Ariel Basson Freiberg | Hellbent
The Kniznick Gallery presents "Hellbent," a solo exhibition by Ariel Basson Freiberg. "Hellbent" explores the structure of spectatorship through paintings that fluctuate between the divide of spectacle and concealment. Drawing from narratives and representations of Salome, the young woman who lasciviously danced in exchange for the head of John the Baptist, Freiberg beckons us to consider the nature of the infamous performance in relation to desire, gender, sexuality, and power. Through the sensuous and energetic handling of her medium, Freiberg operates alongside her protagonist, and her painterly gestures multitask as form and narration.
The reliance on Salome’s unstable narrative has long been fodder for the arts through painting, theater, opera and film. Fascination typically surrounds the gruesome head on the platter in contrast to the girl with alternating and often contradictory expressions of her femininity. Salome’s character changes before our very eyes through these multiple retellings, but her audience does as well. In "Hellbent," the artist zeros in on the dance itself, and the potential of the transgressive act to become a resource of self-assertion. Freiberg places the characters in domestic settings, with subtle references to contemporary online viewing. The figures in each work use their lower limbs to provide a picture-in- picture effect within the frame of the canvas. Centered within these frames are the main act; a deviant output of fiery clouds and misty aerosols, exerted to interrupt the drama and blur expectations.
February 9, 2021
5 p.m. (EST)
Boston-based artist Ariel Basson Freiberg will give a virtual lecture on her work, studio practice, and exhibition "Hellbent" at the Kniznick Gallery.