Soft and Shifting

Two-person exhibition, 2021

With the title Soft and Shifting, Genevieve Waller (she/her) and Mary Grace Bernard (she/her) bring together their individual series: The Dark Manner (2015-present) and Metamorphosis (2020-present) to delve into their overlapping interests in transformation, adorning and caring for the body, signs and symbols, and bringing invisible aspects of identity—in this case, unseen (dis)ability and queerness—to the fore.

Metamorphosis by Mary Grace Bernard consists of a series of photographs, videos with composed soundtracks, and site-specific installations. These works trace the continuous transformation of the artist’s “bodymind” after starting a new drug developed for cystic fibrosis. Using pink and red colors to symbolize the inside of her bodymind and her perpetual cell renewal, similar to a caterpillar’s metamorphosis into a butterfly, she envisions extruding herself from a cocoon of regenerative ectoplasm. In addition to the sounds and visuals, the installation also incorporates smell with several bottles of brewed Passion tea to invigorate new senses.

The Dark Manner by Genevieve Waller includes a series of photographs, videos, and site-specific installations. Exploring queer identity, the artist has created a drag persona called The Dark Manner—a combination of leatherman, goth biker, and vulnerable romantic. Genevieve premiered this character at a performance event sponsored by the Denver-based Titwrench Collective (a group that promotes female and LGBTQ+ artists). While sporting hyper masculine-coded attire—motorcycle gear and prominent facial hair—she explores symbols of gay male culture and how gender-bending as an art form can include women, reveal unruly desires, and celebrate unexpected queer imaginings.

image documentation courtesy of Mary Grace Bernard

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