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I work in tandem with performance and video to give life to the strange, gestural, and intimate. I use the word “gesture” to encapsulate my approach to performance as I consider how fragmented body movement can be translated into expression. My performances are often brief, repetitive, and pared down in physical movement. In addition, the motivations of my actions tend to be ambiguous to the viewer. The lack of monumental visible change and unyielding repetition of performed gestures results in a tension between comfort and unease. I use this approach to offer vulnerability to my audience as I create conversations around uneasy topics such as intersectional identity and placehood. 


In my practice, identity and fragmentation look like conversations between the material body and the intersectionality of womanhood, queerness, and fatness. I set these conventions of self in real and imagined space by constructing and deconstructing “home” as a psychological space. To do this, my work engulfs myself and my viewer in a domestic setting, featuring materials such as fabric, lace, and furniture. In this home-space, I consider shifting identity experiences between the public and private spheres. 


When remixing the private realm in my work, the word “soft” comes to mind. This softness exists in both the delicate materials and minimal gestures, referring to stereotypes of domesticity and femininity. As I reference soft, domestic, and feminine, I challenge these features with a gestural struggle of taking up space. When performing, the element of struggle is seen in my push against materials or my own body. The themes in my work often parallel this tender tension. 


My installations of the work hold these sentiments as well. Temporal performative past collides with physical materials through projection and screen. I use installation to create a sense of space beyond the four-dimensional screen. In my work, I utilize both found objects and made vessels such as soft sculpture houses. When video and object are together, new modes of access are created for the work.  The installations feature various vantage points, such as peering into a fabric home to find a hidden form or my body projected largely on the wall, leaving little room to hide. 


Through my practice, I explore a tightrope of sentiments; feeling like too much, or too little — wanting control over body and perception, along with the desire to be seen. In collaboration, performance, video, and installation weave together a narrative of body, mind, and experience.


Casey Wolhar is a performance and video artist born in Newark, Delaware. She received her BA in Studio Art and Communications from Washington College. Her work utilizes video, sculpture, and found materials to address themes of womanhood, domesticity, and body politics surrounding the queer and fat body. She uses gestural performance to create conversations around these topics. Wolhar is currently an MFA student with a concentration in Time-Based Art at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.

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