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Elizabeth A.Sackler Center for Feminist Art

Chrysanne Stathacos

Toronto,
Canada

Chrysanne Stathacos (b. 1951, U.S.A.) lives and works in Toronto and Athens.Greece/ Originally trained as a print-maker, Stathacos brings together printmaking, photography, video, and installation in various ways, often creating participatory public art projects. She aims to make new connections between cultures, historical periods, technologies, and environmental issues, which mirror the human processes of change, hope, healing, and mortality. Stathacos has exhibited over 25 installations and art works in museums, galleries, and public venues in Canada, U.S.A., Europe, and Asia, and has received awards from Art Matters, the Japan Foundation, the Canada Council, and the Adolph and Esther Gottlieb Foundation. “This Stocking” a durational performance was presented at the Performance Biennale, at Green Park, Athens Greece and launched the Greek India Project. Her the my one-person exhibition, Flower Power, was presented at Fiendish Plots, Lincoln, Nebraska. In 2013 The Rose Mirror Mandala was included in the award winning exhibition, “The Temptation of AA Bronson” at the Witte de With Museum, Rotterdam, Netherlands. (2013-14). her installation resulted in well-received attention, and international press from Art Forum, Hyperallergic, China Weekly Magazine, and Art in America. Subsequently The Rose Mirror Mandala were presented at Salzburger Kunstverein (AA Bronson’s Garden of Earthly Delights) and Grazer Kunstverein, (AA Bronson’s Sacre du Printemps). Recent Publications include “Were You Here” with xxx/888 books, and “The Wish Machine Travels”.

Feminist Artist Statement

At the heart of my work is a deep commitment to examine and reconfigure the patriarchal history/ herstory of art and society. Through the”diaries” and “works” of my alter ego, Anne de Cybelle, I imagined a new history for women artists. The Hair Dresses of Anne de Cybelle was first presented in The Abortion Project (1990- 93), a collaboration with artist Kathe Burkhart. Most recently, I co-founded MOMMY with artist Susan Silas, a collaborative web site/distribution network that celebrates women artists such as Bharti Kher, Alison Knowles, Robin Kahn and Linda Montano. I am a founding Director and President of Dongyu Gatsal Ling Initiatives, an organization that works to reclaim the lost traditions of Tibetan women practitioners by supporting an emerging movement of female monastic communities in India and Tibet.

<p>Rose Mirror Mandala</p>

Rose Mirror Mandala

The Rose Mandala installations are created by plucking roses apart petal by petal, circling coloured mirrors to create mandalas ranging from 10 feet to 60 feet wide. The viewers’ senses are touched by waves of rose scent inhabiting the space of the work. The mandalas are left to dry and although they maintain their color they gradually reduce in size. At the end of the exhibition period, the mandala is dismantled in a final performance. These installation/performances reflect the ephemeral process of change, age, decay, emptiness, and the impermanence of even the beautiful.

Rose Mirror Mandala

The Rose Mandala installations are created by plucking roses apart petal by petal, circling coloured mirrors to create mandalas ranging from 10 feet to 60 feet wide. The viewers’ senses are touched by waves of rose scent inhabiting the space of the work. The mandalas are left to dry and although they maintain their color they gradually reduce in size. At the end of the exhibition period, the mandala is dismantled in a final performance. These installation/performances reflect the ephemeral process of change, age, decay, emptiness, and the impermanence of even the beautiful.

Rose Mirror Mandala Installation

The Rose Mandala installations are created by plucking roses apart petal by petal, circling coloured mirrors to create mandalas ranging from 10 feet to 60 feet wide. The viewers’ senses are touched by waves of rose scent inhabiting the space of the work. The mandalas are left to dry and although they maintain their color they gradually reduce in size. At the end of the exhibition period, the mandala is dismantled in a final performance. These installation/performances reflect the ephemeral process of change, age, decay, emptiness, and the impermanence of even the beautiful.

Ghost - (Three poems of the rose mirror )

Reflection of the Rose Mirror Mandala reflects on Three Poems,( “rose blood” prints on antique linen towel fabric
transformed into scrolls. The temporal light installation
refers to the bridge of east and west - temporal and daily life
within a light installation as the roses decay around the mirror.

The Wish Machine

The Wish Machine is a social sculpture – an interactive art work in the form of a re-fabricated vending machine wrapped in a photomural of a wishing tree from India that dispenses wishes that include an artist multiple - a printed photo -collage depicting a plant and a small vial of that plant’s essential oil extending the wishing ritual into a multisensory experience. The wishes invoke a range of human desires: love, money, lust, peace, sleep, communication, happiness, and health. Each desire is paired with an essential oil (rose=love, lavender=happiness, etc) that functions as a vehicle of the senses. for the participant to meditate on their wish. Since the act of wishing often pinpoints one’s desire for change; The Wish Machine has transformed busy public areas into spaces of reflection.

The Wish Machine was commissioned by Creative Time in 1997 for Grand Central Station and has since traveled around the world. Timed to coincide with Day With (out) Art in 1997, a website of The Wish Machine collected thousands of anonymous oral and written wishes from around the world, including wishes from refugee children calling for peace and compassion. The collected wishes were compiled into the publication, 1000+ Wishes (1999) to coincide with a four-month venue at The Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery, Toronto. Since its inception over 70,000 people have interacted with The Wish Machine on four continents at train stations, museums, galleries and public spaces. In 2008, The Wish Machine was presented at 48? C Public Art Ecology, the first public art festival in New Delhi, and marked a return full circle to the city where The Wish Machine was conceived.

2009 marked the publication of the monograph, The Wish Machine Travels 1995-2009 which includes 69 color plates of Stathacos’ public art projects, installations, and photography and texts by AA Bronson, Jennifer Fisher & Jim Drobnick, Amy Lipton, Heike Strelow, Peter Nagy, Marcus Boon in addition to Christopher Isherwood’s seminal short story, The Wishing Tree (1944). The publication of this monograph is a significant marker as it is the culmination of fourteen years of work.

The Hair Dresses of Anne de Cybelle

The character of Anne de Cybelle provides the blueprint for their construction. Stathacos telescopes back to the 19th century to find her working in a time that marginalized its women artists, eclipsing their future stake as historically relevant. Anne de Cybelle railed against the establishment, gaining notoriety by making spectacular dresses from the materials readily available (her own locks and scavenged canvas) and upstaging her male counterparts. Though clearly not the guilt-inspired hair shirts of the Middle Ages, Anne de Cybelle’s hairdresses did have an investment in an economy of shame, serving to decry the patriarchy for its oppressive practices. With homage as her primary tool, Stathacos sets out to correct history’s misdeed by faithfully recreating Anne de Cybelle’s intricate dresses and holding them up as triumphant icons of female ingenuity.- text by Claire Christie

The Banquet

The Banquet - a collaboration between Hunter Reynolds and Chrysanne Stathacos was first preformed at Thread Waxing Space in 1992, and was largely inspired by Surrealist Meret Oppenheim’s Spring Feast, in which a banquet was presented on the body of a nude woman. Andre Breton later encouraged Oppenheim to reenact Spring Feast for the Paris Exhibtion entitled Exposition InteR natiOnale du Surrealsime (the last joint exhibition of the Surrealist group). In The Banquet, Stathacos and Reynolds have inverted Oppenheim’s original event by substituting a nude man for the woman, blatantly confronting issues of male dominance throughout (art) history.

The Abortion Project, Collaboration with Kathe Burkhart

The Abortion Project, a collaboration by Kathe Burkhart and Chrysanne Stathacos, commemorated the Manifeste de 343, a bold demand for women’s reproductive rights published in 1971 in Le Nouvel Observateur, France. It was presented at Artists Space, Simon Watson Gallery, Real Art Ways, Hallwalls, and New Langton Arts between 1990 and 1993. Part One of the exhibit is an installation commemorating the 20th anniversary of the “Manifeste de 343”—a French public declaration stating all the signatories had had abortions, the most celebrated of whom was Simone de Beauvoir. The exhibit featured a collection of 686 collected signatures of women in the arts, enlarged and painted in red directly on the gallery walls. This work was originally presented at Artists Space in New York. The second part of the exhibit consists of artworks by 40 women artists who have long been involved with issues of gender and women’s rights. They include Barbara Kruger, Adrian Piper, Lorna Simpson, Kiki Smith and Nancy Spero. This is an expansion of a show exhibited last year at the Simon Watson Gallery in New York. The first time both art projects ere presented together was at Real Art Ways, and curated by Anne Pasternak.

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