Johanna Winters



The aging female experience is an unheard account, particularly between the years marked by the gradual expiration of a woman’s biological relevance. My current work is both a dispatch of the anxieties I share with women about the shame, vanity, restraint, disappointment, and pleasure of aging, and a confrontation of the social conditioning that perpetuates the repression of female sexuality, empowerment, and agency.

Through shadow puppetry, printmaking, and video, I bridge the genres of performance and visual art to confront the lack in popular understanding of female desire, and how it is enacted, inhibited, sustained, and diminished over a lifetime. Recently this has taken the form of a shadow-puppet performance that chronicles a trio of bards as they reluctantly surrender to a deteriorating condition. These middle women reveal their story through a muted language of hinging limbs and dousing light. In this work I refute misogynist historical and contemporary restraints imposed upon women, such as the expectation to bear children, to be a repository for male desire, to brandish physical appearance as social currency, to tolerate objectification, and to be ashamed of sexual desire.