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Kandis Williams, Esophagus Pin Up (detail), 2016, vinyl adhesive on mirrored Plexiglas, 48 × 86 1/2".

Kandis Williams

Night Gallery

Kandis Williams, Esophagus Pin Up (detail), 2016, vinyl adhesive on mirrored Plexiglas, 48 × 86 1/2".

In his signal 1982 study of the Parisian asylum Salpêtrière, where in the late nineteenth century a women’s clinic headed by neurologist Jean-Martin Charcot treated female patients thought to be suffering from hysteria, philosopher Georges Didi-Huberman argues that the photographic tableaux authorized by Charcot, in which hysterics enacted their particular ailments, were not just of interest as disturbing curios but in fact helped lay the groundwork for the then nascent field of psychoanalysis.

For her recent solo exhibition “Soft Colony” (its title a reference to a conversation between the artist and a white female writer who referred to herself in passing as a “soft colonizer,” and to Williams’s subsequent investigations into the ways in which women participate in their own subjugation), Kandis Williams showed a series of photomontages that directly compare Charcot’s images of

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