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After Our Bodies Meet: From Resistance to Potentiality

 

Exhibition dates: June 5 – July 27, 2014
Opening Reception: June 5, 2014 6-8 pm <— See you there! 

[New York, NY – April 2014] After Our Bodies Meet: From Resistance to Potentiality opens at the Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art on June 5 and runs through July 27, 2014. Presented as part of the 12th annual All Out Arts Fresh Fruit Festival, the exhibition explores queer feminist artists’ responses to dominant notions about the body from the 1970s to present day. Reflecting the ever-growing diversity of feminist art, this exhibition provides a cross-cultural examination of how artists represent the body to challenge past and present forms of oppression and to envision a queer future.

After Our Bodies Meet: From Resistance to Potentiality, curated by Alexis Heller, traces the efforts of contemporary queer artists within the legacy of early feminist art. Bridging these historic and contemporary endeavors not only honors the pioneers of gender-conscious art but also highlights the evolution of feminist thought within artistic representations of queer bodies, including some that question the gender binary on which feminism was first conceived.

The works of Tee Corinne and Cathy Cade sought to document and empower the burgeoning lesbian feminist community, emphasizing the female body’s capacity for love, agency and pleasure outside of the heterosexual imagination. Today, South African artist and “visual activist” Zanele Muholi recognizes this same need to preserve marginalized histories, bringing attention to underrepresented populations of black lesbian and transgender individuals, as well as the targeted violence that threatens their existence. For her ongoing series Faces and Phases, Muholi’s black-and-white photographic portraits archive the diversity and resilience of her black queer community in South Africa and abroad, while for siyaluma (2006-2011), Muholi generates a series of kaleidoscopic digital collages of menstrual blood stains to memorialize the rape and murder of black lesbians in South Africa.

Heather Cassils’ dynamic performance, Becoming An Image(2012), also evokes the brutalization of queer bodies as the artist’s mixed martial arts blows are imprinted onto a 1,500-pound block of clay. Staged in complete darkness, Cassils’ strenuous movements are only made visible by flash photography, capturing fleeting moments of the action, which, like the artist’s experience as a transgender man, is in a continuous process of change and becoming. 

Sophia Wallace’s ongoing mixed media project CLITERACY, exposes the irony of society’s obsession with and ignorance of female sexuality. CLITERACY, 100 Natural Laws (2012) includes a monumental wall of texts which challenge phallocentric biases in science, law, philosophy, politics and the art world. Wallace’s focus on the clitoris and female pleasure serves to question and counteract the history of misinformation regarding women’s bodies and the concomitant oppression therein.

Inspired by Indian comic books, Hindu mythology and American science fiction Chitra Ganesh’s digital collages also draw from disparate materials and cultural sources to offer alternate narratives of female sexuality and power. Ganesh’s surrealistic and hybridized female forms collide beauty and abjection, commemorating marginalized and excluded figures from art, history and literature. In Ganesh’s work, the body serves as a site of transgression and revision, tearing apart stereotypes and histories only to reassemble them into a radical vision of corporeality, citizenship and desire. 

This exhibition demonstrates how feminist artists have repositioned the political potential of activism into art, allowing critiques of the past to provide space for imagining new queer possibilities. Featuring work from Laura Aguilar, Cathy Cade, Heather Cassils, Tee A. Corinne, Isilumo Chitra Ganesh, Allyson Mitchell, Zanele Muholi, Catherine Opie, Sophia Wallace, and Chris E. Vargas, these artists subvert the mythologies and ideals surrounding lesbian and transgender bodies and foreground queer bodies obscured by invisibility. There will be an Opening Reception on June 5th from 6 to 8 pm, as well as various events throughout the exhibition that explore these important issues and themes. Visit freshfruitfestival.com for a full schedule of events for All Out Arts Fresh Fruit Festival which will be held from July 7 to 20, 2014.

Download the press release: 
http://www.leslielohman.org/exhibitions/2014/bodies/bodies.pdf

Posted on Tuesday, May 27th 2014

#scanlaning

BOOST: In response to Joe Scanlan’s creation of Donelle Woolford” a fictional black female persona who now represents his body of work and (tellingly makes dick joke art), Eunsong Kim and Maya Isabella Mackrandilal have coined the hashtag #scanlaning and launched an accompanying Tumblr (http://scanlaning.tumblr.com).

They invite women of color and their allies to produce original “Joe Scanlans” (a.k.a. whiteboy art) to post online. Call out art-world racism w: #scanlaning http://t.co/iP5eW3Y9I0 Produce original “Joe Scanlans” and boost in your networks.

BACKGROUND 

“Donelle Woolford” is a fictional black female persona that Joe Scanlan invented and who now represents his body of work. In Scanlan’s narrative biography, Woolford was his assistant who made work from the scraps in his studio. Scanlan hires various black actresses to perform as Woolford in productions that he directs, as well as for artist talks at educational institutions across the country.

Scanlan has two paintings in the Whitney Biennial—Joke Painting (detumescence), 2013, and Detumescence, 2013—presented under Donelle Woolford’s name (she is listed in the catalogue as if she were a real person, with no mention of Scanlan). These dick joke paintings, the latest in “her” practice, are based on works by Richard Prince.” Scanlan has used his fictional black female character to appropriate from another white man. Bravo! White men continue to make art about their penises. Scanlan uses Donelle to camouflage his desire.

In Scanlan’s narrative, Donelle Woolford has the privileges of a white cis man without being one. She went on lavish vacations with her family. She went to a fancy school. For her BFA she went to an even fancier Ivy where she met all the right people. She’s had a slew of wonderful shows with powerful people. In Scanlan’s narrative she didn’t sit through critiques where her art was labeled as “not universal” because it contained her body. She didn’t deal with the sidelong glances from her peers, convinced the only reason she was even there was because she was a “minority.” She didn’t live the life of a thousand little cuts, the infiltrator’s life. She doesn’t know what it’s like because she is a figment of a white man’s imagination.

Full article: http://thenewinquiry.com/essays/the-whitney-biennial-for-angry-women/ via @clepsydras @femme_couteau scanlaning​ 

Posted on Sunday, May 18th 2014

"The curatorial statement at the entrance to the fourth floor reads:
 Donelle Woolford [Joe Scanlan] radically calls into question the very identity of the artist …
Translation: “Joe Scanlan is a white male professor from Yale who created a black female persona to promote his work, because he thinks that black bodies give their owners an unfair advantage on the art market. We are more comfortable with white fantasies of the other than examining lived experience. We don’t give a fuck about the history of blackface, carnival representations of the other, or violent displays of captured indigenous peoples as museum objects. We believe in our hearts that we are beyond this.
Translation: “What if we stopped searching for the implications of the white imagination and instead celebrated its racist and colonialist fantasies?” &#8230; “Donelle Woolford” is a fictional black female persona that Joe Scanlan invented and who now represents his body of work. In Scanlan’s narrative biography, Woolford was his assistant who made work from the scraps in his studio. Scanlan hires various black actresses to perform as Woolford in productions that he directs, as well as for artist talks at educational institutions across the country.

Scanlan has two paintings in the Whitney Biennial—Joke Painting (detumescence), 2013, and Detumescence, 2013—presented under Donelle Woolford’s name (she is listed in the catalogue as if she were a real person, with no mention of Scanlan). These dick joke paintings, the latest in “her” practice, are based on works by Richard Prince.” Scanlan has used his fictional black female character to appropriate from another white man. Bravo! White men continue to make art about their penises. Scanlan uses Donelle to camouflage his desire. &#8221;  Excerpted from  http://thenewinquiry.com/essays/the-whitney-biennial-for-angry-women/ #scanlaning #DominantCulturePersecutionComplex
#whibi #whibi2014 #dickjoke #dickjokes #whitesupremacy

"The curatorial statement at the entrance to the fourth floor reads:
Donelle Woolford [Joe Scanlan] radically calls into question the very identity of the artist …
Translation: “Joe Scanlan is a white male professor from Yale who created a black female persona to promote his work, because he thinks that black bodies give their owners an unfair advantage on the art market. We are more comfortable with white fantasies of the other than examining lived experience. We don’t give a fuck about the history of blackface, carnival representations of the other, or violent displays of captured indigenous peoples as museum objects. We believe in our hearts that we are beyond this.
Translation: “What if we stopped searching for the implications of the white imagination and instead celebrated its racist and colonialist fantasies?” … “Donelle Woolford” is a fictional black female persona that Joe Scanlan invented and who now represents his body of work. In Scanlan’s narrative biography, Woolford was his assistant who made work from the scraps in his studio. Scanlan hires various black actresses to perform as Woolford in productions that he directs, as well as for artist talks at educational institutions across the country.

Scanlan has two paintings in the Whitney Biennial—Joke Painting (detumescence), 2013, and Detumescence, 2013—presented under Donelle Woolford’s name (she is listed in the catalogue as if she were a real person, with no mention of Scanlan). These dick joke paintings, the latest in “her” practice, are based on works by Richard Prince.” Scanlan has used his fictional black female character to appropriate from another white man. Bravo! White men continue to make art about their penises. Scanlan uses Donelle to camouflage his desire. ” Excerpted from http://thenewinquiry.com/essays/the-whitney-biennial-for-angry-women/ #scanlaning #DominantCulturePersecutionComplex
#whibi #whibi2014 #dickjoke #dickjokes #whitesupremacy

Posted on Sunday, May 18th 2014