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Art League Houston presents Sallie Scheufler: "A Good Cry" opening reception

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Photo courtesy of Sallie Scheufler

Art League Houston presents "A Good Cry," an exhibition by Albuquerque-based artist Sallie Scheufler. The exhibition questions and scrutinizes the nature of crying behavior. The artist asks the viewer to consider the following questions: what affects my ability to control my body? Why is emotion often separated from the body? Can crying be a valid form of communication? Is crying an action or a reaction? Does crying equal weakness? Is crying performative? How much of crying is learned? Is crying always emotional? How can manipulating the experience of crying give me control over the act itself?

"A Good Cry" is inspired by, and literally made of tears. Through a series of performative videos, Scheufler induces crying to regain a sense of control over her body, using onions, menthol, a high-powered fan, and forcing herself to fake tears. The Futile Handkerchiefs, made of various materials, fail to offer solace or an ending to tears; instead, they generate more tears, cause pain, or embarrassment. A video installation about the act of swallowing a birth control pill, every day, every week, every month, every year, to control her body in turn makes her body lose control. Crystals grown from her own tears on used tissues make a disposable object precious and serve as a record of her cries. A too-tall-to reach tissue box provides a seemingly endless volume of tissues for the never-ending cry. A box made with a single tissue reserved for a vital cry. Akin to Sarah Ahmed’s Feminist Killjoy, who creates social discomfort, Scheufler calls attention to the moments when the salty fluid is met with social unease.

Art League Houston presents "A Good Cry," an exhibition by Albuquerque-based artist Sallie Scheufler. The exhibition questions and scrutinizes the nature of crying behavior. The artist asks the viewer to consider the following questions: what affects my ability to control my body? Why is emotion often separated from the body? Can crying be a valid form of communication? Is crying an action or a reaction? Does crying equal weakness? Is crying performative? How much of crying is learned? Is crying always emotional? How can manipulating the experience of crying give me control over the act itself?

"A Good Cry" is inspired by, and literally made of tears. Through a series of performative videos, Scheufler induces crying to regain a sense of control over her body, using onions, menthol, a high-powered fan, and forcing herself to fake tears. The Futile Handkerchiefs, made of various materials, fail to offer solace or an ending to tears; instead, they generate more tears, cause pain, or embarrassment. A video installation about the act of swallowing a birth control pill, every day, every week, every month, every year, to control her body in turn makes her body lose control. Crystals grown from her own tears on used tissues make a disposable object precious and serve as a record of her cries. A too-tall-to reach tissue box provides a seemingly endless volume of tissues for the never-ending cry. A box made with a single tissue reserved for a vital cry. Akin to Sarah Ahmed’s Feminist Killjoy, who creates social discomfort, Scheufler calls attention to the moments when the salty fluid is met with social unease.

WHEN

WHERE

Art League Houston
1953 Montrose Blvd, Houston, TX 77006, USA
https://www.artleaguehouston.org/upcoming-exhibitions

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