On Thursday August 9th, RAC | Recession Art at CULTUREfix opened
Still Figuring it Out: a feminist coming-of-age
An exhibition and event curated by Ana Cecilia Alvarez
Opening August 9th 7: 00 pm, Screening at 8:00 pm and Performance at 9:00 pm
On view Aug. 9 – Aug. 12, 2012
RAC | Recession Art at CULTUREfix, 9 Clinton Street NY, NY 10002
“One thing that can be very alienating about a misconception of feminism is that girls then think that to be feminists they have to live up to being perfectly consistent in their beliefs, never being insecure, never having doubts, having all the answers. . . and this is not true and actually recognizing all the contradictions I was feeling became easier once I realized that feminism was not a rulebook but a discussion, a conversation, a process.” — Tavi Gevinson
To many women, especially those still in the throes of their formative years of adolescence, the word “feminism” can be at once nebulous and uncomfortable, while still inspiring a new-found sense of empowerment. Still Figuring it Out hopes to delve into the awkward yet cherished growing pains of “becoming” a feminist. This exhibition and event will concentrate on artworks that tell of a feminist’s coming-of-age. If a young artist claims the title “feminist,” in any of its varied iterations, how do they interpret feminist concerns, and how do these intersect with their relationships, their beliefs, their priorities, their art?
Still Figuring it Out hopes to challenge any concrete definition of “feminism” as an identifying term, and instead understand feminism as a fluid spectrum that can be navigated and negotiated through art. There is no final declaration of “this is feminism for me”; instead the exhibition hopes to capture the process of “figuring out” how this historically contradictory and divisive label can complicate and inform “growing up,” or in less precise, but perhaps more poignant terms, “becoming one’s self.” As the title suggests, this process is continually reemerging and fails to provide one definitive conclusion. Just as “feminism” as an ideology and political label has never provided one stable identity in the last 50 years, identifying what it means to be a feminist can take a lifetime to figure out.
Still Figuring it Out will consist of a night of performances and screenings, along with a small exhibition of visual works that will feature 13 emerging female artists: Mira Alibek, Indrani Ashe, The Cave Party Collective, Abra Conn, Julia Elsas, Maija Ekey, Maya Fuhr, Nikita Gale, Britte Geijer, Grace Miceli, Megan Pickering, Jordan Rathus, and Brenda Zhang.
This exhibition is presented by Recession Art and curated by Ana Cecilia Alvarez. Alvarez, a Brown University student who focuses her studies on contemporary art, curatorial studies, non-fiction writing, and feminist critique, currently holds a summer internship at Recession Art.
Image: MEGAN PICKERING, Grooming Fixations, 2011, Pubic Lashes, Digital Print, 19x14x2cm.
Mira Alibek is a Brooklyn based artist, who was born in Russia in 1977. Mira attended Columbia University and ITP at NYU. She started creating mixed media work in 2005. She recently participated in CurateNYC exhibition at Like the Spice gallery as well as group shows at One Mile Gallery, Kingston and Rabbithole Gallery in Dumbo. She also exhibited at LESP Open House in 2007 and at a group show “8×10″ at AG Gallery, Brooklyn and at Paillard Centre d’Art in France.
Indrani Ashe‘s artistic practice is characterized by sensory phenomena interacting with her internal landscape of thought and emerging into concrete forms. She has exhibited her work widely in Indonesia and at Columbia University and the Queens Museum in New York City. She is currently a MFA candidate at Goldsmith’s University of London.
An art and design group, Cave Party is made up of four women currently working as graphic designers. Their mission to empower females by embracing and supporting a practice that offers a unique, positive and unapologetic view of contemporary femininity. Members include Emily Reile, Alexandra Roche, Julie Roche, and Annie Yiling Wang.
Abra Conn was born in the relatively cool summer of 1993 in Phoenix, Arizona. She is currently a BFA-2 art major, attending California Institute of the Arts, where she creates work in her studio and at home in Thousand Oaks, California. Conn’s work focuses on the influences of her life and those around her, putting a microscope on her own feelings and demanding to discover why she feels the way she does. She then moves on to the next question. Between experimenting with all new and old mediums under the sun, Abra Conn scoops ice cream at a Baskin Robbins in So Cal and enjoys watching RuPaul’s Drag Race on her days off, painting on hardcover books, and avoiding people on Facebook.
Maija Elizabeth Ekey was born in a row house in Baltimore, Maryland. She currently attends Rhode Island School of Design and is majoring in Printmaking. She enjoys rooting for losing baseball teams, small dogs, and the 61 bus. Her work focuses on the contemporary fascination with the collection and the act of accumulating. She is interested in framing instances in which this fascination trickles down into youth culture and permeates their social media and consumer expectations. The archetypal role of “white girl” and the notion of a suburban teenage fantasy is explored and pitted against an urban reality in which these stereotypes lose their certainty.
Julia Elsas graduated with an MFA in Art Studio from the University of California at Davis in 2009 and a BA in Art Studio from Carleton College in 2000.As a mixed-media artist, she is continually moving between concepts, materials, and processes. She uses her own body as the medium through which she investigate longing, relationships, and sexual and emotional tension.
Maya Fuhr is a 23 year old artist and photographer living in Montreal. She is a completely self taught film photographer. All of her photos are un-edited or retouched and in their utmost natural form. She considers her photography feminist because she hones her photos on female’s sexuality and the vulnerability that is attached with the feeling of being watched by the public. In the privacy of a female’s own intimate life, my photos give you a glimpse of what happens when no one is watching. She believes that every girl is a star of their own show.
Nikita Gale is a self-taught conceptual artist based in Atlanta, Georgia. She holds a BA in Anthropology (Archaeological Studies) from Yale University and has exhibited in numerous shows in Atlanta, Georgia; Santa Fe, New Mexico and New York City, New York. She was an Artist-in-Residence at The Center for Photography at Woodstock in Woodstock, New York in 2011 and is currently in the Studio Artist Program at The Atlanta Contemporary Art Center. In 2012, Gale was listed as #4 in Oxford American’s “100 Under 100: Superstars of Southern Art” issue.
Britte Geijer is a multimedia artist interested in performance, photography, and installation. Born in 1990 in San Clemente, California, she is inspired by teenage dreamz, surfer boys and valley girls, the internet, and people who just wanna chill out, man. Britte splits her time between Brooklyn, Orange County, CA, and Northampton, Massachusetts, where she will graduate from Smith College in May with a BA in Studio Art.
Grace Miceli’s oeuvre entertains an investigation into the performance of an identity across the landscape of pop culture in combination with the Internet. Her creative output is articulated by a new or multimedia approach through a combination of video, poetry, digital collage, drawing, painting and self-aware online presence. She is looking to open up her underlying feminist themes, which developed strongly at Smith College, to a wider arena, and to push the notion of female self-portraiture as an inherently feminist act. She is interested in the uniting and empowering results of combining the personal with pop culture.
Megan Pickering is a London based artist, studying Fine Art at Chelsea College of Art and Design. Her work is mixed-media and is a constant exploration into gender politics. She uses her work as a tool to question the wider idea of preconceived and pre-constructed notions of what gender is in contemporary society.
Jordan Rathus received her MFA from Columbia University in Visual Arts in 2012 and her BFA in Film and Television Production from New York University in 2005. She is just finishing up an artist residency at Ox-Bow in Saugatuck, MI, and has also received the Brooks Fellowship Award at Anderson Ranch, Snowmass Village, CO, and the Tony Hawkins Award from NYU. Rathus has exhibited films, videos, and drawings in the United States and Sweden.
Brenda Zhang spent her formative years in Scarsdale, New York, and Indianapolis, Indiana. She is now living in Providence, Rhode Island, where she will complete a Bachelor of Arts in Visual Arts at Brown University next spring. She is trying to find the spaces where boundaries hide and to coax them into teaching her one thing or another.
For installations shots and photographs of the opening click here.