In her animations, installations, and paintings, Christine A. Banna uses subverted self-portraiture and the female form as a vehicle to explore and convey self-biographical experiences in her art. Bringing together two distinct bodies of work in this exhibition, Banna imagines a relationship between her own experiences as a person with an extreme food allergy and the greater historical and contemporary reactions to socially embedded toxic stimuli.
“Uncharted Territory” (2014) is a biographical short that tells the story of when the artist came closest to succumbing to her deadly food allergy. Having such a full-body, violent reaction to something as innocuous as food has always been a pervasive part of the artist’s life and artistic practice.
In this exhibition, the artist explores the symbolic nature of the expulsion of something foreign and toxic to one’s body manifesting as a black, tar-like substance emanating from the mouths of the broken classical marble sculptures. An agonizing marriage of the historical oppression of women and the intentional destruction of material culture both in antiquity and in the modern day manifests in the broken and mangled bodies of these Greek sculptures. The toxic elements that assert power both physical and social over one’s self must be processed and expunged.