Wallace Gallery's 'Violated Bodies' Exhibition Offers Commentary on #MeToo Movement

Photo of student looking through interlocked fingers

"Violated Bodies: New Languages for Justice and Humanity"

February 5 – March 15

Opening Reception: Wednesday, February 7, 4:00 – 7:00 p.m.


Artist-led Public Project by Simone Kestelman: Wednesday, February 7, 5:00 – 6:00 p.m. (Gallery)

Artist’s Talk by Belinda Mason: Tuesday, March 14, 4:00-5:00 p.m.

Gallery Hours: Tuesdays – Thursdays: 12:00 – 7:00 p.m.
; Mondays, Fridays: 12:00 – 5:00 p.m. and by appointment 

The Amelie A. Wallace Gallery at SUNY Old Westbury is pleased to announce the opening of "Violated Bodies: New Languages for Justice and Humanity." The exhibition presents powerful images created by six international artists who have reacted to the subject of violence against women. Included in the exhibition is the "Silent Tears Project" by the Blur Projects artists, the sculpture of Simone Kestelman, and the multimedia work of aleXsandro Palombo and Cat Del Buono. The exhibition, organized by Kyunghee Pyun and Deborah Saleeby-Mulligan, two art historians/art critics based in higher-education institutions, serves as a comment on the #MeToo Movement. The exhibition aims to present artistic and creative approaches to the painful issues surrounding domestic violence and violence against woman in general. It also draws attention to a lesser-known realm of disabled bodies that have been caused by domestic violence.

aleXsandro Palombo is a multicultural designer, artist and activist who was born in southern Italy in 1973. He attended the fashion and design school, Istituto Marangoni in Milan. For Palombo, fashion is an instrument of cultural and anthropological expression that touches style, art and communication. The “No Woman is Immune from Domestic Violence” project is composed of two series, “Coward” and “Life Can Be A Fairytale If You Break The Silence.” In both series, Palombo brings the two worlds of irony and celebrity culture together using “Humor Chic,” a central theme in his artwork. In pop art posters, well-known celebrities like Kendall Jenner and pop images such as Snow White are shown beaten up and bruised as if victims of violence.

Cat del Buono is a multimedia artist based in New York. She received a BA from Boston College, an MFA from the School of Visual Arts, and attended the graduate film program at NYU Tisch School of the Arts. Trained as a photographer and filmmaker, Cat focuses on creating video installations and public happenings. She incorporates performance, interactive video, and humor as ways to engage and impact her viewers. Tears imitates Man Ray’s photograph of the same title and provokes viewers to perceive the object of their gaze as if it is alive yet passive, soliciting an action to liberate her.

Blur Projects is an artist collective composed of three artists, Belinda Mason, Denise Beckwith, and Dieter Knierim. Their work focuses on taboo social issues that explore the very personal and sometimes difficult subjects of domestic and sexual abuse. Since 2012, Mason has collaborated with emerging artists with disabilities to create collaborative and inclusive multi-media exhibition such as her Silent Tears Project. Mason shows blurry portraitures of Australian survivors on laser print duro clear on Perspex while Beckwith documented these surviors in black and white photographs and personal statements. Knierim created a moving video recording the journey of and the encounter with these heroic survivors who overcame disabilities which often were inflicted as a result of domestic violence.

Simone Kestelman is a ceramic, glass, and photography artist from Rio de Janeiro. After graduating with a BA in economics in 1986, she became acutely aware of Brazil’s social issues in which a culture of violence and extreme socio-economic inequality affected on greatly in her career as a professional artist since 1995. Her ceramic works are often life-sized and suggest the body of a young girl who has been sexually assaulted. These are paired with children’s songs such as Ring around the Rosie and the Brazilian lullaby, Ciranda Cirandihna.

Curators: 

  • Kyunghee Pyun is an assistant professor of art history at SUNY Fashion Institute of Technology.
  • Deborah Saleeby-Mulligan is an assistant professor of art history at Manhattanville College.

For further information about "Violated Bodies: New Languages for Justice and Humanity," please contact the gallery at yih [at] oldwestbury.edu or 516-876-2709/3056.