When Elektra KB spoke about animated GIFs at a panel we were on together at NYU, she told the audience she made a flying uterus GIF because she could not find one on the Internet. This is the perfect reason to make almost any art work.
She’s featured today as an artist we worked with to produce our online animated GIF show at Providence College—Galleries, Geographically Indeterminate Fantasies. The exhibition looks at artist who render full-realized environments, so naturally KB fit in. These are clearly imagined spaces.
The GIFs also reminded me of a review Michael Anthony Farley wrote back in September mentioning KBs show The Accidental Pursuit of the Stateless, at BravinLee programs. An excerpt to take you into the weekend.
But perhaps the passive politics of the left have thus far failed the most vulnerable members of society. Across town, at Elektra KB’s solo show, an embroidered banner politely asks, “Liberals: can we riot now? XOXO” There’s a palpable frustration in KB’s practice, which responds to the unfulfilled neoliberal promises of globalization and multiculturalism. As someone who already possesses a sort-of post-identity, she seems impatient for a world that still very much clings to borders, genders, and authority to catch up. KB spent her childhood between the notoriously unstable Ukraine and civil-war-ravaged Columbia. She now lives between Berlin and New York, and works primarily with migrant women and trans people. As her biography would suggest, KB seems to have no flag to call her own—except the ones she sews herself.
Far from the cold sleekness of the 3D-printed gun and polished video, KB’s work presents an alternate take on DIY production as a rallying cry for resistance. In xerox prints, hand-embellished fiber pieces with titles such as “The Otherness” and “Spatial and Gender Migration”, and endearingly guerilla videos; her craftsmanship is visible in an impressive array of media carried out with a somewhat anarcho-punk design ethos. These works feature unlikely combinations of pre-Columbian architecture, ominous female figures, and militant aesthetics that flirt between fascist and rebellious.