Volcano by Jenn Solva
Volcano is an installation-based exhibition of new works by Jenn Sova curated with Jodi Darby. It is an exploration of rage; a geological survey of destruction at the hands of patriarchal violence. Sova weaves connections between organic materials such as moss, ash, rocks, and flowers with research and archival media depictions of violence and survival. Her research centers four women: Ana Mendieta, Aileen Wuornos, Anita Hill, and Joan of Arc. These women lived in different times, but all share the experience of their lives being destroyed by gendered violence, capitalism, and white supremacy. The title, Volcano, comes from both the Ursula K. Le Guin quote cited here and from artist Ana Mendieta’s notebooks in which she was dreaming about new work she would make, “Do it with a size 5 feet…Do it outside…Do a volcano…Document over a long period of time the eruption of the figure…Make a figure so that it shines like when water runs down a mountainside.” This exhibition serves as a memorial, a meditation, and an invitation to change the maps.
Cuban-American performance artist and sculptor Ana Mendieta confronted themes of rape, power, extraction, and the body through her work. She was murdered by her husband, the artist Carl Andre, at age thirty-six.
Aileen Wuornos’ life was filled with violence, neglect, abuse, rape and incest. She murdered seven men in self-defense, and is known as America’s first female serial killer. She was executed by lethal injection at Florida State Prison in 2002.
American lawyer and educator Anita Hill made accusations of sexual harassment against Clarence Thomas during the 1991 Senate hearings pending his confirmation to the US Supreme Court. Thomas won the vote and currently serves as a justice.
Joan of Arc was a French peasant, military leader, and patron saint. She defied the roles of girls/women at the time as an unwed virgin that had divine visions and altered her appearance to wield a sword to lead an army. She was captured by the English and imprisoned, tortured, raped, and tried for wearing men’s clothing, practicing witchcraft, heresy, and turning against the Catholic church. She was burned at the stake in 1431, when she was nineteen years old.