PHILADELPHIA.- Kate Gilmore loves a challenge. For her performance-based video works, she sets up difficult physical tasksa precarious tower of strungtogether furniture to climb, for instancedons lipstick and a fancy dress, and documents herself making the attempt. She has jumped rope on a perforated wooden platform while wearing stilettos (Double Dutch, 2004), ascended a slippery ramp in rollerskates (Cake Walk, 2005), and forced her satin-clad body through a tiny tunnel (Main Squeeze, 2006). This exhibition will be on view through December 7, 2008.
The dogged persistence of Gilmores protagonists suggests the obsessive behavior that can characterize daily efforts to cope with high expectations. These dolled-up women seem desperate for success, love, or attentiondesires traditionally bound up with gender and the condition of artmaking. In all of her projects, Gilmore strives for compositional perfection, and her incongruous party clothes are always perfectly coordinated with the installation itself. Combining physical comedy, palpable effort, and a whiff of real danger, Gilmores work evokes time-based endurance work of the 1970s, such as that of Vito Acconci, and expands on feminist and performance art in the tradition of Joan Jonas and Marina Abramovic.
For the Project Space, Gilmore will construct a new challenge and star in a corresponding video, to be shown alongside several earlier video works.
Kate Gilmore (b. 1975 Washington, DC; lives New York) 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. Upcoming solo exhibitions in 2008 will be held at Catharine Clark Gallery, San Francisco, and Smith-Stewart Gallery, New York. This winter her work will be on view at Franco Soffiantino Arte Contemporanea, Turin Italy. Selected group exhibitions include Environments and Empires, Rose Art Museum at Brandeis University, Waltham (2008); Reckless Behavior, J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles (2006); and Greater New York 2005, P.S. 1 Contemporary Art Center/MOMA, Long Island City.
Gilmore was recently awarded the Rome Prize, American Academy in Rome, Italy (2007).