Opening reception Thursday, April 7 from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. @ artspace.
(Shreveport, LA) – Sometimes walls CAN talk, and Mollie Corbett’s photographic art exhibit OUTLIER is going to have the walls resounding openly, freely, and triumphantly with personal stories of sexual assault, including her own, beginning with an opening reception Thursday, April 7 from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. @ artspace.
April is National Sexual Assault Awareness Month and OUTLIER is a multi-sensory fine art photography exhibit featuring the personal stories of sexual assault survivors to raise social awareness, dispel victim stigma, foster restorative justice and bring the subject of sexual assault out into open discussion.
“For too long, the strength of every assailant has been our reluctance to talk about assault,” said Corbett. “I speak freely and openly about my assault by the babysitter’s son because the shame of it does not belong to me, and I want every victim within my hearing to hear that boldness, that audacity of a survivor to refuse to be silenced by shame. When we can talk openly about sexual assault and when shame is relegated to its proper place, restorative justice can flourish,” added Corbett.
OUTLIER is a multi-sensory exhibit that will include large-scale prints of real victims, including Corbett, that will hang on black walls amidst a set that represents the “ruins” or negative aspects of the sexual assault—an ornate birdcage near the assailant’s feet with words inside that tell something personal about the memory of the assault, trash strewn in the bottom of the scene and hope hanging above the victim in the form of words of affirmation such as “self worth,” “redemption” and “courage.” These are photographs of victims from our own neighborhoods who have each bravely agreed to share their stories visually so that others might not have to suffer as they have.
In a similarly bold attempt to help young men and women who have been the victims of sexual assault heal and regain their self esteem, Lady Gaga recently revealed the story of her own rape at
the age of 19 and co-wrote and recorded, “Til It Happens To You,” for a campus-rape documentary, The Hunting Ground.
One component of the multi-sensory feel of OUTLIER will be the way visitors enter the exhibit through a living room set that will include a vintage couch, television, and floor rug. These props replicate the scene of Corbett’s own experience complete with a vintage bottle of baby aspirin and a small record player from her personal collection that plays a 1978 song that is a part of her story.
A performance piece will take place amidst a live staging of the photo sets with a performer dressed as the photo models posing in triumphal yoga stances in the midst of the living room set.
The exhibit will round out with artistic photographs of the inner rooms and interview spaces of the Gingerbread House Child Advocacy Center that will include toys, tools and hand-drawn images that are used to help bring justice to these abused children.
Corbett hopes that OUTLIER will raise social awareness for the victims of sexual assault, dispel the stigma that so often accompanies this trauma—feelings of not being believed or valued or protected by people who should have been these victim’s advocates—and foster restorative justice so that more victims can grow to a place of survivorship and advocacy.
OUTLIER continues at artspace through May 7, 2016. In addition to the exhibit @artspace, Corbett will also conduct an artist talk on Thursday, April 14, at 6 p.m . Admission is free with the chance to purchase dinner or snacks during the evening truckspace @artspace that features local food trucks. Also in observance of National Sexual Assault Awareness Month, there will be an OUTLIER Mini Film Fest at Shreve Memorial Library from 5:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. starting Monday, April 11 and continuing through the month. Films to be screened include Lady Gaga’s documentary, ‘Til It Happens to You and The Hunting Ground and The Invisible War. Doors open at 5:00 p.m. and films begin at 5:45 p.m.