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Alex Mari: Our heads stuffed with lies, Her Belly Full of Ice 

Location: (map) KODA House, Building #404B, Colonels Row, Governors Island, New York
On view: September 30-October 28, 2023
Opening Hours: Fridays-Sundays at 11am-5pm

Opening on Saturday, September 30, 2023 at 1-5pm

Closing Reception: Saturday, October 28, 2023


Alex Mari, Her Belly Full of Ice, 2017. Performance stills, 6 hour duration.


Our heads stuffed with lies, Her Belly Full of Ice is Alex Mari’s first survey exhibition spanning the past decade highlighting conceptual performances documented solely for photo, video, text or sound (non-live). A trickster, her brown body in a sequined gold prom dress pulled up to her hips, her genitalia partially covered by a hemp loin cloth, hands and face painted white, and a belly full of ice ... disorients us by disorienting herself.


The title piece Her Belly Full of Ice is appropriated from George Orwell’s novel 1984. The full quote reads: “He had imagined her a fool like all the rest of them, her head stuffed with lies and hatred, her belly full of ice.” Unlike the protagonist’s fear of rejection from women; here, the artist plays with the reality of that rejection, a belly full of ice—an exhaustive embrace of freedom from (not of) sex and desire. Using decolonized sensoria–a literal bag of ice to numb her womb and infused with Deleuze and Guattari concepts, the trickster becomes a body without organs. With an abdomen made hollow, she is given permission to deterritorialize and reterritorialize her own body, her own modality for sex, desire or reproduction and ultimately her own creation. 

Mari’s pieces in this exhibition focus on re-ownership of self outside of societal expectations. The work emphasizes the language of the body in conversation with a dangerous societal standard. They reclaim constructs such as race, gender, sexuality, orientation, and status. Each piece introduces a narrative that is irrevocably humxn—instituting decolonized desire, habit, memory, grief, history; a reimagined identity to the viewer.

Artist Bio


Alex Mari (they/she) is a conceptual and durational performance artist from Atlanta. They received their MFA from SCAD-Atlanta in 2013 and have shown work across Atlanta including MINT Gallery, whitespace, Echo Contemporary, ACA Sculpture Gallery, and Mason Murer Fine Art, among others. They have performed in the Brooklyn International Performance Art Festival and in Yellow Fish Durational Performance Art Festival. They have also performed and shown work nationally and internationally in Seattle, NYC, Berlin, London, Monrovia, Fez, Puri, and most notably at the Shangyuan Art Museum in Beijing. They’ve received awards from the Foundation of Contemporary Arts, Burnaway’s Southern BIPOC Artist Grant, and National Endowment for the Arts Distinguished Fellowship. They recently finished a Fellowship with Emory University’s Arts and Social Justice Fellows Program in 2022. Mari continues her conceptual practice as a 2023-2025 Artist-in-Studio resident with The Creative’s Project in Atlanta.⁠



Instagram: @__marimari_

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