Fine Art PR Publicity Announcements News and Information
Fine Art PR Publicity Announcements News and Information

San Jose Institute of Contemporary Art Announces Kate Rhoades: Karen

In Kate Rhoades: Karen, on view June 25 – September 3, 2017, Oakland-based artist Kate Rhoades brings attention to the Junk Lady, the memorable supporting character in Jim Henson’s 1986 cult classic film Labryinth. In the original movie, the Junk Lady appears as a surly woman who obsessively collects rejected furniture, pots, pans, and children’s toys atop her back. She lives amongst other junk people in the Junk Fields. But how did she get there? According to Rhoades, she was Karen, a daughter who became lost meandering through a field of discarded objects.

This video was created during Rhoades’ recent artist residency at Recology (also known as the “dump”), San Francisco’s solid waste and recycling center. She sourced all the material for her video: she transformed trash into brightly colored puppets and piled heaps of discarded ladders, Christmas ornaments, and textiles to design the set. In Karen, Rhoades elaborately constructs a world where the viewer gains insight into the Junk Lady’s past life. The ICA will be the first venue to screen Karen outside of the Recology Artist-in-Residence context.

Born in Monclova, Ohio, Rhoades’ art practice varies in media from comic books and publications to paintings and performances. Her work comments on the facets of the ever-changing art world. Humor is the marker of Rhoades’ art, and is often juxtaposed with her interest in theory. She shares, “Over-acting, cheesy special effects, slapstick, and childish humor are used in contrast with the seriousness of the worlds… Through the use of fantasies and alternative realities I explore different roles, act out fears and anxieties, and in showing their absurdity, I might diminish their power over me, and perhaps over the viewer.”

Kate Rhoades received her MFA from Mills College in 2014. Recent solo exhibitions of her work have been held at Oakland’s Burnt Oak Gallery and the Recology Artist Residency Program in San Francisco. Her videos have been presented in the San Francisco International Film Festival and the Santa Fe International New Media Festival. She has participated in exhibitions at Trestle Gallery in Brooklyn, Southern Exposure in San Francisco, and the di Rosa in Napa, in addition to presenting her work in various publications, hotel rooms and alleyways across North America and Europe.

San Jose Institute of Contemporary Art
560 South First Street San Jose, CA 95113

Kate Rhoades, Video Still from Karen, Image Courtesy of the Artist.