Ellina Kevorkian: Love Poems for Infidels / 2005

July 16th – September 3, 2005 Opening reception, Saturday July 16th 5-8pm.

Western Project is proud to present Ellina Kevorkian’s second solo exhibition. Receiving an MFA from Claremont Graduate School in 2002, she continues to live and work in Los Angeles painting and shooting videos. Love Poems For Infidels, addresses issues of identity and geneology, specifically the duality of twins – a mirroring of beauty, power and femininity - as rogue western outlaws. Kevorkian’s paintings are composed after works by J.W. Waterhouse, Sir John Millais, and Artemesia Gentilleschi. They are reinvented visions of a new authority, making new choices - women slinging shot guns in western gowns, garnished in super-bling jewelry – the artist pictured  ‘outside of society…’ as Patti Smith wrote. It is the defiant stand of the Infidel – questioning the history of representation and subverting it’s supposed truths.

Kevorkian uses numerous contemporary methods to spin her layered tales. Nearly all the images are staged (from Pre–Raphaelite works) and photographed, then transferred to canvas and repainted. Like tinted photographs from the turn of the century, her paintings mimic historic narratives, inverted with a flourishes of technology and acrylic medium. The paintings’ source of authorship is up for grabs – and can a camera make paintings? What is ‘film-like’? Are these a new kind of readymade?

Kevorkian’s presentation of these tales is both subjective and social – painting and DVD formats. It is her filmed mini-epic of Infidels that is the center piece of the exhibition - part 1920’s sepia silent film, part hallucinogenic river of images. Her tale of twin female outlaws cracks open the polite dialogue of ‘the Goddess’ and Photoshops a new set of criteria for the feminine – just as mythic, but with dustier skirts, and a fierce subjective voice that revels in contrary acts of determination and faith.