Wynne Greenwood at the Frye

Thursday October 25, 11 am – 7 pm & Friday, October 26, 11 am – 5 pm
Mirrors and Dresser Live Video Recording with Wynne Greenwood
Frye Art Museum
Free Admission and Parking

As part of the programming for the Frye’s new exhibition, Mw [Moment Magnitude]Henry Art Gallery performance artist and Stranger Genius Award Winner Wynne Greenwood will be live video-recording a music video project called Mirrors and Dresser. In this performance, Wynne will be re-creating The Women’s Spa, an installation she originally made in 2011 to explore security, transformation and isolation. The set is intended to encourage the public performance of a private process.

The Frye is also offering anyone who identifies themselves as a Friend of the Henry a 15 percent discount on coffee/espresso drinks during Wynne’s live video recording.

If you haven’t seen Mw [Moment Magnitude] yet or even if you have, these events are not to be missed!

Here is Wynne’s Artist Statement:

About Mirrors and Dresser

 When I think of women’s spas (my own experience with women’s spas being limited to the Olympus Spa in Tacoma, WA), I think of a place to rest, and to witness rest. A space has been created whose function is to allow communal relaxation. Now, that being said, the spa costs a minimum of $35 to enter, and is limited to women who were born with female bodies. From my experience, the majority of customers are white. I mention these details and observations because I’m interested in, and concerned with, who has access to transformative processes, and why.


For Mirrors and Dresser, popular cartoon characters and mythic figures, like Pebbles Flintstone, Betty Boop and Medusa, will hang out in the women’s spa on spa maintenance day, watching each other have a body, holding space for becoming space, and praying for an end to isolation through nostalgia.


Pebbles has been a happy baby for 50 years. Medusa has been the monster for hundreds. How tiring. These are characters we insist upon, myths that we replay again and again. Why? Is it comfortable? Why do we seek comfort? Can we let our icons and our myths change? Can we let even the role or function of “icon” and “myth” change? Did you know Medusa was a mother? She gave birth out of her neck to twins, Pegasus and a giant, as she was beheaded.


I’m choosing these characters to talk about cultural exhaustion. I’m also choosing them to help me perform. To act out and then challenge my own cartoony definitions, to allow performance itself to expand by first exaggerating its boundaries and then letting them relax, stretch out, soak and rest. Not necessarily seeking comfort, but transformation and a more complicated existence.

                                                            –Wynne Greenwood

Flashback: Matthew Buckingham

Back in the summer of 2008, the Henry was the proud host of Matthew Buckingham: Play the Story. Henry-goers may recall his three, historically themed video installations: Mary Wollstonecraft, an 18th-century woman of letters; Louis Le Prince, a Frenchman who invented a prototypical motion picture projector in the last decades of the 19th century; and Charlotte Wolff, an early 20th-century feminist activist exiled from Nazi Germany. Buckingham turns a critical eye towards the ways past events and characters come to be represented after being subjected to political and social influences, anecdotal conjecture, and the multiple, coincidental timelines of history. Each video was accompanied by a specific installation in order to engage the visitor physically in addition to visually.

Flash forward to today and our past Matthew Buckingham‘s installations have moved on, but this time to New York City. His In the Spirit of the Letter piece, honoring feminist Mary Wollstonecraft and her writings, particularly “A Vindication of the Rights of Woman,” has found a new home at the Brooklyn Museum. A mention of the opening earlier this week in the New York Times also states that “the show includes a small collection of ephemera and books documenting Wollstonecraft’s life and work, put together from objects lent by the New York Public Library.”

If you just happen to be in New York in the near future, you can catch this work again until the show’s closing on January 8, 2012.

Matthew Buckingham and Kate Miles rehearsing. Matthew Buckingham, The Spirit and the Letter. 2007. Continuous video projection with sound. Photo: Romain Forquy. Courtesy of Film and Video Umbrella

If New York happens to be a little out of your jurisdiction for the near future, Buckingham has another great show opening this weekend at the Or Gallery in Vancouver BC (only two hours away). Creative Destruction is on view from September 10 through October 22, 2011. Read more about this more local exhibition at the Or Gallery website.