“Allegory” by Taleen Batalian

Cut From a Different Cloth: Taleen Batalian at WaterFire Arts Gallery


PROVIDENCE, R.I. — The WaterFire Arts Center (WFAC), a multi-use arts venue, located at 475 Valley Street, in October opened “Tender Cargo,” a a month-long exhibition by Taleen Batalian which will be on view at WaterFire Arts Center gallery through Sunday, November 20.

Taleen Batalian

The exhibition explores how bodies hold and carry trauma across time and geography, drawing on artist Batalian’s legacy as the granddaughter of four grandparents from Western Armenia. Batalian grew up surrounded by references to the Genocide her family endured, but it was never discussed openly. After the death of her mother in 2012, Batalian began using textiles and sculpture to unpack this murky silence and interpret her cultural history to understand the legacy of trauma passed down from her grandparents to her parents and ultimately to her. Tender Cargo investigates what it means to wear and carry our trauma and asks us to consider how the body traverses under the weight of these heavy loads.

“Tender Cargo” comprises sculptural garments, other 2D and 3D artworks, and an original soundscape. The exhibition will culminate in a live performance with dance, original sound score, and scenic design.

In addition to the opening event, visitors are invited to a film screening and discussion on Thursday, November 10 starting at 6 p.m. and a Live Performance on Thursday, November 17, starting at 7 p.m. November 17 is also Gallery Night Providence with a trolley tour leaving the WFAC at 6:30 p.m. However the tour is scheduled to return to the Tender Cargo gallery in time to view the exhibition and participate in a post-performance talk back with Batalian.

“Mountain” by Taleen Batalian

The exhibition collaborators are Antonio Forte, sound design, Heidi Henderson, choreography/dance, Keri King, scenic design/project consultation, and Michele L’Heureux, curation.

The WFAC store + gallery are open Wednesday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and until 9 p.m. on Thursdays. The exhibition is free and open to all, donations encouraged.

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This exhibition is supported by the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts, The City of Providence Department of Art, Culture + Tourism, Real Dream Design, and The Wilbury Theatre Group.

“Mother” by Taleen Batalian

Batalian, is an artist and educator. Her work explores emotional landscapes and ways in which the body can serve as a vehicle for carrying experiences and memories through complex terrain. Among her recent projects: ‘Waves and Shadows’, a collaborative film; ‘Disassemble’, a performance installation at RISD Museum; and ‘Graft’, a solo exhibition and site-specific installation of sculptural garments, paintings and video. Taleen has been awarded grants from Rhode Island State Council on the Arts (RISCA), Providence Art, Culture + Tourism (ACT) and The Arts and Cultural Alliance of Newport County. https://taleenbatalian.com/


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