Donna Dodson, Daniel Meirom, Jennifer Shahade, and Kledia Spiro, Match of the Matriarchs, 2018, Boston Sculptors Gallery, Boston, MA
Match of the Matriarchs considers the game of chess as a metaphor for global politics. Donna Dodson, a sculptor, Daniel Meirom, a filmmaker, Jennifer Shahade, a chess champion and conceptual artist and Kledia Spiro, an Olympic weightlifter and performance artist intersect in this non-traditional curatorial project. Can a game, such as chess, transform global dialogues about women?
Kledia Spiro exhibited her videos and photographs from the past three years in Match of the Matriarchs. In “Lifting the Sweetness,” Kledia performs some standard Olympic weightlifting moves with a traditional bar balanced with cantaloupes and papayas while plants in the audience heckle her with phrases she has experienced in real life at traditional gyms. In “Trousseau” Kledia attempts to weight lift her parents who are seated on platforms welded to the bar as a symbol of the gifts she has received from her parents and their sacrifices that she can never repay. In Battle of the Beasts, Kledia conceptualized the performance where she featured Jennifer Shahade and Vanessa Sun playing a chess match. She also invited two male athletes in corporate attire to be the loaders of the match until she decided to push one away and even the playing field. In Battle of the Beasts, Revisited there were two male chess players and Spiro alone supervised the game. Kledia curated a soundtrack of men and women discussing gender roles, while the game unfolded.