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Vignettes Series; Extreme Close-up
We are so well-indoctrinated into passive acceptance of pornographic imagery in the media that attempting to analyze the specific role that language plays in pornography is impossible without first removing its accompanying imagery. Vignettes is a series of large industrially-woven tapestries examining the language of pornography and its effects when juxtaposed with non-pornographic images. Titles of streaming online videos from the website pornhub.com are woven among photo-realistic landscapes representing purity, majesty, and divinity. These visual contrasts are intensified through the medium of cloth, with which we all have sensual and personal familiarity.
By separating these phrases from their visual contexts, the degrading, sexist, and violent qualities of pornographic language are revealed. Its usage is not arbitrary or context-specific; rather, it reflects our societal concept about the position of women in particular, and about the extent of our voyeuristic privilege.
Kathryn Shinko received her BFA in Graphic Design from the University of Akron in 2011 and her MFA in Textiles at Kent State University in 2015. Her work has been shown throughout the United States at various locations including the Orange County Center for Contemporary Art (Santa Ana, CA), the Center for Sex and Culture (San Francisco, CA), the Woman Made Gallery (Chicago, IL), the Kinsey Institute (Bloomington, IN), the Erie Art Museum (Erie, PA), the Sculpture Center (Cleveland, OH), the Ohio Craft Museum (Columbus, OH), and the Marin Museum of Contemporary Art (Novato, CA). She has been featured in the online publications Curatorial Collective, Refigural, and JungKatz. In 2016 she received an Honorable Mention for the Surface Design Association's Creative Promise Award for Student Excellence and was published in the Winter 2016 Issue of the Surface Design Association Journal. In 2017, she was nominated for the American Craft Council Emerging Voices Award. Most recently, Kathryn was one of eight artists interviewed by artist and curator Danny Volk for the seventh season of his series Made Up with Danny Volk and published in the Fall 2017 issue of Around Kent. Kathryn’s work will be featured in the Summer 2018 issue of Studio Visit Magazine.
I use traditional fiber art techniques to confront uncomfortable social and psychological issues – particularly those involving sex and its connection to power. Provocative statements, lurid colors, disorienting patterns, and disturbing imagery are constructed using familiar materials: cloth, thread, paper, and yarn. My goal is to examine – and either revise or reaffirm – our understanding of the complicated dynamic of male and female relationships, and the power-play that defines them.
Kathryn Shinko artist
Kathryn speaking at (Not) Sheep Gallery