Heart Shaped Bruises (two—channel video, 2012) Video installation employing an abstract scene of domestic violence as an allegory to explore issues related to gender.
Accentuating plasticity and artifice, the artist performs a couple made of two pervasive gender stereotypes: the “Femme Fatale” and “The Jock”. Clearly, the “couple” is not a real couple, but the artist lip—synching, dressing and cross—dressing. The characters have a dramaturgic edge, but are by no means unrealistic. Heart Shaped Bruises seeks to question the way in which we perform gender stereotypes and the social harm that they produce, as well as bringing attention to their absurdity.
The abrasive sound by Ryan Granger captures the tormented psyche of the characters. Where gender binaries are so violent and destructive that they have bruised their bodies, broken their noses and disfigured their faces.
The flat screens on which the work is presented resemble family portraits, while the sound equipment that surrounds them echoes a home theatre system.
Diego Ramirez (b. 1989 in Mexico) — an emerging artist working primarily with live action video and animation. Engaging critically with cinema and mass media, his work gives life to anomalous characters that exist at the borders of rationality. With a pop aesthetic, and surrealistic sensibilities, Ramirez bastardizes the hyper sexualized stereotypes and abject archetypes embedded in the media landscape. These idiosyncratic personas, often performed by the artist himself, become both a mirror and a window into the otherness within the self. Summoning the repressed, Ramirez work turns the familiar into strange at the service of explorations of sexuality, gender and the body.