WK 7 Artist Conversation: Kenita Hale

The night before we went to the galleries, I was watching the new season premiere of American Horror Story. The new season is appropriately called Freak Show.  It takes place at a really disturbing and horrific circus.  This reason why I bring up the greatest show ever is because when I saw this art piece, I was indubitably drawn to it because one the outside it looked like a big circus tent.  I looked closely and instead of the peppermint striped exterior, there were little red emblems running down the stripes. Each emblem looked like it had a religious icon on it and some just had a simple design.

photo 2 (13)

It was completely dark inside the tent, only being lit up by the flickering lights of the plastic candles. It looked like a shrine of people with head stones and their sculptured faces on them.Each headstone was a different person.  They were unfamiliar to me, but there must have been a good reason why they were being glorified.  Each headstone also had a tarot-card looking piece of paper with their name and picture on it. Some looked like men, but had women names on them.

photo 4 (7)  photo 1 (13)
In the middle of the tent, there was a bigger statue against a royal blue wall. It was also lit up by candles.

photo 3 (8)

Even though the artist wasn’t there, I tried to grasp the meaning of this piece. I read the artist’s statement and she was really pointing out the irony in the piece.  She was emphasizing the emphasis on the esteemed role of vanity and “doing it for the cameras”.  The glorified image really came clear when the whole art piece resembled a shrine.  I can see why she used a circus tent because it really demonstrates the idea that people always seem like they are trying to please an audience.  We go to great lengths to do what the people want, even if it looks ridiculous, or if we look like “freaks”.  She was showing how people prioritize image as their value in life.  I really wish the artist was there to really delve into the exact meaning of this really insightful artwork.

If Kenita Hale is reading this, I really enjoyed your work!


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