Built to Burst
Kate Gilmore’s piece at Braverman Gallery – Built to Burst – is a large scale installation, performance, and video project. This installation is transformed into a 2 dimensional painting on camera. The artist uses her body to destroy and transform the object into something new, revealing the art work with her violent actions. From the destruction and aggressive acts emerges the beautiful. The artist’s aggression raises a tension between her stereotypical female role as perceived and expected by the viewer and the unexpected aggressive acts of Gilmore which allude to a more masculine and brutal behavior.
The installation, designed by industrial designer Sholi Strauss, consists of five platforms that are designed based on the dimensions of the gallery and the shot of the camera. From above, the camera looks down on the sculpture and the performance, filling the frame with the sculpture and the actions that occur. On this sculpture there will be over 100 paint filled pots situated on the platforms. Gilmore walks and crawls around the edges of the platform—spilling, breaking, and knocking over the pots causing the paint to spill and the pots to break. This action will create an abstract “painting” on camera. There are 2 colors of paint used (white and orange)—altering colors for each layer while the structure is painted a steal grey. The importance of the gallery space as the specific site of the installation is manifested in the sculpture that is based on the dimensions of the video shot (16:9) and the constraints of the space. From these limitations, which define the installation, a painting emerges on camera. The end product consists of a large-scale sculpture, a video, and photographs.
Through installation, sculpture, and performance-based video, Kate Gilmore constructs narratives that explore the symbols, behaviors, and sentiments associated with the archetypes of “female” ambition and struggle. Using iconography from the domestic, corporate, and social world, she plays hyper-obsessive, tragic-comic characters that interact with installations and sculptures frequently referencing dilapidated construction sites or twisted domestic spaces. The protagonists in these performances/videos use dogged persistence to suggest compulsive behavior that can characterize daily efforts to cope with high expectations or societal barriers. She uses a combination of sculpture, installations, performance, and video to illustrate the exhaustive struggle to achieve, framed through a female character’s perspective.
Kate Gilmore is an installation, video, and performance-based artist. Selected exhibitions include the 2010 Whitney Biennial; the Brooklyn Museum; The Kitchen; Indianapolis Museum of Art; Bryant Park (Public Art Fund); Locust Projects; White Columns; Contemporary Art Center, Cincinnati; Artpace; The J. Paul Getty Museum; The Rose Art Museum; Istanbul Museum of Art, Haifa Museum of Art, and PS1/MoMA Contemporary Art Center. Gilmore has been the recipient of several international awards and honors, such as the Rome Prize from the American Academy in Rome, Lower Manhattan Cultural Council Award for Artistic Excellence, the Franklin Furnace Fund for Performance, Louis Comfort Tiffany Biennial Award, The LMCC Workspace Residency, New York Foundation for The Arts Fellowship, and The Marie Walsh Sharpe Space Residency. Her work is in the collection of the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Brooklyn Museum; Whitney Museum of American Art; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; Indianapolis Museum of Art; and Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago.