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The Un-Heroic Act: Representations of Rape in Contemporary Women’s Art in the U.S.

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The Un-Heroic Act: Representations of Rape in Contemporary Women’s Art in the U.S.
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This concentrated survey of works devoted to rape, by a diverse roster of women artists representing three generations, including Jenny Holzer, Suzanne Lacy, Ana Mendieta, Senga Nengudi, Yoko Ono, Kara Walker, and many younger artists, aims to demonstrate that rape constitutes one of central themes in women’s art and will analyze its rich iconography in all mediums. Curated by Monika Fabijanska / Shiva Gallery, John Jay College of Criminal Justice, CUNY in New York City / September 4 - November 2, 2018

Details

Suzanne Lacy, Three Weeks in May, 1977, map, dims. variable, part of a documentation of a social practice project, which included collaboration with the LAPD, and over 30 performances and educational events organized throughout the city, Courtesy of the artist ► Natalie Frank, Little Red Cap I (Grimm's Fairy Tales), 2011-4, gouache and chalk pastel on Arches paper, Courtesy of the artist  ► Roya AmighThe Coerced Contact, 2016, installation: thread, paper, pieces of cloth, lace, 64 x 62 x 35 in., Courtesy of the artist 

 

NYFA CURRENT interview with curator Monika Fabijanska on the occasion of Women's History Month

 

MAKE A TAX-DEDUCTIBLE DONATION TO SUPPORT THIS BREAKTHROUGH EXHIBITION

Each sponsor above $250 will receive a copy of the exhibition catalog.*

$100
you will receive: website and social media heartfelt recognition as well as mention during artist’s talks you attend

$250        will cover the cost of one artist’s talk or participation in symposium
you will receive: exhibition tour with the curator, exhibition catalog;* recognition: name listed on the website

$500        will cover the cost of a class/performance by artists with JJC CUNY students or public audience
you will receive: exhibition tour with the curator, exhibition catalog;* recognition: name listed in the catalog

$1,000     will cover the cost of artist’s travel (a Native American artist from Alaska or an artist from California)

you will receive: exhibition tour with the curator, exhibition catalog;* recognition: name & logo listed in the catalog and on the website, name listed in email announcements

$2,000     will cover the cost of a public symposium panel

you will receive: exhibition catalog;* recognition: name listed on the wall, name & logo listed in the catalog and on the website, name listed in email announcements

$5,000     will cover the cost of exhibition catalog (54 pp., 30 full color ill.) or shipping of artworks

you will receive: 5 copies of the exhibition catalog;* recognition: catalog: thank you page with logo (no product photo), name listed on the wall, name listed on the postcard and poster, name & logo listed in the catalog and on the website, name listed in email announcements

$10,000    will cover the cost of exhibition public programming (opening reception, symposium, 3 artist’s talks, 3 exhibition tours with the curator, and a class/performance by artists with students)

you will receive: dinner with artists for two,** exhibition catalog;* recognition: symposium recognition, name & logo listed on the wall, name & logo listed on the postcard and poster, name & logo listed in the catalog and on the website, name listed in email announcements

$15,000and above will cover the cost of exhibition catalog (54 pp., 30 full color ill.) and public programming (opening reception, symposium, 3 artist’s talks, 3 exhibition tours with the curator, and a class/performance by artists with students)

you will receive: dinner with artists for two,** 5 copies of the exhibition catalog;* recognition: catalog: thank you page with logo (no product photo), symposium recognition, name & logo listed on the wall, name & logo listed on the postcard and poster, name & logo listed in the catalog and on the website, name listed in email announcements

Donations are tax deductible to the full extent of the law, less: *the  $20 value of the catalog, **the $200 value of the dinner with artists for two
* If more than one sponsor contributes at the dinner level, we will plan one dinner for all of them to spend time with a few exhibition artists, unless logistics (travel plans, etc.) makes it impossible. We believe that this project is about building the community.

MORE ABOUT THE EXHIBITION

 

The exhibition aims to fill a gap in the history of art, where the subject of rape – as seen from women’s perspective – is a blank spot. What makes women's works radically different from those by men is the focus not on the action or drama, but on the lasting psychological devastation of the victim: her suffering, silence, shame, and loneliness. Often strikingly beautiful, they are rarely shown or their true meaning is obscured.

The Un-Heroic Act will examine remarkably varied visual languages artists employed – from figuration to abstraction and text – in order to evoke feelings as contrasting as empathy and shock, and to cover a whole variety of subjects (from fairy tales and art history, to rape as a war crime, rape epidemics on Indian reservations, rape and slavery, college rape culture, the role of social media, PTSD, etc.)

In other words, it is not an exhibition about rape, but about the iconography of rape. Recognizing breadth of material, I decided on a curatorial selection that takes into account several elements at the same time: 1/ three generations of artists; 2/ ethnic diversity (artists of American Indian, African American, and Asian origins, and Latinas); 3/ all visual mediums, from drawing to social practice; 4/ various issues that inspired artists to treat the subject, which will enable the audience to recognize and understand many aspects of rape and its lasting consequences for the victim; and finally 5/ varied visual languages artists chose to tackle with such sensitive subject.

Generous funding for the exhibition is provided by the Affirmation Arts Fund and Sarah Peter.

Public Programming Artists’ Fees are made possible by the Elizabeth A. Sackler Educational Trust.

Additional support was provided by Sigmund A. Rolat, Beth Rudin DeWoody, and Francis J. Greenburger. 

If you would like to learn more about the project, please contact the curator.