July 11 2012 12:00 AM

Katina Bitsicas' artwork combines ballet, commentary — and meat


In her video “La Petite Eat,” artist Katina Bitsicas symbolically compares a ballet dancer to a piece of raw meat by contrasting an images of beauty with grotesque qualities.

“It’s a reaction to how I used to be a ballet dancer and how I would feel onstage when everyone is looking at you,” said Bitsicas, an East Lansing native. She uses photography, video art and performance to provide social commentary on constricting and over-sexualized societal views of the female body.

Bitsicas’ work is featured in “Look At Me: A Close Look at Contemporary Women,” an exhibition focusing on women’s body images and the pressures society places on them, opening Friday at East Lansing´s (SCENE) Metrospace. 

Bitsicas says that by sharing personal experiences when dealing with the female body, she hopes to relate to other womenthat may be struggling with the same issues. “By creating a scenario in which the viewer is forced to look at these successions of my past, they then question how to learn from their own past memories,” Bitsicas said in a statement on her website. By spreading light on issues that often go unspoken, she said she hopes to spark conversation and inspire women to be stronger.  

Bitsicas received her bachelor of arts from Kalamazoo College and a post-baccalaureate certificate from Studio Art Centers International in Florence, Italy. She also filmed footage for the Oscar-nominated documentary “Battle for Brooklyn.” She will attend the University of South Florida for her master of fine arts in the fall. 

Bitsicas’ work casts an eerie shadow over all things present. Figurative imagery in videos such as “Exposed” and “The Last Cycle” involves ghost-like sheets, dimly lit plastic bags hovering over a numb body and entirely self-composed music. 

Other art featured in “Look at Me” includes paintings, mixed media, drawings and prints from Kimberly Lavon, Tanya Bakija and Britta Urness. Bitsicas says she is elated to be featured in a show that is curated by women.

“Even though we are in the 21st century, I don’t think women are as highly regarded in the art world as men are,” she said.

‘Look at Me’

July 13-Aug. 26

(SCENE) Metrospace, 110 Charles St., East Lansing

Featuring the work of Tanya Bakija, Katina Bitsicas, Kimberly Lavon and Britta Urness 

Reception 6 to 9 p.m. Friday, July 13

Gallery hours are 2-5 p.m. Thursday; 2-6 p.m. Friday and Saturday; noon-4 p.m. Sunday; and by appointment.

(517) 319-6832