KELLY CHUNING: WHAT IS RESPECT?
The Red Arrow Gallery / 919 Gallatin Ave., Suite #4 August 20 - 31st
What is Respect? takes place two months after the Supreme Court overturned Roe V. Wade, guaranteeing a womxn’s right to an abortion. With this body of work, I am giving the responsibility to the viewer to decide what the term "respect" implies, given the current political climate; and asking the audience to consider how we can utilize language as a tool for change going forward.
Growing up in a fiercely religious household, the people of Tennessee weighed heavy on my mind as I heard the news of the state's trigger law (“The Human Life Protection Act") banning abortion with no exceptions for rape or incest. As a victim of sexual assault, the implications the implications of this law influenced me to act immediately.
What is Respect? contains ten pieces from the series It's All Just Talk, investigating the impact of the rhetoric surrounding womxn, and exploring the political and personal dynamics of language in forming identity. Between backhanded compliments and societal pressures to conform, the female body and psyche are constantly critiqued and commented on—frequently without permission.
Commonly small in scale, the medium of felting has been viewed as a domestic, feminine craft; creating large felted pieces expands the medium beyond its domestic expectations, drawing attention to the collective pasts of womxn.
With the creation of this work spanning two years, stressing the longevity and impact of misogyny and violence against womxn within American culture, It's All Just Talk exposes what was said as an act of restraint and manipulation on women. Each piece acts as a gateway for a broader commentary on the words we use and the power they hold.” – What is Respect?, Exhibition Statement