Break of Day

Kate Gilmore (American, 1975-)

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Kate Gilmore creates installations from materials such as plywood, drywall, and cardboard, and then films herself as she interacts with and attempts to overcome these self-imposed obstacles. Exhibiting defiant resolve, Gilmore confronts these manufactured challenges and tests the physical limitations of the human body in relation to varying environments. Gilmore crafted 60 ceramic vessels that she filled to the brim with fuchsia paint. For Break of Day, Gilmore scaled a plywood cube with steep steps while carrying the burdensome weight of the paint-filled clay pots. High up on the middle of the platform, she dropped the vessels through a hole, allowing them to break and the paint to spill defiantly along the two cross beams inside the structure and onto the floor below. She repeated this clockwise rotation until all of the pots had been carried and dropped. When the last pot fell, the work was complete. Various aspects of Gilmore’s video reference major movements throughout art history, ranging from gestural Abstract Expressionist painting, to Minimalist objects, to Feminist artworks and endurance-based performance art of the late 1960s and 1970s.

Commissioned by the Indianapolis Museum of Art in 2010 (TR11128/4)

Object Information

Kate Gilmore (American, 1975-)
creation date
single channel video on DVD (color, sound)
duration: 18:34 minutes, looped
accession number
credit line
Commissioned by the Indianapolis Museum of Art, Frank Curtis Springer & Irving Moxley Springer Purchase Fund
© Kate Gilmore
Contemporary Art

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