Glass Box Gallery Chinatown-International District
Wednesdays-Saturdays. Continues through Nov. 26 2016
Recommended by Jen Graves
On election night, I heard several people say they'd left their bodies and felt like they couldn't get back in. I've heard rape victims talk about leaving their bodies to shield themselves from the full impact of the attack. The association with a President Trump is natural and horrifying. What you might want now is art that is made from pain and unafraid to claim it and name it—each of the sculptures and installations in MKNZ's show is named after a real person from MKNZ's history—but that also offers safety to those who need it, centering for marginalized bodies, and the possibility of re-embodiment itself. The show is called Cumulative Deposits (Of You Inside Me). I recommend going straight to two pieces, both of which are named after females. One is called Charmeesha. Charmeesha was MKNZ's "best friend, my only friend, at a Catholic elementary school in Pontiac, Michigan," a gallery flyer explains. "I was badly bullied... It was a great sacrifice to be my companion, when she could have aligned herself with a safer group of friends. We would hide under the playsets during recess to avoid the older boys and do each other's hair." The installation is a web strung between the walls and from the ceiling made entirely of colorful hair ties and girls' barrettes. A video plays on the wall nearby of a quiet sky. Here is a dream of shelter offered up for as long as you want to stay. The sky streams by. The other vital installation is a whole length of one room's floor made pink by pouring a glazy, lightly scented mixture of Paul Mitchell shampoo and blush across it. Splotches of darker pink blush appear in it as if it were a certain tone of girlish skin responding. This girl is not just white but pink: white in drag. Just standing near the smear is a way to be restored to your body—maybe especially if your body is female and queer, like MKNZ's. The piece is titled Diana. Diana was the first time MKNZ experienced sex and love as one. The directness of MKNZ's testimony in the flyer that accompanies the art—her disregard for topical mystery or secrecy—creates a path through her stories and out the other side into personal, direct, bodily experience with her works. And again, stay as long as you want.