"Objectify" by Suzy Kellems Dominik. July 2023. Photo: Lindley Rust.
Local artist Suzy Kellems Dominik opens her Jackson Hole art studio to the community for the first time, debuting three bodies of work conceived and developed while living in the Gros Ventre Wilderness. The artist’s in-town studio is housed in the newly transformed service station located at the corner of Cache and Mercill in the heart of Jackson.
The human body is at the center of Kellems Dominik’s practice, celebrating and glorifying its form and simultaneously addressing themes such as the gendered expectations of society, voyeurism, and objectification. The bodies of work on view in the artist’s studio pose different implications, consequences, and interpretations of the human experience and the struggle to be seen, heard, and valued as an individual. The anchor of the open studio is the world debut of a new design and photography installation, Objectify, that directly responds to the ever-present objectification of the body. The three-part presentation features an anthropomorphic bar, bar stools, and series of sculptural bottle toppers modeled after a live subject utilizing 3D modeling and printing technology. The collection also features four monumental upholstered folding screens in the Rococo style that introduce feminist symbols and a poem by the artist, all digitally printed on velvet. Positioned alongside the anthropomorphic furniture, the screens create a captivating tableau.
The Objectify photographic series is on view in a salon-style exhibition, glorifying and monumentalizing the male subject amidst the Aspens, as a reflection of the artist’s gaze and fantasy. The subject is heroized and idealized as an object of the artist’s pleasure, as a deliberate foil to depictions — often of the female body — in a bound, infantilized, or submissive state. As one follows the narrative sequence through the 12 photographs, the subject is depicted in a state of voyeurism, a state of repose, and ultimately a state of liberation.