Amanda Manitach // CV
Lives and works in Seattle.
Amanda Manitach's work has been exhibited at venues including Tacoma Art Museum, Frye Art Museum, Bellevue Arts Museum, Lawrimore Project and Planthouse Gallery. She is represented by Roq la Rue Gallery in Seattle. From 2012-2015 she served as curator of Hedreen Gallery at Seattle University. She co-founded and co-directed multiple mixed-use arts spaces in Seattle's Capitol Hill neighborhood, including TMRW Party (2014) and The Factory (2015-16). She holds a BA in Literature (2001) from Oral Roberts University, Tulsa, OK.
ABOUT THE WORK
Amanda Manitach is a self-taught artist and the daughter of a Charismatic Christian minister. Obsession, devotion, ecstatic states, manias and female-identifying sexuality (its proscriptions and expressions) are of particular interest in her work.
In her large-scale wallpaper drawings, text melts into vibrating, hallucinatory design sourced from a 1885 French wallpaper sample. The pieces harken to Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s “The Yellow Wallpaper.” In creating them, Manitach invokes a similar physicality to the story's protagonist, generating drawings up to 30 feet long rendered tediously with a 0.5 mm mechanical pencil. The pieces are the product of frottage: smudged, worn and covered with fingerprints where the artist’s body has been—a process both grueling yet intensely pleasurable.
These pieces offer one response to an intersection of western medicine, pathology, spirituality, and female sexuality spanning 140 years, beginning in 1878 with the documentation of the Salpetriere’s iconic star patient Augustine to the present stereotypification of the Xanax-infused housewife. The 19th century hysteric’s howl is traceable in contemporary feminist culture, where strategies of self-objectification and the cultivation of hypersexual personas are a means of reclaiming agency. In attempting to corral a fluid voice that captures an overall chorus of complaint and coping mechanisms, the text in Manitach’s work is appropriated from numerous sources: Internet memes, slapdash aphorisms, suicide notes, overheard quotes from friends—some even occasionally from her own head.
"The unseen history of Amanda Manitach's ecstatic drawings and videos is her actual experience crawling, crying out, and rolling around on the floors of the neocharismatic churches of her Texas childhood while her father preached. Tongues were spoken. Humans barked, roared, and hissed. There was hysteria, and it was called good—as opposed to the symptoms of the 19th-century "women's condition" that Manitach later came to love and also to imbue into her art. Using just pencil on paper, she summons writhing visions of wadded-up fabric that appear to have been exorcised of some wild force. Or florid, syphilitic labia. Her videos might picture her mashing her foot into a stiletto that already contains a pool of bruise-blue paint and a piece of soaked bread. Or masturbating. (You see the ceiling she saw, then an electric shade of green that flashed on the screen when she dropped the iPhone to the ground.)"
-Jen Graves, The Stranger ("Visual Art Shortlist," 2012)