Born Quinter, KS, 1979. Lives and works in Seattle, WA.
My work is about drawing. Making marks with the body. It’s about the process and physicality involved in embroidering marks to make a whole statement. It is about engraving words into walls. It’s about exhaustion, muteness, mutability. Wanting to howl but kind of gagging on it too.
My texts come mostly from 19th and 20th sources: internet memes, suicide notes, femmes fatales like Frances Farmer, studies on hysterics, found phrases—from sad girls, poets, and underdogs—which underscore the poetics of the ineffable and unheard.
I am a self-taught artist and the daughter of a Charismatic Christian minister who grew up in rural Kansas and Texas before moving to Seattle in my early 20's. I wanted to be a missionary as a kid and lost my faith as an adult. I see my work as a task of both consciously and subliminally sorting out the experience of a female trying to make expressive marks—a task that has found uncanny resonance for me with the history of female hysteria. I am fascinated by history, art, the politics surrounding the female body, and by art that borders on obsessive, meditative devotion. I sometimes have a dirty sense of humor.
ABOUT THE TEXT
I glean texts and words from many sources: regurgitating the aphorisms of internet memes, Japanese death poems, the echolalia of childish babble and dada poetry, or the indecipherable vocalizations of speaking in tongues. I believe the 19th century hysteric’s mute cry is traceable in contemporary feminist culture, where strategies of self-objectification and the cultivation of hypersexual personae are a means of reclaiming agency. In recent years this has lead me down a path of particular fascination with the life of Frances Farmer, a Seattle icon largely forgotten, save for a brief appearance in Nirvana’s discography. I continue to work with words from her autobiography (such as in the piece “God Just Died of Old Age”), to try to tease out many of the truths underlying her trauma.
ABOUT THE WALLPAPER
My practice is largely intuitive and physically demanding. In drawings up to 30 feet long, text melts into a vibrating, hallucinatory design sourced from a 1885 French wallpaper sample, which harkens to Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s “The Yellow Wallpaper.” In creating them I invoke a similar physicality to the story's protagonist, often on my hands and knees for hours and weeks at a time, using a 0.5 mm mechanical pencil to make marks. Drawings are smudged, worn and covered with fingerprints. Many drawings comprise a palimpsest of sketches where masked figures, erased words, or traces of knotted and tangled fabric bleed through.
Manitach's work has been exhibited at venues including Tacoma Art Museum, Frye Art Museum, Bellevue Arts Museum, Winston Wächter Gallery, Bryan Ohno Gallery, Roq la Rue, Lawrimore Project and Planthouse Gallery. She is represented by Winston Wächter 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. Her work is included in the permanent collection of Tacoma Art Museum.