Artborne Magazine November 2016 - Page 40

Out of Towner Bodies and Things: Shana Moulton’s Universe by Leah Sandler Healing Accent Table., mixed media installation video was displayed on a rectangular monitor imbedded in a wooden table a the center of the stands. In the video, entitled Repetitive Stress Injuries, Cynthia’s body is subjected to a surgery in which her internal organs are replaced with puzzle-like health product logos by a gloved, disembodied hand. Cynthia’s body evades abjection in its cartoonish rejection of the gooey reality of our human anatomies, favoring the neutralized representations of computer generated and graphic imagery, humorously animated. –Susan Stewart The effect of the display was unnerving—watching the vidthe entry of the exhibition, Pill offered me a eo felt disassociating for me, like watching collapsible chair that folded up into a cane, myself have dental surgery while under the immediately activating my spectator body as I influence of nitrous oxide. took in the work. I continued on into an adjacent gallery which I wandered into a corner of the gallery contain- contained three dresses embedded with prosI took a day trip from my home in Orlando to ing a white, octagonal set of stands—an ab- thetic devices: Pepto Bismol Immodium WalkSt. Pete to check out the exhibition, and was stracted, anatomical theater. A single-channel er Dress, Eyes Without a Face, and Princess Culling elements of her video performances from the language and aesthetics of commodified, New Age healing, Shana Moulton’s trembling and anxious alter-ego, Cynthia, traverses a universe of ailments, cures, prosthetics, and screensaver transcendence, constantly seeking relief. Cynthia continuously attempts to repair broken containers—most notably, her own body—with ritualistic solutions more visible than the ailments themselves. Whether these ailments are real or imagined is inconsequential, as a constant procession of instantaneous cures offers health, relief, and peace of mind. Journeys Out of the Body, at the Museum of Fine Arts in St. Petersburg, presents an immersive display of video and artifacts that flesh out the universe in which Cynthia’s vignettes take place. greeted at the museum by Curator of Contemporary Art, Katherine Pill, who introduced me to Shana Moulton. Moulton was at the museum rehearsing for a live performance of Whispering Pines 10, part of an ongoing series of video performances featuring Cynthia, shown in its entirety at the MFA. As we walked into “The body presents the paradox of contained and container at once... our attention is continually focused upon the boundaries or limits of the body...” 39