The Douglas F. Cooley Memorial Art Gallery, Reed College, is proud to present Cherie Dre: New York-based artist Sacha Yanow’s immersive new installation. The exhibition is part of a larger solo performance project about Cherie Dre, the showgirl alter ego of Yanow’s grandmother who suffered from bipolar disorder before modern diagnoses and treatment. Developing the performance at the Cooley, Yanow transforms the gallery into an environmental stage set: a psychological, social, and physical landscape. At times, visitors may encounter Yanow working and rehearsing in the space.

Yanow embodies her own imagining of Cherie Dre through covers of Yiddish pop songs by the Barry Sisters, dance routines, monologues, and conversations with her grandmother. The space is simultaneously her grandmother’s bedroom in the Bronx in the 1950s, Cherie Dre’s ballroom stage at the Concord resort hotel in the Catskills, and Yanow’s own research area.

As in Yanow’s previous work, Cherie Dre weaves together personal experience with broader queer and feminist social histories. Specifically, Cherie Dre excavates the artist’s relationship to gender and femininity, magical thinking, gambling, and performance, alongside the history of the Borscht Belt and Jewish entertainers in America.

Gallery hours:
Tuesday–Sunday, Noon–5:00 PM

Exhibition curator: Stephanie Snyder, John and Anne Hauberg Curator and Director, Douglas F. Cooley Memorial Art Gallery, Reed College.