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Carmen Winant is an artist and writer working in collage, mixed media, and installation. Her work examines the impossibility of visually representing nuanced experiences specific to the female body, such as childbirth, pleasure, healing, motherhood, protest, and liberation. Instead of creating new images, she uses found photographs to re-contextualize and re-present imagery that collectively suggest more nuanced depictions of transformative, empowering, and vulnerable moments. Yet, for all the limitations of image making, Winant reveres the material qualities of photographs. In this series, she appropriates pages of Playboy magazines from the 1970s. Winant rubs the pages of centerfolds until the images deteriorate. Her repeated gesture removes the inks on the page, leaving only traces of the nude body. The shadowy outline of figure in a provocative pose remains, appearing neither visible or invisible, reminding us that the female body is often depicted as sexualized, hidden, and without autonomy.
Carmen Winant is well-known for her large-scale installation of images of childbirth featured in an exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art in 2018. In 2021, she created a custom installation about female pleasure and the erotic for the MoCP exhibition, Reproductive: Health, Fertility, Agency. Her work is included in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art, NY; the Henie Onstad Kunstsenter, Sandvika, Norway; and the Minneapolis Institute of Art; among others. Winant is the recipient of a 2019 Guggenheim Fellowship in Photography and the Ohio Arts Council Individual Excellence Award in 2018. Winant is the Roy Lichtenstein Chair of Visual Art, Associate Professor, at Ohio State University.
Carmen Winant (American, b. 1983)Playboy Rubbings, 2017–2022Archival Pigment Print8½ x 10 inch image on 10 x 13 inch paperSigned Edition of 30