About Pro Arts
Pro Arts is an Oakland-based nonprofit arts organization that supports experimentation in the contemporary artistic process and practice through exhibitions, commissions, residency programs, research, satellite projects, digital platforms and publications. Annually we exhibit over 200 artists, conduct over 300 art education programs for youth, and reach an audience of over 8,000.
Touch Stop: De-Lite by Marta Gorski is an installation at the Project Space at Pro Arts, inviting viewers to participate in the lady experience.
The installation is designed to offer a vantage point the viewer either knows well or has not experienced. Sharing this perspective daily enables the artist an opportunity to distribute an experience that hopes to remain with the viewer.
“I just want you to have to walk by my dick every day, on your way to work, or whatever.”
The immediate reaction to a phallus in the street is often quelled by common social acceptance. Too often we don’t discuss the residual reaction; for many, social acceptance is infiltrated by a quiet fear and a strange anxiety. It’s knowing the acceptable behavior can cause intangible damage, the lack of palpability carries little merit for the offended. These seemingly meaningless interactions create the unnecessary power systems so many women are fighting.
Touch Stop: De-Lite aims to drive change through community engagement, inspiring thoughtful reflection and memory to prevent sexual and relational aggression. After three months on display will the passersby change their path to avoid the lurking eye on their daily commute? Will they respond with distaste for the antagonistic value embedded in the work, and/or with empathy for the protagonist elements? These conversations are often initiated with jokes, reflecting the viewer’s discomfort with the topic. Almost universally, they quickly shift from the joke to a dissection of the objectification of humans, rape culture as a hot topic, and how solution-based exhibitions can assist in the development of progress and unity.
Marta Gorski has used the human figure as a staple of her work from the early stages. Inspired by landscapes in both nature and the body, Marta uses various process to create concept driven installations. Her work has always been motivated by the tumultuous balance of social sexuality and aims to explore the consequence of intimacy through the figure, landscape and alternative perspectives. Gorski is a Canadian-born installation artist, currently living in Oakland, California. She has completed a Bachelor of Fine Art with a Focus in Glass, and a Master of Business Administration. Marta continues to create concept driven installations that explore themes of empathy. She works frequently with glass as a medium but is not tied to one method of processing the material, currently, she is exploring hot glass sculpting, large format casting and neon.
As an artist, my aim is to foster opportunities for people to understand and empathize with feminist ideologies. I create experiential works that catalyze conversations, where the presentation of the experience is not specific to any one gender and participants can safely share their perspectives, however different. I believe people learn best through experiencing situations themselves and because of this, I strive to make work that encompasses people and immerses them in new situations. My upcoming show, Touch Stop, is designed to foster empathy by engaging participants in an understanding of the lady experience, and challenging beliefs that tolerate aggressive, coercive, objectifying and controlling behavior. Touch Stop is a tour of installed exhibitions comprised of hand-sculpted, glass phalluses engaged in various circumstances. In this edition, I will be displaying a large neon dick in the Project Space. Aimed at the outside world, this dick will light your way through the Frank Ogawa Plaza passage and lurk at you suspiciously as you move through your day.