soft swish of taffeta 
ceremonial rites of passage 
resurrect muted voices
is a solo exhibition by multi-media Baltimore artist Sanzi Kermes. Featured in the Waddell Art Gallery at Northern Virginia Community College is a collection of repurposed wedding dresses with accompanying oral stories. A mixture of both new and older works, Kermes’ multimedia installation highlights a new direction of her practice beyond prints and printmaking and into the realm of sensory explorations and examinations of cultural expectations. The collection of wedding dresses has been altered, painted, and screen printed. Often donated, the colorful and thought-provoking remaking of them is now accompanied by stories from numerous people who discuss their experiences with weddings, including their own and as attendees. The imagery on the dresses is a mixture of hand-painted and screen-printed motifs that include flora, abstraction, and her trademark patterns derived from Scrabble games. A self-described avid Scrabble player, Kermes documents the games she played and creates works that show the pattern left at the end. She incorporates the words played during the game using the form of haiku, which is more accurately a senryu (a non-nature-based haiku). The use of poetry, especially Japanese poetry, is not only reflected in Kermes’ text but also in her practice as a whole. Haiku’s function is simplicity – a belief it shares with Japanese Zen Buddhism. Simplicity is perhaps the best way to describe Kermes’ practice but not in the sense that it is void of content. In fact, Kermes’ art is dripping and overflowing with context, meaning, and statements. The exhibition brings together this collection of artifacts that stand as witnesses to these events, our cultural expectations of them, and how these ideas affect us on both a collective and personal level. We invite you to come experience Kermes’ unmaking and refashioning of these memories in not only a visual viewing but with your entire sensory body.
Add to Calendar 20220927 America/New_York Sanzi Kermes