Feminist Art in the Trump Era
juried by Lucy R. Lippard
September 11 - November 3, 2020
Feminist Art in the Trump Era is an exhibition of works by 27 New Mexico based artists that explore various feminist realities and rants. Works chosen for this exhibition from an open call to New Mexico based artists resonate with the hopefully soon- to-be-extinct Trump era. The exhibition takes place on the occasion of the 100 year anniversary of the 19th Amendment to the US Constitution and the 10 year anniversary of the founding of the Axle Contemporary mobile artspace.
The original artworks are for sale. Sizes and prices are listed in the image captions. To purchase or for more information, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 505-670-5854 or 505-670-7612
The Furies: Kristin Barendsen, Patti Levey, Lauren Ayer
To purchase works from this exhibition, contact us at email@example.com or phone 505-670-5854
About the juror
Celebrated for her deeply influential and interwoven work—as author, activist, and curator—Lucy R. Lippard is recognized as one of contemporary art’s most significant critics and as a founder of Conceptual art. Born in New York in 1937, Lippard began her career as a writer in 1962 and subsequently produced numerous groundbreaking exhibitions and 25 books .She was a cofounder of the Ad Hoc Women Artists Committee, Printed Matter, Political Art Documentation/Distribution (PADD), the Heresies Collective and journal, and Artists Call Against US Intervention in Central America. She has received nine honorary degrees and many awards including a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Lannan Literary award, and a lifetime achievement award from the College Art Association.
Panel Discussion: Women Curate Women
at 516 ARTS
Friday, October 9, 2020 6pm – 8pm
Online via Zoom (possibly in person at 516 ARTS pending pandemic status at that time) Free, pre-registration required: https://www.516arts.org/programs/events/panel-discussion-women-curate-women
516 ARTS presents Women Curate Women, a panel discussion between four New Mexico women curators in conjunction with the exhibition Feminisms (September 26, 2020–January 2, 2021). Within the span of one year, New Mexico is home to four woman-centered art exhibitions across the state: Feminisms, 516 ARTS, Albuquerque (guest curated by Andrea R. Hanley, curator at the Wheelwright Museum of the American Indian); Indelible Ink: Native Women, Printmaking, Collaboration, UNM Art Museum, Albuquerque (curated by Mary Statzer); Labor: Motherhood in Art in 2020, NMSU Art Museum, Las Cruces (curated by Marisa Sage); and Feminist Art in the Age of Trump, Axle Contemporary, Santa Fe (curated by noted art writer and activist Lucy Lippard).
On October 9 (to take place in person if possible, but planned to be online for now), these four curators will be joined by moderator Lauren Tresp, publisher and editor, Southwest Contemporary, Santa Fe, in a discussion around curating femme and femme-identifying artwork. The discussion will span multiple themes around and between these curators’ recent exhibitions exploring feminist themes including: the value of gender-based art exhibitions, the cultural and economic circumstances negotiated by female artists and curators, how feminist exhibitions serve as platforms that ground conversations about equality, misogyny, and art world bias, and how art can serve as a departure point for the cause of social justice.
Feminist Art Coalition
Feminist Art in the Trump Era is one of a large group of projects being promoted by the Feminist Art Coalition, a national effort seeking to inspire a broad variety of exhibitions and programs across the country to centralize feminist perspectives and concerns in the cultural consciousness leading into and the year following the 2020 election. This endeavor takes feminist thought and practice as its point of departure and considers art as a catalyst for civic engagement. Learn more about the wide array of projects, exhibitions and institutions participating here: https://feministartcoalition.org
Feminist Art in the Trump Era
After a trip to Kenya to work to STOP Female Genital Mutilation, funded by the Pond Foundation and Mothering Magazine in 2005 and 2007, I came back with a totally new view of the patriarchal mind. Agnes Parieyo, a Maasai leader, eradicated the practice after 35 years of work in Kenya. Eve Ensler adopted her program of EDUCATION FIRST. The reinforcers of the patriarchal-privilege are women who have ambition to serve and receive tribal respect through institutionalizing women. Women in Africa are the castrators and mutilators of the other women. Aunts, mothers and grandmothers mutilate their nieces, daughters and grandchildren. By researching and taking raw material from the Internet to illustrate how American Female Mutilation is supported by women, like in Africa, where women mutilate each other for male acceptance, I created this shadowbox book. Americans practice "life-style" surgeries, hormonal treatments, silicone implants in breasts and buttocks, bulimia, genital reconstruction of the hymen for male re-pleasure, botox, genital puncturing and infibulation and other products and body changes that sacrifice women for a “look” or a “submission” to the patriarchal expectations of what a woman really is expected to be.GURLS is an interactive, shadowbox journey through not only African genital cutting and infibulation, but focuses on the aberrance of women who comply, who live by Playboy expectations. Farrah Fawcett, Monica Lowensky and other dynamic images of female posing, little girl beauty pageants, and cutting that support the concept of American mutilation as an anti-feminist act. Beauty is found in human character not in measurements or additional inches here and there. Gender is fluid. Patriarchal expectations erode when they are recognized for what they really are—control.
In my work I want to represent the moments of peace and love found in being surrounded by nature, allowing for a break and for the mind to rest.
The work Protest Patch submitted for exhibition in Feminist Art in the Trump Era at Axle Contemporary Gallery was originally designed to be pinned or sewn on the back of a jacket for the Women’s March of 2016, the day after Trump’s inauguration. The design was created on the spur of the moment before the march (as I could not bring myself to wear a pink pussy hat). My intention in creating the design was to use an image of a badass female figure from history, this I found in the silhouette of Petra Herrera. Additionally, I was looking for words to accompany the image which would match in sentiment the feeling of determination and empowerment. The text I chose to accompany Herrera’s image, having no known original author, has been recognized as being used in protests over the decades both in English and Spanish. One hundred or so patches were printed on recycled t-shirt fabric and distributed to people attending the Boston and Washington D.C. Women’s March. Since which time, the interest in the patch has remained and many more batches have been printed over the past few years. The artist’s share from the sale of this extra-special hand-stitched and appliqúed patch will be donated to Santa Fe Dreamers Project.
The Furies: Kristin Barendsen, Patti Levey, Lauren Ayer
On Election Night 2016, friends gathered to watch the returns and beat our Trump piñata in victory. In- stead, we ended up smashing it in bewilderment and rage. Seeing its remains, we felt we were look- ing at the future of women’s bodies, brown bodies, and queer bodies—as well as the body of Mother Earth—under the Trump administration. As women, our bodies have been a battleground for sexual assault and self-hate. Two of us are queer; one is Jewish. All three of us feel more vulnerable under this aggressive and violent adminis- tration, and we feel a strong imperative to fight back and use the power of our voices. Our collective was galvanized. We became The Furies. A trio of Greek goddesses of the underworld, the Furies were born from the blood of the castrated Uranus. They swore eternal vengeance against lying men. We made a series of raw, unaltered images that evoke a crime scene, a lynching, a beauty pageant, a rape. We photographed each of us in re-enactments of the piñata smashing, in scenes representing Election Night and the aftermath. Together we are fighting, resisting, not yet winning. Infuriated is the body of work that sprang from this spontaneous, organic process.
Women’s bodies have been—and will be now more than ever—an arena where white male politicians play out their power games. Our pussy-grabbing president is proud to objectify women. By photo- graphing ourselves nude, we take control of that objectification and regain agency over our bodies.
We see our work as a kind of self-portrait of the way many women feel at this historic moment: threat- ened, furious, and rising. Today, Trump has proven to be even more dangerous than our worst nightmare, as his administration cages migrant children, enables big polluters, stacks the courts with right-wing judges, and botches the response to the COVID-19 pandemic in ways that are costing human lives. This summer marks the hundredth anniversary of women’s suffrage. In November, Goddess willing, we will have another election. We will rise as women and feminists to defeat the pussy-grabber-in- chief. This time, we will smash our piñata in victory.
On January 21st 2017, millions of people rallied world wide in response and protest to the Trump inauguration,
and his flagrant disregard to human rights and voices of women.
It was the largest single day rally in the history of the United States.
My sister sent me a selfie where she is wearing the crochet pink hat that she made and wore to a rally in Florida that day.
By and large, the pussy hats were ugly. The original pattern was simple, made so that anyone could make one.
But my sister, the creative that she is, made a pretty pussy hat. This is how she is.
I painted the painting to remember the day when the population stood up against Trump.
I had no idea at the time that the image would be so valuable a marker for a time when things would shift,
at Trump's hands, to the painful place we find ourselves in today.
In the fall of 2018, I sat at a small kitchen table overlooking Spring Street in the lower east side of Manhattan making collages as I listened to the Senate hearings on the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court. Kavanaugh had been nominated by Donald Trump, a president whose most notable quote to date is “I just grab ‘em by the pussy.” The testimony of Christine Blasé Ford was emotionally wrenching. It brought back memories of the Clarence Thomas hearing and the testimony of Anita Hill. It wasn’t simply a deja vu experience. It felt more like a PTSD flashback. The final Kavanaugh vote of 51 to 49 seemed to invite a comparison to the 52 to 48 vote confirming Clarence Thomas in 1991 as a statistical attestation to the progress of equality and a sober reminder of the imperviousness of institutionalized sexism and racism. The victory appeared on TV as a flashing neon spector—a bellicose, crowing reassertion of the mythology of patriarchy and white supremacy as part of an impenetrable natural order. A grotesque monument yet to be dismantled.
*Some people have asked about the missing “f” in “The Offence”. It parted to form another word that was censored.
White male dominance in government during the Trump Era has taken us to a new level of catastrophic proportions. Although there are so many injustices in this world, and even in this Global Pandemic, we must not lay down our swords in the fight for “Women’s Health and Reproductive Freedom”.
Last year I created a site specific art installation titled “Choice” for the “Ripple Effect” Project Space at the Santa Fe Community College. At the opening we had a program featuring the President of Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains, emphasizing the vital healthcare that Planned Parenthood provides for multitudes of women, especially those with limited resources, here in New Mexico and throughout the USA. In the statement last year, I wrote “It is with profound sadness that I have to revisit work which I did decades ago. But revisit I must! The subject of “Choice” is a very personal concern as I have experienced what happened to my friends who were blocked from legally choosing their own destiny before Roe v. Wade was passed by a Supreme Court decision.” The “intimate details” in my artwork exhibited here, were directly cast from volunteers, some who had been abused and raped. After counseling these women, as part of my work with the Santa Fe Rape Crisis and Trauma Treatment Center, these volunteers bravely took the leap in sharing their “uniqueness” as a show of Pride and Strength… in opposition to Shame and Vulnerability. Each woman left my studio walking a bit taller and with a smile.
Info on Rica and her artwork is on her website here: https://ricamaestas.com
American Nightmare is Chapter 5 from the personal magazine I made in 2016/2017 entitled Something Spilled: my 22-year-old self on paper. The drawings
you will see on some of the pages I drew through eyes blurred by tears and with shaking hands as I lay in my bed in the wee hours of the morning in Florence Italy watching the fate of our country and the election results pour in in 2016. My work in that year and the whole magazine was centered around ideas of security and (in)security, form, and (uni)form. This magazine book became my personal outlet.
Singing Woman of the Northern Seas
In a changing world of melting snows
and shearing glacier cliffs,
of violent loss,
she sings the story of
A million years of moving ice,
always ice, enduring somewhere.
These works are from a photography project titled “Original Face.” Taken over many years, this project addresses certain existential questions about the female body, ranging from using the artist’s own body and “selfie” format to photographs of her grandmother, who was dying from dementia at the time. Issues of audience, woman as Other instead of Subject, beg the question- what does it mean to have an original face? Simone de Beauvoir speaks of "the strange ambiguity of existence made body,” so this work hopes to address that ambiguity by taking a look at the relationship between the viewer and the viewed, between the face and the camera lens, the audience and the photograph. Each person who was photographed was also struggling with an invisible disability. Issues of the body and the self are compounded when that body is seen as a betrayal, through the lens of body dysphoria, or as antagonistic to the spirit. What is hidden v. what is shown is a theme that runs throughout the work. The title is from the Zen Koan- “Quickly quickly, without thinking good or evil, before your mother and father were born, what was your original face?” What does it mean to be who you were before you were born? What does it mean to have a female body? A disabled body? A body with a familial lineage, within a societal context? “Original Face” hopes to address these questions while remaining open-ended. It is a deeply personal exploration on the physicality of being.
My c*nt cap of Amazonian fish leather and wool felt is an audaciously elegant retort to the patriarchal bid for control over women’s bodies and sexuality. She who will not be restrained shows her protest with grace for a brutal blow to fragile masculinity. I appropriated the shape of a Garrison cap, a classic military hat used around the world to house the shape of a woman's private parts. By exposing her most intimate parts off to the world on her head, she is boldly declaring, "I am a woman and I will not be silenced".