artwork > innerviews

installation at brooklyn arts council gallery, brooklyn view 3
installation at brooklyn arts council gallery, brooklyn view 3

karen schoellkopf
innerviews, 2003
3 1/2’ x 3 1/2’ metal grid, 25 5”x5” books on each grid, small table with journal
installation dimensions variable

artist statement for innerviews:

catcalling: n, a shrill whistle or cry used to express disapproval (from webster’s universal dictionary and thesaurus, 1993, geddes & grosset, ltd, scotland)

street abuse:

1. to hurt, on a public road, by treating badly
2. unintentional degradation through ignorance
3. to imply a physical and/or emotional threat through gestures or posture
4. coarse, deceptive, or insulting language
5. unsolicited physical contact
6. to stalk for purposes of either psychological or physical harm
7. unequal access on public roads

(from maggie hadleigh west's site)

my project “innerviews”, is grounded in the idea of exchange. in the context of this project, exchange is the way that we, as a community, give and receive reciprocally; an interchange. often times i have felt powerless to participate in a dialogue with catcallers, because the comments were simply being said at me.

this project completes the give and take by talking back. i have interviewed many different people to discuss catcalling, and its impact on our shared public space. the installation of books of these interviews invites the viewer to explore the pieces of this investigation, to open and touch and engage in the exchange, and to respond back in a journal set up next to the piece with comments or suggestions.

i initially viewed catcalling as aggressive or negative attention, but this project constructs another way of engaging with it. i do not think catcalling is an issue to be polarized as “right” or “wrong”. it is a complicated issue that needs to be explored and discussed, to better understand why it exists. through a better understanding of what motivates this behavior, i hope that people will become aware of their contribution to creating the atmosphere of this city.