Presented by the Public Art Fund, the performance work is called Walk the Walk and will continue from 8:30 AM to 6:30 PM.
Purchase students who are participating include: Rachel Wiecking, Jessica Whittam, Amanda Gale.
The Art Fund selected Ms. Gilmore from among dozens of emerging artists who compete every year for only three commissions offered by this nonprofit organization. They find the spaces –often in prominent places – and provide funding.
The work draws attention to and celebrates the vast number of women who work each day in the City. Gilmore’s installation questions notions of work, its limitations, and possibilities, especially as they relate to themes of female identity, physical endurance and personal expression. She attempts to challenge the physical and psychological systems that regulate our working lives. She takes internal struggles and makes them public.
The artwork is an eight-foot high cubic structure activated by a group of women walking, stomping, shuffling and marching on the roof. Like typical office workers, the participants present a variety of physical builds and types, all clothed in simple yellow dresses and beige pumps.
In Walk the Walk the office cubicle has morphed into a room-sized structure. No longer confined by it, Gilmore’s office troupe has literally raised the roof, making it center stage for their visually and startling performance. Bright yellow walls, painted the exact same color as the dresses, beckon passersby inside, providing a multisensory experience. Once inside, visitors are enveloped by the reverberations of the stomping feet overhead-inserting them into a dramatic, improvisational audio piece.
Kate Gilmore is known for her single-channel videos of private performances reflecting attempts to master arduous physical tasks while wearing stereotypically feminine clothing and shoes. Her entry in the Whitney Biennial Standing Here, (which continues through May 30) shows her climbing a prefab column wearing a polka dot dress and pumps. Walk the Walk marks the first time Gilmore has orchestrated her work for other performers, instead of participating as its main subject.
Kat Gilmore lives and works in New York City and teaches at Purchase College. She has had numerous solo exhibitions and was awarded the Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation Award in 2009.