Chitra Ganesh, Atlas, Chromogenic print, 70 x 52 in.
After Our Bodies Meet: From Resistance to Potentiality
Jun 05 - Aug 03, 2014
To picture a queer body does more than declare difference: it enacts freedom.
This exhibition explores the responses of queer feminist artists to dominant notions about the body from the 1970s to present day. Reflecting the ever-growing diversity of feminist art, After Our Bodies Meet 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.
Historically, queerness and feminism have not always been harmoniously entwined. Early lesbian feminists not only experienced marginalization at the hand of patriarchy, but also by the heterosexist feminist movement, which labeled them “a lavender menace.” Fueled by this exclusion, lesbian artists created work that documented and empowered their community, emphasizing the female body’s capacity for pleasure, procreation and power outside of the heterosexual imagination. Since then, queer artists have continued to respond to themes related to the body as a form of resistance and liberation. The works of these eleven artists offer a glimpse of the ongoing global struggle, both within and beyond their communities, for visibility, agency, and inclusion for lesbian and transgender people.
Beyond representing queer bodies removed from mainstream culture, many contemporary feminist artists actively engage with the rooted mythologies, violence, and ideals surrounding cisgender female and transgender bodies. Through appropriation, abstraction, and humor, the queer body serves as a site of transgression and revision, dismantling oppressive histories only to reassemble them into a radical vision of corporeality, citizenship, and desire.