The Samek Art Museum at Bucknell University opens its latest exhibition, Who is Puberty and How Does She Hit? from Oct. 24, 2017-Feb 11, 2018 in its Downtown Gallery space.
This exhibition takes a playful approach towards addressing growing up, gender, and contemporary society by presenting deep, complex, and culturally relevant themes through light-hearted sculptural forms and interactive media.
“We are delighted to bring Sidney Mullis’ artwork to Lewisburg. Her work asks serious questions in a playful way about what it means to grow up; something we can all relate to” says the Samek Art Museum’s director Richard Rinehart.
Works like the Selfie Schtick actively invite audience participation and playfulness, yet as Mullis explains: “It takes back control of how the viewer navigates the space where artwork is shown,” explains Mullis. An artist who pays attention to her surroundings, she first conceived of the Selfie Schtick when she went to go visit a contemporary installation at The Mattress Factory in Pittsburgh. “I was so excited to be alone in the space and see the work for the first time, but was disappointed and distracted by a gaggle of teenage girls taking selfies in the installation. This made me think: why is my approach to experiencing art the ‘right’ way and theirs the wrong?” Recognizing people will undoubtedly take a selfie in a space, her response was to incorporate this act into completing her work.
Bodies and how they navigate space is a theme that runs through most of Mullis’ work. “I’m fascinated with bodies, how they move in social space, and how they are costumed to do so,” says Mullis. Yet her work goes beyond thinking about the physical space to navigating the culturally rigid space of gender expectations. Viewing this exhibition, people may start to think of how binary expectations can be re-written as a more fluid lifelong exploration.
Sidney Mullis will return to campus to participate in a round table conversation with Erica Delsandro, Visiting Assistant Professor of Women’s and Gender Studies at Bucknell on November 29 from 6-8pm at Iron Front Cowork Space in downtown Lewisburg. This event is supported by funds from the University Lectureship Committee.
(Information from Emily Izer)