Houdini Museum, Scranton PA, and Dorothy Dietrich Featured in Media Arts Showing in New York City Houdini Museum, Scranton PA, Featured In Media Arts Exhibit, "women boxed" In New York City. An Arts project about woman's rights and women's equality. Opens Valentines Day, February 14, until April 7
BigNews.Biz - Feb 13,2017 - New York City, NY, United States., February 13, 2017 -- ISCP Exhibition opens Valentines Day, February 14–April 7, 2017, Media Artist Elaine Byrne's "women boxed".The International Studio & Curatorial Program announces the opening of "women boxed", an exhibition of work by artist Elaine Byrne, in ISCP's first floor space. "women boxed" is a three-channel video installation, that invites dialogue about women's roles in society, how women's labor is viewed in society, using the magic trick of sawing a woman in half as a pivotal metaphor, and includes footage of the renowned female magician, Dorothy Dietrich and Scranton's Houdini Museum. One of three videos was recently filmed on location at the Houdini Museum in Scranton, Pennsylvania, Artist Elaine Byrne filmed renowned female magician, Dorothy Dietrich, where Dietrich is Director. Elaine Byrne sought out Dietrich, is known as "the first woman to saw a man in half."Dietrich speaks about her role as a female magician in a male-dominated industry, and discusses the classic magic trick of a glamorous woman being sawed in half by a man, first publicly performed by P.T. Selbit in January 1921.
The other two videos show several other magicians performing the same stunt, and the audiences' responses. Byrne observes, "The world of magic has been dominated by men, where the magician actively drives the story and the female assistant functions as a spectacle for the male gaze. The magician's assistant brings the action to a stop and captures the spectators' attention—she freezes the flow of events for moments of erotic contemplation." Evoking ever-present gender inequality, parallel to today's world of ever-present gender inequality, the female assistant to the magician plays the role of victim – she is a woman literally encased in a box, seeming to await her fate. While the male magician saws her in half, he is propelled to fame, as the audience delights in the female assistant being subjected to peril and pain. In actuality, the female assistant is largely responsible for the success of the trick, but her labor is hardly recognized. At a time when women continue fighting for many freedoms and equalities all over the world, "women boxed" alludes to these struggles through the arena of magic and illusion.
Elaine Byrne (born in Ireland and based in New York) examines overlooked histories, historical texts and artworks as a platform to mobilize history relating to current social concerns. Byrne received her BA from University College of Dublin, and her MA in Visual Arts Practices from IADT, Dublin (2009). She completed the Whitney Museum of American Art Independent Study Program (2015). She has had solo shows at Kevin Kavanagh Gallery, Dublin; Montoro12, Rome; Limerick City Gallery; Oonagh Young Gallery, Dublin; and Atrio Cultura Space, Mexico. She was the winner of the 8th Arte Laguna sculpture prize (2014) and TINA prize (2015). Her work is in permanent collections including: the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Pennsylvania; the Rosenbach Museum and Library, Pennsylvania; Office of Public Works, Ireland; The Department of Foreign Affairs, Ireland; and PWC, London,