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Carla Hernandez: To The Beat of Her Own Drum
April 28, 2015 @ 12:00 pm - 6:00 pm
To The Beat of Her Own Drum, on view at SOHO20 through May 23, presents an intimate audiovisual landscape that magnifies the boundaries of childhood experience. Through her exhibition, Carla Hernandez considers how children are far from passive participants in an adult world, highlighting a deep sensitivity to the emotional currents that pulse through their lives. The catalyst for Hernandez is her 9-year old niece, Veronica, whose portrait of vitality and spontaneity is captured in various iterations through the exhibited multimedia project.
Recording and documentation is instrumental to the exhibition’s narrative. Superimposed over one particular video footage are voicemails left by Veronica on Hernandez’s phone. With each recording, we are automatically reminded that “This message will be saved for 90 days…” On borrowed time, this audio becomes an artifact of memory; a descriptor of the chronal temperament of growing up, in the age of playback technology. In another video piece shown as a single projection, viewers see through Hernandez’ camera as she trails behind Veronica, ambling along a winding park path. It is an irenic scene, almost hermetic, hovering between lucidity and dream.
At the same time, there is an echo of melancholy that, while alleviated some by the unseen presence of Hernandez with a camera, begins to outline a fragile and fragmented personal structur, articulated by drawings also on view. The drawings are bold repeated waveforms, derived from tracing the undulating pattern of EKG readings. The readings belong to Veronica, and two generations of ailing women before her – her mother and grandmother. Hernandez converts this familiar mute pattern of the human heart beat into a topographical map of the body’s immense physiological and emotional workload, carried and conveyed across three generations. The installation, layered and arranged organically, forms a pattern of responses to a family’s emotional and physical stresses, the impact acutely and undeliably absorbed by the youngest.
Carla Hernandez was born in Newark, New Jersey and received her BA in Visual Art from Rutgers University. Her work has been exhibited in galleries and alternative spaces throughout New York and New Jersey including Mason Gross School of the Arts Galleries, Kenkeleba Gallery, ABC No Rio, 292 Gallery and SOHO20 Chelsea, where she has been a member since 2009. In 2009 she was selected to perform in SOHO20’s Savoir-Faire performance series and in 2010, received an Artist’s Grant from the Vermont Studio Center. Hernandez lives and works in New York City.