Cheri Gaulke

Peep Totter Fly is a new interactive video installation and performance by Cheri Gaulke that revisits the artist’s 1970-80s critique of high heels. The installation will present gallery visitors with a wall of red high heels, see available for wearing while viewing the rest of the exhibition. With sizes large enough for most men and women, this will give viewers an actual experiential challenge to their ideas about high heels. Centered on the wall is an evocative video that depicts high heels traversing natural environments, relating the objects present in the room to live and recorded performance. At the exhibition opening, a group of performers will activate the installation with a performance that ventures into the streets of Hollywood and back again.


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Cheri Gaulke. Broken Shoes, 1978, DTLA, part of Public Spirit performance series.
Gaulke dancing with skeleton puppet with bound feet courtesy of Cheri Gaulke, photographer Sheila Ruth.
Peep, Totter, Fly: Photos from performance at LACE 27 September 2011.

In 1975, Cheri Gaulke moved to Los Angeles to be involved with the Feminist Studio Workshop at the Woman’s Building. There she embraced the notion that feminist art could raise consciousness, invite dialogue, and transform culture. She worked primarily in performance art from 1974 to 1992, addressing themes such as religion, sexual identity, and the environment. Though Gaulke has moved away from performance, the feminist art strategies that she helped to innovate in the 1970s in Southern California continue in her work. Her art continues to be a vehicle for social commentary and a way to tell the stories of individuals and groups under-represented in society. She works in a variety of media, but mostly video, installation, artist’s books, and public art. Gaulke has an MA degree in Feminist Art/Education from Goddard College. She has presented her work at the Museum of Modern Art (NY), the Museum of Contemporary Art (LA), in a Smithsonian-touring exhibition, and in settings all over the world including buses, churches, and prehistoric temples.