May 20, 2017 - May 23, 2017

Rowan Renee: Bodies of Wood

At Aperture Gallery

In Bodies of Wood, artist Rowan Renee presents a series of self-portraits exploring the long-term physical and psychological effects of incest by using photography to reclaim their own agency within a legacy of violence. These photographs are a series of solitary performances for the camera, which explore their relationship to their father, a convicted pedophile, five years after his death in prison. Rowan resists a literal re-staging of events, instead using the camera to approach a tangled web of defiance, shame, rage and desire. The result is a raw and earnest body of work asserting that to speak out is a political act that resonates beyond the individual, and is essential for both personal and cultural healing.

Part of a weekend-long collaboration between Aperture, the Ackerman Institute for the Family, and The Voices and Faces Project, presenting an intersectional approach to art-making and storytelling as vehicles to address gender-based violence and trauma, and to create social change. Events include:

The Voices and Faces Project’s “Stories We Tell” Testimonial Writing Workshop
Saturday, May 20, 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. and Sunday, May 21, 11:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
A two-day testimonial writing workshop for survivors of gender-based violence and other human rights violations. Participants read and discuss world- changing testimonial writing across social justice movements, while taking part in a series of innovative writing exercises in this purposeful and powerful workshop led by The Voices and Faces Project.

For more information, see here.

Bodies of Wood Exhibition Reception & Panel Discussion
Tuesday, May 23, Aperture Gallery and Bookstore
6:00–7:00 p.m. – Cocktail Reception for Rowan Renee
7:00 p.m. – Panel Discussion with Lois Braverman, Rowan Renee, and Mila Zuo

Join Aperture for a panel conversation focused on questioning cultural narratives of gender-based violence and victimhood, the complexities of reclaiming pleasures that are intrinsically connected to pain, and the repositioning of incest and other forms of childhood sexual abuse as a structural problem that occurs within the family institution.

RSVP is required, please e-mail [email protected]


This program is made possible with the generous support of The Reba Judith Sandler Foundation.






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Cocktail Reception and Panel Discussion: Tuesday, May 23, 6:00 p.m.