A Review of the Fralin’s New Exhibit: Power Play

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A description of the exhibit

Mariette Hollins, Website/Content Manager, Staff Writer

The new Power Play exhibit at the Fralin Art Museum in collaboration with the UVA Arts is a fantastic opportunity to gain insight into femininity around the world. The Power Play “exhibition brings together photographs by Martine Gutierrez, Sarah Maple, Wendy Red Star, Cara Romero, and Tokie Rome-Taylor that critique and combat essentializing representations of feminine identities in pop culture.” Photographer Sara Maple, a British artist who critiques assumptions about religion and gender, captures a type of archetypal storytelling, in her Disney-related images. Her art shows princesses performing tasks in an occupational setting, confronting harmful patriarchal representations of femininity. Cara Romero is from the Chemehuevi Indian Tribe of California and critiques the common stereotypes of Native Women, as well as the misrepresentation of Native Peoples in toys. Her style is contemporary, includes vibrant colors, and she weaves baskets as well as makes other pottery. Martine Gutierrez is a Brooklyn artist who is also trans and Latinx, who tends to show groups of mannequins dressed the same to expose physical ideals and critique consumerism. She shows both her frustrations and those of many other queer adolescents. Tokie Rome-Taylor is an artist from Atlanta, Georgia, who photographs renaissance-styled photos with African diasporic material. She figures out the symbolic meaning of places and family, while also excusing ancestral knowledge and defying the erasure of people of color in art and in the western world. Wendy Red Star is a woman in the Crow Indian Reservation in Montana, constantly enduring the notions of the disappearance of Natives in humor and in color, showing more historical memory. Her photographs show her dressed in regalia from her native tribe, within a real-life diorama to show the disappearance of native people in historical museums.

This exquisite exhibit was one of the most unique and feminine showings at the Fralin and around Charlottesville. It showcases various types of women, including Latinx, Indian, and trans women throughout the showcase. There are a variety of mediums in the showcase that keep the viewer’s eyes open. There are many props used in the showcase like heirlooms, regalia, and toys, which describe what might be going on within the various photographs curated by Hannah Cattarin.