“The structures of colonialism, patriarchy, and white supremacy are deeply coded into the images of wealth and power from the era of 17th century still life paintings from Europe. These large scale photographic pieces, Still Life With Flowers and Pennyroyal Tea, are images in the traditional Dutch Still Life style.”
“Still Life With Flowers is an image of an export tobacco vase, recreated and sculpted by the artist, and set in the vanitas tradition. The term “RAPPE” is the Dutch word for the ground tobacco type grown and cultivated by Indigenous Native and African peoples enslaved by white European colonizers and exported from the “Americas” to Europe and beyond.
Pennyroyal Tea is an image of a “Gucci” teapot, created by the artist – the teapot is in the body of a large constrictor snake. This image title references a common abortifacient used to terminate pregnancy.
The images speak to the anxiety and reality of the continued denial of access to legal and safe abortions for people in the USA. These works question history and our societal power systems in the USA.”
Johanna Keefe (she/her) uses sculpture, photography, and the history of art to create a visual conversation about power. Using historical imagery as inspiration she illuminates feminist values within contemporary culture and art. These art works are about colonialist power and object acquisition from the 17th century to present day. From their design, in the materials and their creation, through production, and within delivery methods, the European implementation of brutality and hard power has been coded into art and decorative vessels as an imagery of success and wealth. GUCHI is used by the artist to navigate the visual language and impact of this brutality through an investigation of utilitarian object-hood, beauty, and desire.