Johanna Winters

Region: MFA Annual

I investigate anxieties of the female experience as it relates to aging, vanity, shame, restraint, and pleasure, in order to confront the social conditioning that perpetuates the repression of feminine desire, and prioritizes and encourages male pleasure. Through puppetry, drawing, and printmaking, I bridge the genres of performance and visual art to consider how female desire is inhibited, enacted, sustained, and diminished between the spectrum of adolescence and end of life.

My current work chronicles a troupe of women who hide themselves inside shifting walls to resist the shame of their womanhood. As they enter their middle years, they initiate a process of deterioration to outpace the looming disappointment of unfulfilled desire. These women bend against their frame, turn down their mouths, and endure a slow process of waiting for their fate to come apart. They are neither bitter nor tolerant of this inevitable deterioration—they tepidly hinge against and toward it. While suspended in a time that is both passing and returning, sustaining and releasing, these middle women summon a carnal pleasure in their undoing.