As women, we’re surrounded by the gaze: male, societal, governmental. But what does it look like when that gaze is shifted inward? In observing each other’s bodies and bearing witness to each other’s emotional states, to the effects of always being observed, the object becomes the subject.
Muscle Memory features a blend of interwoven, sometimes literally, visual and verbal artistry. The two artists use their respective media as distinct lenses through which to view femininity, fragility, intimacy, exposure, and the anxiety that clouds and morphs each of these experiences. An interplay between the themes of entrapment and ultimate release underlies the project’s pieces.
Owens’ use of paint, collage, and drawn media and Murphy’s use of language create a duality that calls into question what should inhabit the same space. Who owns the body? Whose bodies belong with whose, to whose? Who gets to play where? As longtime friends, the artists draw on the complexities of and joy in their own personal relationship as the backbone of their works. In the marriage of these two perspectives, we see female community and its complications manifest.