April 18 - May 19
155 Plymouth Street
Brooklyn, NY 11201 United States
A.I.R. Gallery is pleased to announce Swim Faster, an exhibition of muralsized drawings and wood sculpture by Member Artist Cynthia Karasek. Feminized bodies of women and girls, some with dismembered limbs, float through a dark gridded space riddled with sharks bearing pointed white teeth. The swimmers’ bright red one-piece swimsuits fray at the edges, resembling torn flesh or streaks of blood. This chaos of forms is contrasted by the seemingly organized nature of the perpendicular lines in the background.
Turning inward to her personal memories and emotions, Karasek maps out anxieties around women’s rights issues and recent events. Fear of being unable to out-swim the things that threaten women’s independence and success is prevalent in the swirling landscape of predators and prey. Additionally, the artist expresses concern for future generations facing similar challenges, as seen in her depictions of young girls resting innocently in the background. While these conflicts may be familiar, the imagery used to represent them appears as if it has been drawn from a nightmare.
As if trapped in a bad dream, the images of frightened faces swirl around the room, even rising out of the floor into three-dimensional forms built from stiff mannequins supported by branches of wood. The emphasis placed on violence, and especially the loss of body parts, gestures towards concerns about maintaining agency over one’s body. However, the abstracted background and frightening scenes do not offer a way out beyond the rays of light that emanate from the imperceptible surface of the water. A dark suggestion, it is as if Karasek asks: Is there no escape from the residue of fear that many women harbor?