The Marks Women Leave Behind

Art is subjective. The interpretations we pull from art depend on our perspectives of the world. As a woman in modern America, I am able to vividly see the portrayal of femininity in art. Upon seeing Johana Moscoso’s latest exhibition, "Machera Floors,” I immediately connected with her beautiful expression of the female gender.

As I entered the Clough-Hanson Gallery, I felt an unexpected amount of shock. I had never seen an exhibit quite like Moscoso’s. However, this unfamiliarity drew me further into the room. The exhibit featured floor sculptures positioned throughout. In the far back of the room, there was a video of a woman dancing on the sculptures with her heels. In the second video that flashed across the screen, two women danced together on another floor sculpture. As I surveyed the installations, I questioned what was being portrayed through the sculptures. The women who danced on the sculptures danced symmetrically. Their arms and feet moved in the same direction. However, as I looked over the sculptures, the imprints made from their heels were not at all symmetrical. I interpreted this as Moscoso trying to convey that though women can be alike in many ways, but our imprints on the world are completely different. I connected this interpretation with various women in my life who I’ve tried to emulate. As young girls, we view these significant women as people that we should aspire to be like. This often translates to young girls trying to copy their mother’s hair style or their favorite female teacher’s style. However, it is important for young girls to also cultivate their own images of themselves. Moscoso’s installations perfectly depict the contrast between women of the modern world.    

Johana Moscoso has dedicated her artistry to exploring gender roles, culture, and migration. Moscoso has also infused South-American culture into her installations. She replaces the “traditional male leading role in Latin dance with female dancers … [to] challenge the norm of gender roles in Hispanic Countries” (Moscoso, Machera Floors). She describes the "Machera Floors" as a string of stories of migration from Latin America to North America. Moscoso says the stories of migration detail the marks made by bodies that move along the surface.

Johana Moscoso's Machera Floors is on display in Clough-Hansen Gallery through October 12.