Reviewed by Jane-Rebecca Cannarella
An impassive face rests on a table, eyes at once both inquisitive and somber. The directness of the woman’s gaze is alarming in its stark frankness and openness, the body mimicking the pose of a child when feeling lost. The two photographs of the woman with her upper body plaintively hunched over a table creates the narrative of exploration and self-reflection. They are an introduction to the world of “Windows.” It is a world where an artist seeks to discover the meaning of transient physical spaces, and how they’ve shaped the artist as she examines her physical form through self-portraiture and self-reflexive photography.
Windows by Amy Ritter, out May 5th until May 27th at Gravy Studio, features 13 of her photographs and installations, exploring her relationship with her physical self, apropos to mobile homes and their interior landscapes.
This intensely personal collection reflects on the artist’s memories of her own experiences of growing up in a mobile home community. The staging reminds the viewer that while one might leave their home, they are forever intertwined and shaped by the places and landscapes that reared them.
Ritter seeks to transform the gallery space in order to evoke visceral sensations and create immediacy between herself and the viewer. By using Xerox prints, plywood, and cinderblock - the exact materials that make up the homes of her past - Ritter places the viewer in the spaces she seeks to reconcile with.
The viewer is challenged to delve deeper into understanding the artist’s self-reflection and memoryscapes as they navigate the exhibit. As the viewer shapes their opinions and understandings they are prompted to evaluate their own relationships with their memories, and how the places they were raised created who they are today. While coming into contact with the materials of the artist’s past, and photographs of the relationship between a woman and the physical spaces that shaped her - the collection is a refreshing reflection of the places and worlds that raised the artist, presented through the lens of a grown woman’s gaze.
Jane-Rebecca Cannarella is a writer and editor living in Philadelphia. She's the EIC of HOOT Review and a genre editor at Lunch Ticket. You can find out more at www.youlifeisnotsogreat.com
Amy Ritter will be giving an artist talk about the show on 5/27/17 from 1-3 PM. More info