Opening 8 Sept, 6pm, 2017 // Exhibition 8 - 17 Sept, 2017
Individual protections, once made of iron, were meant to defend their owner and improve human capacities. They would shape the body to act as a second layer, define one’s identity and belonging, and maybe, repulse the adversary. From head to toe, covered by her all-in-one, how would Joan of Arc feel wearing her “victorious” harness while marching on Paris?
The inhabitants of an armour chose whether they wanted it to be light and adherent or massive and constructing, either allowing a greater rapidity of movement but with less efficiency or defensive but rigid and heavy, constricting the range of action. In each case, the protection reveals its fragility.
From chainmail to bulletproof vests or tribal face tattoos, the defensive shields made a long way since the heavy overalls and took diverse outlines. Kevlar, polyethylene of molar mass, light metal, ceramic plates or ink; materials and forming varied and evolved regarding mobility and clinging functions to such an extent, that they tend to become imperceptible.
Keegan Luttrell extends this investigation field to other forms of protection or self-defense. Her interest focuses exactly on the invisible armours, involved in a daily context. The ones we wear on facial features or disguised under gestures and behaviors.
Through her analysis and in the exhibition taking place, they become tangible, as to allow a closer observation, as if we could even try them. Face lines converted into ceramic pieces strengthened by fire and shattering if mishandled. These fine bone structures are here engaged in a ritualized course, their brittles taken by fluids and movements, turning back into sediments, as the objects are activated by their dissolution.
Keegan Luttrell (born in Knoxville, TN 1986, lives and works in Berlin, DE) is a multi-media artist living and working in Berlin. She completed her MFA in sculpture at Mills College in Oakland, California in 2013. She graduated from Maryland Institute College of Art in 2008 with a BFA in Art History, Theory and Criticism and a concentration in Photography. She has shown works in San Francisco, Oakland, Brooklyn, Austin, Baltimore, Boston, Aix-en-Provence, France, Geneva, Switzerland, Berlin, Germany and Athens and Santorini, Greece. By creating various lenses into imagined worlds, Luttrell explores themes of vulnerability, fear, chaos, and ritual that emphasize what is real, what is perceived, and the moment that everything becomes tenuous.
Armour, with Keegan Luttrell, 2017. Photo by Chroma (activation by Estefania Campillo, Paul Polaris and Keegan Luttrell)