Shannon Lewis’ practice is about demanding a pleasure space that plays with primping and polishing not as an assimilation to the fashion-beauty complex; but a space of satisfying self-care and artistry. It considers apparatuses of dissemination—once passed along from matrilineal elders-and now circulating throughout online communities. No longer just handed down from older generations, but an exuberant criss-crossing in all directions.
They are potions, lotions and therapeutic hands. It’s about new shrines and codes. Piecemeal information. Half remembered rituals and songs. Old world religions turned into new world instastories.
The collaged figures, whether in painting or life-sized silk chiffon installation, play with each other and themselves, repeat and reboot, telling stories and re-forming into new structures.
As we present ourselves to be read to the world, as we fine tune our personal brands we blur the lines between subjects and objects. We create a set of erotics around them.
Advertising scrambles old signs and semiotics but some stereotypes or readings stick. The work takes on this stickiness of language and the history of image making.
It sits in a space that has fun with high femme performance fantasy and total exhaustion. Self-making as sport, for access and for life.
The work hovers between wanting to desperately participate in the trappings of privilege and wanting to tear down the structures that provide them.