Imagine if Auguste Renoir and Valerie Solanas had a baby…
Greta Bank’s new project NSFW allows one to pursue this fantasy, while weaving an epic narrative about the confused agency of women. The stylized female is a common trope in art; she is seen as the classic odalisque or an insensate trophy within a romanticized setting. Transforming the annex gallery into an Impressionist garden by combining large oil painted figures with an odd assortment of raw building materials and a giant wall of diffused light, NSFW questions the authorship of female nature. NSFW also asks the question: how does one portray the true female experience within a patriarchal system when the pursuit of authenticity is wrought with corruption?
For six weeks the audience was invited to wander through the room-sized diorama witnessing the continual development of the painted forms, while sometimes being visited by Gustave Menet, a genderfucked French Impressionist who walks on stilts and wields handmade brushes. Greta Bank’s inquiry into the binary constructs of gender, taboos of female biology, male discourse in traditional painting, the absence of legend in contemporary society, bowerbirds, and human design as an imposed environment for natural order were explored through this ambitious installation and performance.
Major support for NSFW comes from the Artists Resource Trust and the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts.
Read our interview with Greta on our blog: space538.org/blog/2013/09/30/interview-greta-bank
Read Nicholas Schroeder's review in the Portland Phoenix: portland.thephoenix.com/arts/156067-greta-bank-pours-light-onto-concealed-subjects