University at Buffalo
Department of


Art & Design

Art History

Visual Studies

The Week in the Project Space: Catharsis by MFA Student Skylar Borgstrom

November 2, 2015  by: Natalie Fleming


This Week in the Project Space:

Skylar Borgstrom



kəˈTHärsəs/ noun

noun: catharsis; plural noun: catharses

the process of releasing, and thereby providing relief from, strong or repressed emotions

This installation seeks to act as catharsis for both the artist and other survivors of sexual assault by declaring publicly that which is typically shamed.

My practice is currently exploring the ways in which gender identity is created, and more specifically how women respond to portrayals of archetypical women in today’s purportedly “post-feminist” society; the Madonna and the whore, the victim and the hero, the bitch and the bimbo. This examination, at its core, poses questions about the successes and shortfalls of the feminist movement in America from the 1960s to today in the wake of a consumer society that sells everything from used cars to toothpaste using women’s bodies.

By poking at that which is most uncomfortable—rape culture, gender stereotypes, workplace inequality, and pornography—with a sometimes raw, sometimes subtle, sardonic humor I hope to expose that which we know yet are unwilling to talk about. If we are able to question the absurdity in something perhaps we can finally drag it into the light for both examination and change.

Catharis will be on view through Saturday, November 7th.  Borgstrom, a Department of Art second-year MFA student, will speak about her project on Thursday, November 5th from 5-8PM as a part of this year’s Open Studios | Open CFA.

202 Center for the Arts, North Campus
Buffalo, New York 14260-6010
(716) 645-6878
(716) 645-6970 fax
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