates that a level of body plasticization can not only transcend skin, but gender, moving beyond the limitations of body, beyond gender and beyond the roles we’re bound to within them.

Her recent CRASH series refers to JG Ballard’s novel of the same name with scenes titled by the lyrics of The Normal’s song of similar influence. Technology, celebrity, sex, and death are perversely glamorized and fetishized in unison in a single explosion of red Swarovski crystals and inflated black latex rubber. Models, wardrobe and set decoration all retain the same visual and emotional weight, , a hyper-saturated amalgamation exploring the interstitial space between the alluring and repulsive; hedonism and restraint; the seductive speed of expressways and the still finality of Last Rights.



from July 01, 2011 to July 24, 2011

Opening Reception on 2011-07-01 from 19:00 to 22:00


Bethany Shorb

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