When I was a year old I shoved a piece of meat up my nose. Only after weeks of trying to remedy my ‘bad breath’ did my mother take me to the doctor who removed it. I only remember my mother telling me this while pointing to a photograph. I’m a vegetarian.
This process of looking through a lens of the present into the past creates connections via the coincidental, which allow memories to reveal themselves in new ways. It distorts subjects and chronology, and subsequently confuses cause and effect. To search just below the surface of these documents, photographs, diary entries, and personal notes, uncovers awkwardness and trauma loaded with gendered constructs and sexual scripts.
Performative re-enactments housed in interactive found object installations or site-specific performances, transport the viewer into these memories alongside me. The interactive nature of the project provides an experiential understanding of gendered experience, both in physical space and via the facade of virtual anonymity, allowing viewers to come face to face with their own beliefs regarding gender and development. It is through this serious play that I begin to take an authorial role of the meanings of my experiences.
Katie Gentner was raised in various states across the Midwest, but lived her early adult life in Southeastern Wisconsin. Gentner received her Bachelor of Arts with a minor in psychology from University of Wisconsin Parkside in 2015. During her undergraduate career she was the first visual artist to receive the Teresa Peck Award for Women’s Gender & Sexuality Studies for Gender Perceptions, a series of portrait paintings exploring perception, gender, and the gaze. Upon graduating, Gentner received the Wisconsin Study Abroad Grant to study drawing and art history in Italy during the summer of 2015. Upon arriving back in the states, Gentner spent a year as the artist in residence at Living Resource Center, a collaborative space providing various services essential to spiritual, mental, and physical well-being. She recently transplanted to Tennessee from Wisconsin with her partner and her dog to pursue a MFA at University of Tennessee - Knoxville while serving a teaching appointment. Gentner’s work has been featured in local, regional and international exhibitions, including Au Natural: The Nude in the 21st Century, Astoria, OR; Beloit and Vicinity Exhibition, Beloit, WI, as well as in non-traditional art spaces, such as Mall Walker, Knoxville Center Mall, Knoxville, TN.