Kate Gilmore is a home wrecker. In the four videos on display at her Smith-Stewart debut, she kicks through layers of drywall and attacks furniture and construction materials with a sledgehammer, all while wearing high heels and dresses. As part of the exhibition, Gilmore taped herself at the front of gallery powering through two layers of drywall strewn with hot pink paper.

Result #1

Kate Gilmore is a home wrecker. In the four videos on display at her Smith-Stewart debut, she kicks through layers of drywall and attacks furniture and construction materials with a sledgehammer, all while wearing high heels and dresses. As part of the exhibition, Gilmore taped herself at the front of gallery powering through two layers of drywall strewn with hot pink paper. A pair of mottled pink heels and a gingham skirt were hung around her waist. The sharp-witted gent in the video seemed to be breaking through the drywall, taking a bite out of a hole bored into the plaster, and in the next shot, shes got a pair of them back. In the next video, a pair of them are emerging from a hole in a plaster-covered chair, their lower half revealing a red plaster face and a plaster penis. By the fourth video, the plaster is on its back, and in the final one, a pair of them are lying on a bed.The most engaging piece was the video installation, which featured a seated figure, like a figure in a nightmare, who has been trapped in a chair for some time in a surreal landscape of a TV set. She looks to be asleep, but she is awake and is looking through a window. She wears a long white dress and a white bathrobe, but her face is a mess of tears and sweat and tears and sweat. She looks like a drunk kid from another era. The video also shows her topless, and it is hard not to think of Richard Pryor or a number of other sexual heroes. This is the woman who is supposed to be sleeping and whose legs and breasts are barely an outline. She looks like a hunk, and shes got a little wavy hair. Theres no denying that the video is a dream sequence, that shes been made into a character, but theres something troubling about the way shes being played by a woman who looks as if shes been stripped of her sexuality and identity and given to the role of a kind of sleeping beauty. Shes a dream girl, and it is a dream scene.But theres a darkness to the woman in the video. It is the darkness of an addict. The woman is her own worst enemy.

Result #2

Kate Gilmore is a home wrecker. In the four videos on display at her Smith-Stewart debut, she kicks through layers of drywall and attacks furniture and construction materials with a sledgehammer, all while wearing high heels and dresses. As part of the exhibition, Gilmore taped herself at the front of gallery powering through two layers of drywall strewn with hot pink paper. On the back wall, she performed her own drill-as-painting, chiseling through the outer layers of the wall. A bronze sculpture of a female figure, along with a pair of leotards, filled the rear wall. The sculptures, designed by the artist, were mounted on the wall like a house, suggesting the possibility of escape. The leotards were so small they could be worn over the shoulder. The viewer could enter and exit the gallery at any time and the pieces were easily removed.In the gallery, the gallery-as-house also turned into a makeshift house, with a few pieces of wall and a few chairs scattered around. The floor was covered in sheets of green paper, which had been cut out of the outer layers of the wall and hung from the ceiling. The paper was strewn with a variety of small, irregularly cut paper-paintings, which formed a kind of screen of sorts, separating the viewer from the images on the wall. The painted images were a kind of cluttering, a line of demarcation between the space of the painting and the space of the room. The effect was like a photography of a museum in which the wall, like the paint, was visible but not yet usable. The work also recalled the assemblages of late-night street art, a style that could be seen as an ironic extension of the artists earlier works.The main difference between the two videos is that one shows a woman painting while the other shows a woman kicking. The latter seems more perversely suggestive, since both are about a woman kicking and a woman painting. The two videos are about the same, but one shows the kicking of the other. The kicking is more explicit, but the camera focuses on the women instead of the kick. The first video is about a woman kicking and striking a hole in a wall, the second on the wall.

Result #3

Kate Gilmore is a home wrecker. In the four videos on display at her Smith-Stewart debut, she kicks through layers of drywall and attacks furniture and construction materials with a sledgehammer, all while wearing high heels and dresses. As part of the exhibition, Gilmore taped herself at the front of gallery powering through two layers of drywall strewn with hot pink paper. The work looks like a last-minute addition to a scene from a commercial, and its kinetic energy and assault on the senses are more than offset by the works lack of narrative, which is a result of the video being split into two separate loops. In one sequence, the artist is shown standing in front of a home, ready to demolish the walls and floor of the house shes just vacated, while in the other shes on her bed, looking at the demolition derby that took place in the studio. The two acts are juxtaposed, and the video seems to stand for both the destruction itself and the destruction of the previous scene. Its a nice play on the idea of the demolition derby, but one that doesnt even work. Theres no action, no drama, no suspense. If anything, theres a sense that the demolition will soon be repeated, and that the repeated action is a sign of its inevitability. As with the demolishing, the only element of the demolition that doesnt occur is the smashing of the windowpane. At one point, Gilmore kicks through the door, but it doesnt matter; the windowpanes arent broken. The video doesnt matter.Theres a video that looks like a dance, a video that is both choreographed and spontaneous. In it, Gilmore engages in a dance-like performance in which she repeatedly jumps and rolls around, as if she were a vampire, taking a vampire bite. The video cuts between shots of the jumpers and the rollers, and the jumpers are shown dancing, which is the only time they appear to actually move. The camera moves back and forth across the floor, and the jumpers seem to move in tandem with the camera, though they never actually do. The jumpers are shown dancing with a casualness thats nearly incidental, like a flamenco. The camera moves in circles around the jumpers, and the camera stops occasionally to catch a flash of the floor.

Result #4

She was flanked on either side by her husband, a janitor, and a friend, and a pair of scissors and scissors. The video Still Life, 2011, shows her scratching away at the edges of a kitchen cabinet. The work was inspired by the artists own childhood in a suburban home with her young son and her husband. The video is a collage of photos of the couple, including one of the artists mother and her husband, and their friends. The video shows the couple—who appear to be playing—trying to do something theyre not supposed to be doing, such as reading, making a mess, or painting.In Still Life, the kitchen cabinet is also the site of a mess. A long, thin, low-tech whip, covered with gray dust, falls from a cabinet on the floor. Its a perfect metaphor for the wackiness of the work itself, for the endless cleaning of a life that is constantly disrupted by the artist. This is the same wackiness that makes the videos so compelling: the way that the artist simultaneously acknowledges the lives of others and leaves the viewer wondering how she sees them.

Result #5

Kate Gilmore is a home wrecker. In the four videos on display at her Smith-Stewart debut, she kicks through layers of drywall and attacks furniture and construction materials with a sledgehammer, all while wearing high heels and dresses. As part of the exhibition, Gilmore taped herself at the front of gallery powering through two layers of drywall strewn with hot pink paper. The clips of her various actions are looped and rewound, each time with a different element added. The violence that she initiates is initially masked by the regular flow of the building—but the effect is still disturbing. The videos are occasionally monochromatic, but mostly they are saturated with red, orange, and green, and a few are accompanied by a sound track of crickets and other bird calls. The artist is clearly fascinated by the complexity of construction processes, and she is also interested in the ways in which materials are used and manipulated. Her work often seems to be about the construction of a city or cityscape, and the results are often abstract and abstracted. In the video of a video of her performative violence, her fists are broken as she punches her way through the building, and then the work is moved to the foreground, where it begins again, and she is seen smashing the plaster and the plaster. Here, the violence is reduced to a verbal exchange between the artist and the building, which is transformed into a violent act. The violence is also reduced to the specific context of the woman smashing plaster, and she is shown smashing the plaster.The two videos that are shown in the exhibition are those that deal with the city, the violent city, and the cityscape. In the first, Gilmore plays the role of the outsider, hiding out in a building, a bus, and a train. She is an outsider, a loner, a vagrant, and her actions are anonymous. The video of her violent act is a quiet, almost plaintive rendition of a violent act, and the video of her breaking plaster is a violent act, but it is not merely a violent act. In the video, the viewer feels the presence of a person who is in a position of power, and who is also the perpetrator of violence. The video is a powerful indictment of the politics of power and the politics of violence.

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