Monday, October 28, 2019 at 8:30am to 5:00pm
Helen Lindhurst gallery, Watt Hall, ground floor. Gallery hours: Mon - Fri, 8:30am - 5pm
This new body of work from Panteha Abareshi provides a close examination of the body in agony. Entitled HIPAA VIOLATION, the exhibition explores the nuances of existing within a chronically ill body and the implications of embracing and embodying one's own mortality. The nuances and complications become more difficult to process and express when then discussing the objectification and abjectification experienced as a disabled body, and patient within the Western medical complex. Through controlled auto-objectification juxtaposed with the objection faced from external sources, Abareshi examines what identity becomes when it is refracted through illness- and the interactions between illness (both mental and chronic) and abstracted gender, sexual and racial identity. HIPAA VIOLATION is comprised of works pushing the artist's own hyper-vulnerability, and not shying away from examining the nature of being broken down.
The viewer is invited into an "ableist space," where only those who are able-bodied can fully immerse themselves in the exhibition. The inherent hierarchies of ability that go unacknowledged day-to-day become impossible to ignore, as viewers navigate a space that even the artist themselves might not be able to fully engage with due to their disability.
The show features performative, video and sculptural works utilizing materials such as Abareshi's own body, medical records, and medical ephemera. calling into question the inherent trust in the Western medical complex. Simultaneously, the work bears the artist's own conflicting reliance and life-long entrenchment in this very same medical system.
HIPAA VIOLATION serves as a snapshot of Abareshi's perpetual contextualizing and processing of illness, exasperated by the real-time medical complications they face day-to-day. While the exhibition illustrates the complex juxtapositions of the artist's relationship to their body and the medical system it is framed within, it resolves to simply state one thing- to be alive is to be dying.
This exhibition is sponsored in part by a Rebekah and Howard Farber Fund for Student Excellence grant.