Kyunghee Pyun Curates Major Exhibition at John Jay’s Shiva Gallery


A new exhibition curated by Kyunghee Pyun, History of Art, and Deborah Saleeby-Mulligan of Manhattanville College titled Violated Bodies: New Languages for Justice and Humanity is now on view at the John Jay School of Criminal Justice’s Anya and Andrew Shiva Gallery. It features the multimedia work of Belinda Mason and the Blur Projects Artists, Simone Kestelman, Debbie Han, aleXsandro Palombo, and Cat Del Buono. Aiming to highlight the issues surrounding domestic violence, these artists reveal the suffering of their subjects through poignant images of physical and emotional pain in their attempt to prevent future violence. The exhibition is on view through April 13.

From the exhibition:

Violated Bodies New Languages for Justice and Humanity seeks to heighten awareness and understanding of the consequences of sexual assault, domestic violence, and similar heinous acts of personal violation. How can victims of sexual, physical, verbal and/or mental abuse come to terms with the injustices that have been forced upon them? How can these individuals move from being mere victims to courageous survivors? The exhibition attempts to answer these questions. The international contemporary artists within this exhibition have boldly addressed the ramifications violence can have on both the mind and body. From the anonymous survivor voices in the work of the American artist, Cat Del Buono to the heart-rending multi-media works of the Australian collective, Blur Projects, the artworks in this exhibition reveal the personal suffering that is created when a violent act is committed against another human being. The work often harshly confronts the realities of abuse, as in the case of the manipulated photographs of Italian artist aleXsandro Palombo, Korean-American artist Debbie Han and the sculpture of Brazilian artist Simone Kestelman.

Each of the artists in the exhibition have worked from opposite sides of the globe to communicate a universal language of justice and humanity particularly, for those survivors whose human dignity was so profoundly violated. With poignant visual languages, each artist speaks eloquently for the celebration of survivors. As the led artist of Blur Projects, Belinda Mason posits in her work that one should shed no more tears after an excruciating time of silent tears. As we’ve seen women breaking the suffering that comes with silence and stepping forward, we cannot maintain the silence any more.

Thus, the artwork presented in Violated Bodies, has become even more powerful in light of the current tidal wave of rage that has been projected against abusers of women. The #MeToo movement, begun in 2017, has gathered strength at a staggering pace in our current culture and we are at a pivotal moment of change. Yet, violence against the average woman still goes largely unreported or under-investigated. Together, the artists seek to counter the physical and psychological abuses that many women face each and every day and bring these realities out of the shadows. It is our hope that the multi-layered approach to Violated Bodies might act as a means to generate further understanding of the issues surrounding gender-based violence and its consequences on the human body and mind. But, most importantly, it is our hope that it will add to the growing empowerment of women in our society and the furthering of human dignity as a whole.

Also as part of the exhibition, two films—Saving Face and Sin by Silence—will be played throughout the day, highlighting violence against women. These films are part of a series of films supported and financed by Women Make Movies that will be screened at multiple locations in New York City throughout the month of March. (Read more about WMM at AM New York here.)

For more information, contact Pyun, (212) 217-4648.

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