“For some time fairy tales and fantasy have inspired my imagination and curiosity about their effects on women’s roles and the construction of their identities,” says Katie Hovencamp. Well, if I’d found these strange creatures wandering through my childhood fairy tales I’m pretty sure my life would have been a far darker and disturbing place. But then for children fairy tales aren’t supposed to “create and infiltrate the spaces between… gender, perceived beauty, and the body politic.” Their self-identity is already malleable enough. It doesn’t need to be beaten with a mental mallet.
But adult self-identities are a different story. They have calcified. And sometimes great force is needed to wrench them free. And that’s what makes it okay that when you first look upon the work of Katie Hovencamp its quite disturbing, possibly even offensive. It grabs a seam in our minds and tears it right open, exposing the rag-doll-like nature of our identities, as well as the stuffing underneath. It confronts us, in other words, with our own unconscious assumptions.
Now some people don’t like that. Fair enough. Not all art is for everybody. But for those of us who do want to explore the frontiers of or our mindscape and the implicit stereotypes that roam there, I believe spending some time with Katie Hovencamp’s work offers a fantastic opportunity. Thank you for pushing the envelope Katie. And thank you for letting us showcase your fanastic(al) work!