Christine Bruening

Judith (2018)
3D printed PLA, spray rubber
28 x 18 x 26 in.

My work focuses on how the western canon of art influences our contemporary, visual dialogue and how that thread of conversation, in turn, informs our values and belief systems. A canon functions as a window into the power dynamics of the past and through its sustained relevancy it can clue us into which of those social systems have yet to change. When we consider history through this lens, the dialogue almost parallels therapy; what past trauma informs our current cultural patterns, relationships and attitudes?

During the 2018 Kavanaugh hearings, I thought a lot about Artemisia Gentileschi and the seven month trial she endured after she accused her mentor of rape. I translated Gentileschi’s version of the bible story Judith Slaying Holofernes into a sculpture where I omitted Holofernes. Within the piece, there’s nothing to break the tension as Judith and her maid confront the viewer, which asks the viewer about their own relationship with consent and access to women’s bodies. Through the act of reexamining what we think we already know, we allow for growth.

© Christine Bruening