Katrina del Mar GIRLS GIRLS GIRLS Participant Inc.

I am so buzzzed, happy & grateful. Sunday night’s opening of GIRLS GIRLS GIRLS at Participant Inc. was packed with lovely people who were happy for me, happy to see one another, & really into the works. Show’s up til Feb 17: Wed-Sun 12-7 Lia Gangitano you are amazing to work with. Nancy Loeber thanks for helping me put those books together. The prints looked gorgeous thanks Carl Saytor of LuxLab! — at PARTICIPANT INC. 253 East Houston Street NY NY 10002

MORE INFO from the press release:

From January 13 – February 17, 2013, PARTICIPANT INC is proud to present GIRLS GIRLS GIRLS, a solo exhibition featuring photographs, videos, and hand-made books by New York-based artist Katrina del Mar.

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Katrina del Mar is perhaps best known for her decades-long work in video and photography, chronicling the reality and illusion of her Lower East Side friends and lovers as punk heroines; or within her girl gang movie world of strictly female population. Creating a family tree indebted equally to B-movies and diaristic photography, del Mar’s defiantly queer photographs and videos are iconic alternatives to the cultural status quo, offering an exuberant, hyper-stylized sexuality, an unapologetic feminist voice, and often guerilla-style production tactics.

Particularly informed by the Greek word ekphrasis, a rhetorical device in which a description of a work becomes the work in and of itself, del Mar has described her practice as operating in a similar exchange: book covers and movie posters come before the books and movies and, in some instances, stand alone. She has noted, “Long after my films are finished, I am writing the novels they should have been based on. I write modern myths set in urban environments.”

With this logic in mind, GIRLS GIRLS GIRLS presents an expansive selection of photographic works, beginning with a shelf of handmade pulp fiction paperbacks. Their covers, designed first, become starting points for del Mar’s fictional excursions inside, though some remain empty. On the walls, photographs are grouped into loose narratives. Arcs and archetypes—surfer girls, bike gangs, girls playing in their rooms, bedroom scenes including the artist and others—feature dogs, cars, leather, tattoos. These become fictionalized signifiers of the threat of women’s violence, which the artist, as ringleader, marshals as an active participant. Adding light and color to the powers that urban life has to offer, del Mar creates “…a fantasy that moves from violence to sex rather than vice versa….” (Chicago Reader)

Jenifer P. Borum has noted of del Mar’s work: “These glimpses she gives us are not of marginal inhabitants of our world. Those leather femmes with their dogs. Those pierced, sleeved-out dykes on the street. They look like they’re from the cool neighborhood of the city, but they’re not from here. Like Henry Darger’s In the Realms of the Unreal, del Mar’s world is both epic and dystopian—a fictional reality that seems very much like our own, only with different rules.”