CWA Picks for November 2019

CAA’s Committee on Women in the Arts selects the best in feminist art and scholarship to share with CAA members on a monthly basis. See the picks for November below.

Alice Miceli: Projeto Chernobyl

Americas Society/Council of the Americas, New York, New York
October 9, 2019 – January 25, 2020

Alice Miceli (born in Rio de Janeiro in Brazil) works with time-based tools, such as video or still camera, which she uses to produce works focused on time manipulated through mathematical formulas in order to represent its complex relationship with history and the body. Projeto Chernobyl (2006-2010), included in the 29th Bienal de São Paulo in 2010, includes a series of radiographs documenting the effects of Chernobyl’s nuclear disaster following the Soviet nuclear plant explosion of April 26th, 1986. Apart from formal experimentation core to her artistic methodology, Miceli uses investigative travel and archival research to explore trauma inflicted on social, cultural, and natural landscapes. For the purpose of this project she developed a specific photographic processes that capture contamination caused by gamma radiation, invisible to the naked eye and to traditional methods of photography. Her radiographic technique makes the destructive radioactive contamination visible raising issues around the occupation of land but also the act of looking itself—how to look and by what means. Miceli’s work questions ways in which our bodies are affected in a biopolitical manner, and how they are militarized and economized in contemporary society.

Home Is Where the Heart Is

5th edition of Contemporary Art Program 2019 at Culture palace Ziemeļblāzma, Riga, Latvia
October 20 – December 12, 2019

Curated by Jana Kukaine, a feminist scholar from Riga, Latvia, the title of the exhibition references both a Latvian traditional folk song, executed during national celebrations of Mother’s Day in Latvia and Elvis Presley’s song Home Is Where the Heart Is. These cultural references present the home as a place of comfort and belonging. Yet, the utopian vision of home is disturbed by the still existing gender imbalance concerning responsibilities in the making of a home. It is usually the woman, often labeled a domestic goddess, who looks after the home. Six Latvian women artists, Anda Magone, Elīna Brasliņa, Eva Vēvere, Katrīna Gaile, Mētra Saberova, and Rasa Jansone, in their works presented in the exhibition (one of the events of the centenary program of the Latvian State) challenge the widespread gendered ideology of domesticity while raising issues concerning unpaid labor, social reproduction, and affective care. Home is associated with a number of rituals, objects, values, practices, duties, and responsibilities, inscribed into the division of the public and the private and the oppressive mapping onto gender roles. Social reproduction and sexual normativity is contextualized by the artists within neoliberal and late-capitalist frameworks to question and call for a shared responsibility in creating a home.

Works by Maya Lin, Jenny Holzer, and Ann Hamilton, on view at the Wexner Center for the Arts through December 29th.

HERE: Ann Hamilton, Jenny Holzer, Maya Lin

Wexner Center for the Arts, Columbus, Ohio
September 21 – December 29, 2019

Three Ohio-born visual artists exhibit together for the first time in HERE: Ann Hamilton, Jenny Holzer and Maya Lin at the Wexner Center for the Arts. The artists’ disparate styles and perspectives shown together create new connections and conversations between art, space, methodology, and the questions each of them pose through their work. Hamilton presents when an object reaches for your hand, using outmoded scanners creating ethereal images from Columbus campus special collections juxtaposed with her personal objects. The images are presented in book form stacks and visitors are welcome to take a print; two of the images are also large-scale murals in Columbus; both projects encouraging accessibility for university archives. Holzer presents a new installation of her renowned commonly-held slogan posters, Truisms (1977-79) and Inflammatory Essays (1979-82), statements influenced by diverse manifestos. Holzer’s vocabulary is screened throughout the city to further the impact of her work outside the gallery, too. Lin’s site specific installations were created with thousands of steel pins and glass beads resembling Ohio waterways, considering how rivers have both shaped and been shaped by humans, and questioning the impact of fracking and global warming. Lin’s permanent work, Groundswell (1992-93) greets visitors as they enter the Center, inspired by Native American mound landscapes from her youth. The accompanying gallery guide includes essays from writers, curators, and educators with Ohio connections, further contextualizing the far-reaching exhibit.

MARIA MAGDALENA CAMPOS-PONS: SEA AND SELF

Mary H. Dana Women Artists Series Galleries, Douglass Library, New Brunswick, New Jersey
September 3 – December 13, 2019

Curated by art historian and curator Tatiana Flores, Sea and Self presents artworks produced by Maria Magdalena Campos-Pons (b. 1959, Matanzas, Cuba) from the late 1960s to present, ruminating on the sea. Campos-Pons draws on the rich Caribbean tradition of sea image while exploring self and the female body. Depictions in works such as She Always Knew of the Space In-Between (2019), include silhouette drawings of African sculptures, referencing female gender; and Nesting IV (2000), four large-scale Polaroids depicting the artist as split by the sea, connect through her uniting hair. Intersecting environmental humanities, personal history, and gender in beautiful, multi-colored and mixed media, Campos-Pons’ work exudes a unique and relatable perspective, provoking new inquiries around feminism and art.

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