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Tuesday, January 20, 2009

For those in the Boston vicinity on February 13

Art and Cultural Events List

A list of art and cultural events in the Boston area.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009
CAMBRIDGE ART GALLERY EXHIBITION - February 13 - March 15, 2009
Visual Art Exhibit / Book Release
“Heads and Tales”
13 February through 15 March 2009
Opening Reception: 13 February, 2009, 6-9 pm
Media Contact: Mary Curtin, 617-241-9664, 617-470-5867 (cell),
Pierre Menard Gallery contact: Nathan Censullo, 617-868-2033,
[high res digital images available upon request]

Heads and Tales

exhibition featuring
photographs of sculptures
created by

Heide Hatry

along with the release of a
collaborative anthology
with “tales” written by
27 prominent & emerging writers
illustrated with“heads” by Heide Hatry

exhibition runs 13 February through 15 March

Opening Reception (with added attractions)
Book Release Party:
Friday, 13 February, 6-9 pm

all at
Pierre Menard Gallery

“They say the human face is the door to the soul.
‘Heads and Tales’ gives a moving and original view on this subject.
Who are we really?”
(Marina Abramovic)

“Heide Hatry is a force of nature
She is an artist and a humanist who is making
a selfless contribution to life.
And that is what art has always been about.”
(Joel-Peter Witkin)

(Cambridge, MA) Pierre Menard Gallery presents Heads and Tales; visual art exhibit featuring photographs of “heads” by Heide Hatry, along with the release of a collaborative literary anthology, illustrated by Hatry and including “tales” written by 27 prominent & emerging writers. 13 February through 15 March, with an opening reception (with added attractions) on 13 February, 6-9 pm. Regular gallery hours: open daily, 12-8 pm. Free and open to the public. Pierre Menard Gallery, 10 Arrow Street, Cambridge. For more information, 617-868-2033 or

Pierre Menard Gallery is pleased to announce an exhibition and corresponding book release of Heads and Tales, both conceived by Heide Hatry and held in conjunction with various literary events (readings, book signings, and the premiere of a play) which are to be scheduled during the run.

The portraits in the book Heads and Tales are photographic documentations of sculptures Hatry made out of animal skin and body parts. Hatry’s intention in the anthology is to make the photographic portraits as life-like as possible, vivid and sometimes disposed in positions suggesting movement. She uses untreated pigskin to cover her clay sculptures, adding raw meat for the lips and fresh pig eyes, in order that the resulting portrait appears as if a model is looking at the viewer with a vital expression, which the photographer has just captured.

In fact, a photographer taking a picture of a model prepares for the moment in a way more or less similar to what Hatry has done with her sculptures — the model is made up, hair done just so, and the appropriate lighting and pose are deliberately chosen. Or, if you prefer, Hatry’s approach can be described as being reminiscent of what a mortician does in preparing a corpse for viewing — creating the illusion of life where there is none.

For Hatry, taking photos of her sculptures is like reconstructing life. It simulates a simulation by fabricating an image of a fake face, an image calculated to deceive the viewer, especially since taxidermy [from the Greek, taxis (order or arrangement) and derma (skin)] and photography work so well together. The fake image appears convincing because one expects to see what one is used to seeing. The portrait of a face staring into the camera or captured in a snapshot simply doesn't conjure thoughts of death, even though we are often, in fact, looking at the living image of the dead when we view a photograph. Every photograph is a memento mori, and of course we like to forget that reminder of death, so we are easily persuaded that these images represent real, living people.

Hatry intended through her sculptures to provide springboards for stories, reminiscences or meditations on the lives of women. She asked a number of writers to select the image of one of her women and create a life for her. As the visual work addresses issues of violence, death and gender identity, the writing reflects similar concerns as they are specific to women, not necessarily from an obviously politically fraught or polemical perspective, but more typically resorting to fantasy, satire, irony and other subversive modes of presentation to disrupt the hegemony of the everyday and release the power of its horror.

Most of the color photographs in the exhibition are 20”x30” in size, with a few that are more life-size (12”x18”). During the opening reception, there will also be a “live sculpture” on display, along with the showing of two videos, one focused on how the sculptures were prepared and the other featuring a sculpture used in a surprising manner.

The exhibition is accompanied by the book Heads and Tales, published by Charta Art Books (Milan/New York, 2009), a “collaborative anthology” with an Introduction by Catharine MacKinnon; “Heads” photographs by Heide Hatry; and “Tales” texts written by Rosanna Yamagiwa Alfaro, Roberta Allen, Jennifer Belle, Mei-mei Berssenbrugge, Svetlana Boym, Rebecca Brown, Mary Caponegro, Thalia Field, Lo Galluccio, Diana George, Thyrza Nichols Goodeve, Jessica Hagedorn, Elizabeth Hand, Heather Hartley, Joanna Howard, Katia Kapovich, Lydia Millet, Micaela Morrissette, Carol Novack, Julie Oakes, Barbara Purcell, Selah Saterstrom, Johannah Schmid, Iris Smyles, Luisa Valenzuela, Anna Wexler and Can Xue.

Heide Hatry is a visual artist and curator. She grew up in Germany, where she studied art at various art schools and art history at the University of Heidelberg. After she moved to NYC in 2003 she has curated several exhibitions in Germany, Spain and the USA (notably “Skin” at the Goethe Institut in New York, the Heidelberger Kunstverein and Galeria Tribeca in Madrid, Spain; “Out of the Box” at Elga Wimmer PCC in NYC, “Carolee Schneemann, Early and Recent Work, A Survey” at Pierre Menard Gallery in Cambridge, MA and “Meat After Meat Joy” at Daneyal Mahmood Gallery, NYC). She has shown her own work at museums and galleries in those countries as well and edited more than a dozen books and art catalogues. Kehrer Verlag published her book Skin in 2005.


--submitted by marycurtinproductions [on behalf of the Pierre Menard Gallery]
c/o Mary Curtin
PO Box 290703, Charlestown, MA 02129
617-241-9664, 617-470-5867 (cell),
"dedicated to staging insightful entertainment, particularly in non-traditional venues"

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