Zoë Buckman
(Hackney, London, United Kingdom, 1985)

Face to the Bricks, 2020

Boxing glove, vintage textiles and chain
40,5 x 28 x 20,5 cm
[Photo: Jason Mandella. Courtesy Zoë Buckman and Pippy Houldsworth Gallery, London]

Zoë Buckman collects domestic vintage fabrics in that they talk about the house and therefore the woman’s experience. In her works she underscores how wrong it is to clearly distinguish and divide male and female identities, their relative roles and potentials, which is instead what society encourages us to do.  

The boxing glove (an element typically associated with men) covered in fabric (an element typically associated with women) contains within the duality between male and female, attack and defense, strength and vulnerability, violence and submission. This way the artist evokes the violence that women have to deal with every day. By using materials that are apparently discordant – hard materials like the metal of the chain to which the boxing glove is attached, and soft ones like the fabrics –, Buckman further emphasizes the reference to gender-related violence and indicates not only to the possibility of women being both “soft” and “hard,” but also their need to be so.

Zoë Buckman (Hackney, East London, 1985) is a multi-disciplinary artist working in sculpture, installation, and photography, exploring themes of feminism, mortality, and equality. Notable solo shows have included Nomi at Pippy Houldsworth Gallery, London; No Bleach Thick Enough, at Pippy Houldsworth Gallery, London; Heavy Rag at Fort Gansevoort Gallery, New York; Let Her Rave at Gavlak Gallery, Los Angeles; and Imprison Her Soft Hand at Project for Empty Space, Newark. Buckman studied at the International Center of Photography (ICP), was awarded an Art Matters Grant, The Art Change Maker Award at The New Jersey Visual Arts Center, and The Art and Social Impact Award at Baxter St NYC, and completed a residency at Mana Contemporary. Buckman lives and works in Brooklyn, New York.