A Sense of Heat in Her Brain
September 26 - November 21
“When a woman is making love with a man, a sense of heat in her brain, which brings with it sensual delight, communicates the taste of that delight.”
The First Written Description of the Female Orgasm
Hildegard Von Bingen, 1150
Luna Anais Gallery is pleased to present its inaugural exhibition with new work by Los Angeles-based artist Alexandra Carter.
The women in Carter’s paintings are embroiled in the throes of ecstasy, even while they are involved in a dark, shamanic, body-based ritual. These figures have a sense of “jouissance”—a term referred to in psychoanalytic theory as an extreme, problematic pleasure, containing pain as well as deep enjoyment. “A sense of heat in her brain,” while literally describing the female orgasm, captures the essence of jouissance. It points to the thinking, intellectual brain while also reducing it to exactly what it is—a muscle in our body, thus bringing us back to our corporeality.
Exploring the artist’s experience of infertility, while referring to her background of growing up on a New England cranberry farm, her figures depict ideas of both bodily and agricultural fertility. The fruits of their bodies—both literal and figurative—play on their abundance in ways both sexual and maternal. Compositions contain a sense of magic through a multiplicity of women that seem to conjure and cast spells. These personae, depicted in both human and sometimes animal forms, represent the team of magicians/practitioners that infertility treatment requires—various types of doctors, gynecologists, acupuncturists, etc.—all poking and prodding the dysfunctioning female body. What results is a coven of witches, deities, eaters, and procreators, intermingling limb by limb. The artist reimagines ghosts and goddesses of ancient folklore, mythology, religious iconography of the Madonna, and Paleolithic fertility symbology into bubbled-up, berried forms that, through it all, continue to delight in their own bodies.
Alexandra Carter is also the recipient of a grant and exhibition from the Culver City Arts Foundation and Helms Bakery District in Culver City, CA.
Her work will be featured in a one-week projection exhibition as part of "Projecting Possibilities" at the Helms Design Center beginning October 2-8 2020.
Alexandra Carter (b. 1985 in Boston) lives and works in Los Angeles. She received an MFA from Goldsmiths University of London in 2015 and a BA from Rhodes College in Memphis in 2009. Recent solo exhibitions include “Berries for Baubo” (2019), and “All gods are hot” (2018) at Radiant Space in Los Angeles. Other solo exhibitions include Fusion Gallery (Turin, Italy), Southfork (Memphis), Projecto’ace Foundation (Buenos Aires), and the Memphis Brooks Museum of Art. She has been selected for residency projects nationally and internationally, including KulturKontakt Austria (Vienna), Qwatz (Rome), Graniti Murales (Sicily), Vice~Versa Foundation (Goa, India), RECSIM (Jashipur, India), Galerija-Muzej Lendava (Slovenia), the Kentucky Foundation for Women, and a forthcoming residency at Saari in Finland.