The Hartnett Gallery’s second show of this year showcases two female artists’ perspectives on love, relationships and bridesmaids’ dresses.
It is called “First Comes Love” and is the work of a collaboration between Cecilia Berkovic and Katherine Mulherin. In the Hartnett’s official statements on the show’s overriding theme it states, “While both [Berkovic and Mulherin] are successful artists, neither have had success, as yet, in their ultimate goal to find true love.”
The titles of the works include, “Always a Bridesmaid,” “Never a Bride,” “Love Stories” and “Love Songs II.” Berkovic and Mulherin’s style has been described as a “practice of approaching notions of sentimentality through quirky junk-culture narratives ? They present works that focus on low-end approaches to high end ideas.”
It feels like just yesterday I was burning my bra and throwing on pants for the first time, then before I even get the chance to let my leg hair grow out ? feminism chokes and dies.
I can’t even believe this. Cecilia Berkovic and Katherine Mulherin are, as stated above, two very successful women and are evidently talented as well.
Berkovic has a BFA from Concordia University in Montreal, she has been a part of several notable residency programs and works for the art collective Instant Coffee while still maintaining her artistic career.
Mulherin attended Ontario College of Art and Design. Her art has been exhibited around the world and she owns a chain of galleries.
Despite the horrific subject matter, “First Comes Love” does reveal the two artists’ creativity along with their ability to delve into new and unique ways of making art.
I most enjoyed “Wonderwall,” a massive rectangular cassette tape holder affixed to the galleries back wall that has been fitted with perfectly sized slots for each tape to rest individually.
The holder is filled to capacity with tapes, most of which have been turned so that their spines face inward, showing only their black plastic boxes.
However, there are rows that contain a set of tapes aligned based on the color of their spines ? creating a black wall with stripes of green, red, orange, yellow and blue.
Unfortunately, “Wonderwall” could not take away the pain that was instilled in me by the work from the series “Never a Bride.”
This piece, by Mulherin, is a photo montage of her in a fitting room trying on assorted bridal gowns.
Perhaps one might argue in its defense, “What’s so wrong with wanting to fall in love and get married?”
To that I say, “What’s so right with it. . .Mrs. Cleaver?”
Berlin can be reached at email@example.com.