Katrina Del Mar is awesome.
(Normally there are better, less colloquial, adjectives that one could use to describe photography but you know the old adage "writing about art is like dancing about architecture" and the first reaction one has upon seeing the show is : "Woah, Katrina Del Mar is awesome.")
Her work is sexy, classic, hip, tough and avant-garde all at the same time. The Strange Loop Gallery was a perfect place to show the event, giving Del Mar a chance to set up an installation that showcased her video work as well as her photography and zines.
It's hard to tell what is documentary and what is a posed situation. If the work is posed then it is done so with meticulous skill and attention to detail. If the work is documenting situations that Del Mar puts herself in then she seems to live the enviable life of cavorting through woods and cities in a queer wonderland(awesome).
Summer Sang In Me also showcases Del Mar's zines. The art of Zine making is swiftly becoming, some may say became, extinct with the advent of the internet as a vessel for mass communication. Zines are homemade, self published and low-fi magazines that are handed out for free or almost free. Tobi Vail and Kathleen Hannah, who are also awesome and started a band called Bikini Kill, pioneered the zine in the 90s and the material was punk, queer, anarchistic, and above all, feminist(See? Awesome). Riot Grrrls will always own the zine and intentional or not Del Mar's inclusion of them in her show is a nod, or a solidarity fist, to the past as well as a comment on the present.
Summer Sang in Me shows Del Mar's semi-fictional life and all the emotions that come with living.
Review by John Hutt
Photos by Xiaofeng Li