Indira Cesarine's "Only You" Art Series Visualizes Emotions after Betrayal

November 17, 2017 4:00 PM

New-York based artist Indira Cesarine premiered the video format of her art series “Only You” at Art Basel Miami in 2010. She began the project in response to a debilitating romantic break-up, using the images to track her emotions through the processes of betrayal, loss, and healing. Cesarine understandably didn’t rush through the development of the photographic element of the project. Instead, she embarked on an emotional autobiographical journey, slowly processing the images for nearly 8 years following the video’s debut. 

After the elapsed time, the “Only You” multimedia series went on display this month at The Untitled Space, a contemporary art gallery founded by Cesarine in TriBeCa in 2014, and as stories of rampant abuse in the entertainment industry are divulged more frequently than ever, Cesarine hoped the project will make people “step back and take a deep, dark look who you are... and at what our society accepts as ‘normal.’ ” And her high contrast, inverted black-and-white images certainly have this jarring, moving effect on the viewer. Cesarine’s images reach beyond her personal experience. At the entrance of the “Only You” exhibition, a life-sized, mummified being stood upright while holding a video player containing the 2010 film on a loop. The eerie contrast in time and technology serves as a quite literal reminder that the patriarchal bounds placed on women are not new, nor will they relinquish without definite change and a realized sense of accountability.

The video was now not only accompanied by still photographs, but the project also presented itself in sculpture form. A bouquet of steel shards sprawled from a glass vase, and nails protruded from the floral ensemble like thorns, lending to the piece's name “Bouquet of Torment,” a striking statement on the symbol of flowers and their all-to-common role as vehicles for empty requests for forgiveness.

To add yet another element to the multimedia project, the quarterly Tribeca Art + Culture Night coincided with the “Only You” exhibit on November 15th. Marking this intersection, contemporary dance group Bryn Cohn + Artists performed a one-time dance inspired by the art and choreographed to the original music sample used in Cesarine’s video. Prior to the performance, even Cesarine herself had not yet seen what was planned, but when asked if she was nervous, she responded, “Not at all– I think the art speaks for itself and the dance can only enhance it.” When the time came, the bustling gallery encircled a pair of dancers as they wavered between graceful movements in unison and separate solo tangents.

But no matter the medium, the pieces in Indira Cesarine’s “Only You” exhibition share an uncanny sense of being stripped down of everything inconsequential, leaving nothing to remain but emotion in its rawest form.

  

MORE ON INDIRA CESARINE:

Cesarine’s accolades go beyond her work as an artist and photographer. She serves as Editor-in-Chief of The Untitled Magazine, and her brand Untitled Media now also encompasses the gallery space, a production company, and an online boutique. Last year The Untitled Space gallery housed a group exhibit entitled “Uprise / Angry Women” that featured over 80 female artists’ works inspired by the alarming outcome of the United States Presidential Election. Cesarine excitedly explained that a follow-up group exhibit under the title “One Year of Resistance” is in works for next year. 

The "Only You" exhibition was on display at The Untitled Space, 45 Lispenard Street, 1W, New York City, from November 9th to 17th. The series will also be featured in January as part of the "Portrait 2018" exhibition at the CICA Museum, South Korea. Visit The Untitled Magazine on Vimeo to view the full "Only You" Video.

 

WRITTEN BY HOLLIS DE LANEY

PHOTO CREDIT: INDIRA CESARINE / THE UNTITLED SPACE

 

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