Call for Proposals: Killjoy’s Kastle Book Project

We seek contributions for a volume of collected essays related to artist Allyson Mitchell’s Killjoy’s Kastle: A Lesbian Feminist Haunted House. This large-scale installation and performance invites visitors to walk-through an unconventional gallery space designed in the tradition of carnivals, evangelical Christian fright nights, and lesbian feminist direct action aesthetics. The project, initially staged in Toronto (in collaboration with the Art Gallery of York University) in the fall of 2013, has since shown in London (at the British Film Institute, 2014) and will soon travel to Los Angeles (by invitation from ONE National Lesbian and Gay Archives, 2015), engaging a range of queer and feminist publics in interactive encounters with the frightening spirits that haunt feminist and queer history. Assembled with the help of fifteen artists, the finished Kastle staged in Toronto featured thirty performers; they brought to life the monstrous, abject, and horrifying status of unassimilated queers and feminists in the political imaginary, playing polyamorous vampiric grannies, ball busters, “lesbian” zombie folk singers, and real-life feminist killjoys, among other roles. Thousands of visitors have toured the Kastle to date and the project has reached thousands more through heated media coverage and online dialog. The Killjoy’s Kastle book seeks to further the project’s public role by extending these dialogs through the realm of publishing. In addition to essays that engage directly with the work, we seek contributions that further critical conversations about themes raised by the project.

The Killjoy’s Kastle book is co-edited by Allyson Mitchell (allysonm@yorku.ca) and Cait McKinney (cmck@yorku.ca). We invite proposals on a range of topics related to Killjoy’s Kastle, but are especially interested in work that considers the project in relation to the themes outlined below. We seek a balance of essays from established and emerging scholars and writers.

Themes:

The art of abjection or horror
Queer temporalities or the archive
Historical traditions of the carnival, fright-night, Christian hell houses, or other horror genres
Contemporary art and queer or feminist historiography
The role of race and intersectional feminisms in remembering histories
Feminist publics, controversy, digital feminisms
Textiles, installation, and/or performance traditions
The making-of: collective work processes and practice-based research

Formally we seek two types of written contributions: more traditional research essays ranging from 3,000–5,000 words, and shorter, more informal snapshots or offerings (500–1,000 words) that might focus closely on one aspect of the Kastle: for example, a close interpretation of one diorama or work from within the installation, or a personal narration of encountering the Kastle in relation to the themes set out above.

Proposals of 300-500 words can be sent to: allyson@yorku.ca and cmck@yorku.ca. Please indicate in your proposal if you plan to write a longer essay or a shorter piece. Please include a short bio with your proposal. We would like to receive proposals by July 15, 2015.

ALIEN SHE at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, California

Alien She – Examining the lasting impact of Riot Grrrl

Fri, Oct 24, 2014 to Sun, Jan 25, 2015
Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, California, USA

Description of the exhibition and the video:

‘AlIEN SHE is the first exhibition to examine the lasting impact of Riot Grrrl, a pioneering punk feminist movement that emerged in the early 1990s in reaction to pervasive and violent sexism, racism, and homophobia in the punk music scene and in the culture at large. Emphasizing female and youth empowerment, collaborative organization, creative resistance, and DIY ethics, Riot Grrrl helped a new generation to become active feminists and create their own culture and communities that reflect their values and experiences, in contrast to mainstream conventions and expectations. This exhibition focuses on seven people whose visual art practices were informed by their contact with Riot Grrrl, in addition to a historical section sampling the movement’s vast creative output through hundreds of self-published zines, hand-designed posters, musical playlists representing different Riot Grrrl scenes internationally, video interviews, and more.

Each artist is represented by several projects from the last 20 years, including new and rarely seen works, providing an insight into the development of their creative practices and individual trajectories. Featured artists include: Ginger Brooks Takahashi, Tammy Rae Carland, Miranda July, Faythe Levine, Allyson Mitchell, L.J. Roberts, and Stephanie Syjuco.’

ALIEN SHE

ALIEN SHE is curated by Astria Suparak and Ceci Moss, and organized by the Miller Gallery at Carnegie Mellon University.


ALIEN SHE Curators Tour at Carnegie Mellon University – Archives Part I


ALIEN SHE Curators Tour – Part II Allyson Mitchell, Tammy Rae Carland, Miranda July


ALIEN SHE Curators Tour – Part III L.J. Roberts, F. Levine, S. Syjuco, G. Brooks Takahashi

New York: After Our Bodies Meet: From Resistance to Potentiality

Press Release by Leslie + Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art and Fresh Fruit Festival

Leslie-Lohman Museum presents an exhibition of queer feminist artists exploring the body as site of resistance, envisioning a positive queer future.

After Our Bodies Meet: From Resistance to Potentiality

Curated by Alexis Heller
Exhibition Dates: June 5 – July 27, 2014
Opening Reception: June 5, 6 – 8 pm
at Leslie + Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art, 26 Wooster Street in the SoHo neighborhood of New York City.

After Our Bodies Meet: From Resistance to Potentiality opens at the Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art on June 5 and runs through July 27, 2014. Presented as part of the 12th annual All Out Arts Fresh Fruit Festival, the exhibition explores queer feminist artists’ responses to dominant notions about the body from the 1970s to present day. Reflecting the ever-growing diversity of feminist art, this exhibition 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.

After Our Bodies Meet: From Resistance to Potentiality, curated by Alexis Heller, traces the efforts of contemporary queer artists within the legacy of early feminist art. Bridging these historic and contemporary endeavors not only honors the pioneers of gender-conscious art but also highlights the evolution of feminist thought within artistic representations of queer bodies, including some that question the gender binary on which feminism was first conceived.

The works of Tee Corinne and Cathy Cade sought to document and empower the burgeoning lesbian feminist community, emphasizing the female body’s capacity for love, agency and pleasure outside of the heterosexual imagination. Today, South African artist and “visual activist” Zanele Muholi recognizes this same need to preserve marginalized histories, bringing attention to underrepresented populations of black lesbian and transgender individuals, as well as the targeted violence that threatens their existence. For her ongoing series Faces and Phases, Muholi’s black-and-white photographic portraits archive the diversity and resilience of her black queer community in South Africa and abroad, while for Isilumo siyaluma (2006-2011), Muholi generates a series of kaleidoscopic digital collages of menstrual blood stains to memorialize the rape and murder of black lesbians in South Africa.

Heather Cassils’ dynamic performance, Becoming An Image (2012), also evokes the brutalization of queer bodies as the artist’s mixed martial arts blows are imprinted onto a 1,500-pound block of clay. Staged in complete darkness, Cassils’ strenuous movements are only made visible by flash photography, capturing fleeting moments of the action, which, like the artist’s experience as a transgender man, is in a continuous process of change and becoming.

Sophia Wallace’s ongoing mixed media project CLITERACY, exposes the irony of society’s obsession with and ignorance of female sexuality. CLITERACY, 100 Natural Laws (2012) includes a monumental wall of texts which challenge phallocentric biases in science, law, philosophy, politics and the art world. Wallace’s focus on the clitoris and female pleasure serves to question and counteract the history of misinformation regarding women’s bodies and the concomitant oppression therein.

Inspired by Indian comic books, Hindu mythology and American science fiction Chitra Ganesh’s digital collages also draw from disparate materials and cultural sources to offer alternate narratives of female sexuality and power. Ganesh’s surrealistic and hybridized female forms collide beauty and abjection, commemorating marginalized and excluded figures from art, history and literature. In Ganesh’s work, the body serves as a site of transgression and revision, tearing apart stereotypes and histories only to reassemble them into a radical vision of corporeality, citizenship and desire.

This exhibition demonstrates how feminist artists have repositioned the political potential of activism into art, allowing critiques of the past to provide space for imagining new queer possibilities. Featuring work from Laura Aguilar, Cathy Cade, Heather Cassils, Tee A. Corinne, Zanele Muholi,Chitra Ganesh, Allyson Mitchell, Zanele Muholi, Catherine Opie, Sophia Wallace, and Chris E. Vargas, these artists subvert the mythologies and ideals surrounding lesbian and transgender bodies and foreground queer bodies obscured by invisibility.

There will be an Opening Reception on June 5th from 6 to 8 pm, as well as various events throughout the exhibition that explore these important issues and themes. Visit freshfruitfestival.com for a full schedule of events for All Out Arts Fresh Fruit Festival which will be held from July 7 to 20, 2014.

Queer Threads: Crafting Identity and Community

Press release from Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art, New York

We are pleased to announce our next exhibition opening on January 17th, 2014!

Queer Threads: Crafting Identity and Community

Exhibition dates: January 17 to March 16, 2014
Public Opening: January 17, 2014 6-8 pm

Queer Threads: Crafting Identity and Community will be on view January 17 through March 16, 2014 at the Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art. Queer Threads, a group show curated by John Chaich, explores notions of aspiration, socialization, and representation within the LGBTQ community through artists employing thread-based craft materials, techniques, and processes.

While many of these artists are internationally recognized in the craft and art communities, this exhibition marks the first time these works have been shown together to specifically highlight their queerness. Comprised from a mix of well-established and emerging talent from across the United States, as well as Argentina, Canada, and South Africa, this exhibition will feature artists Chris Bogia (New York), Melanie Braverman (Massachusetts), Jai Andrew Carrillo (California), Chiachio & Giannone (Argentina), Liz Collins (New York), Ben Cuevas (California), Pierre Fouché (South Africa), James Gobel (California), Jesse Harrod (Virginia), Larry Krone (New York), Rebecca Levi (New York), Aubrey Longley-Cook (Georgia), Aaron McIntosch (Maryland), Allyson Mitchell (Canada), John Thomas Paradiso (Maryland), Sheila Pepe (New York), Maria E. Piñeres (California), Allen Porter (deceased), L. J. Roberts (New York), Sonny Schneider (Denmark), Buzz Slutzky (New York), Nathan Vincent (New York), and Jessica Whitbread (Canada).

Queer Threads will fully activate the Museum’s gallery through felt paintings, yarn drawings, embroidered portraits, knit sculpture, quilted tapestries, and crocheted installations, as well as video. From Nathan Vincent’s life-sized crocheted men’s locker room, to Liz Collin’s oversized knit pride flag based on Gilbert Baker’s 1978 original design, works range from intimate to expansive in scale. From Allyson Mitchell’s found afghans emblazoned with phrases such as “Pride is a Pyramid Scheme,” to James Gobel’s use of felt, acrylic, and yarn to create a portrait of fashion design team Costello Tagliapietra, many of Queer Threads’ artists mix craft technique or materials with traditional mediums, while others fully employ craft processes.

 Flowing off the wall to the floor, L.J. Roberts’ The Queer Houses of Brooklyn in the Three Towns of Breukelen, Boswyck and Midwout during the 41st Year of the Stonewall Era, particularly exemplifies the use of craft techniques to explore contemporary queer culture as it incorporates knitting, embroidery, and quilting to create a colorful, multi-textured sculpture mapping queer, cohabitating collectives. With references to the AIDS quilt and ACT UP iconography, the piece honors punk DIY aesthetics and traditional craft, as well as the families we create. This work is on loan from the Smithsonian American Art Museum who purchased the piece after it was shown in its 2013 40 Under 40: Craft Futures exhibition.

“The new visions and voices in Queer Threads, uniquely expressed through craft traditions, expand on Leslie-Lohman’s commitment to examining the diversity of the LGBTQ experience through art,” says Hunter O’Hanian, Executive Director. In doing so, Chaich notes, “Using craft to celebrate and critique identity and community is very queer in all senses of the word—unusual, political, and personal.”

A range of guest docents will lead tours of the exhibition, including fashion design team Costello Tagliapietra; Debbie Stoller, author of the Stitch n’ Bitch Nation series of knitting books and editor-in-chief of BUST magazine, and designer Todd Oldham, creator of the Kid Made Modern series of books and supplies.

 

MIX NYC: Craftivism Curated by Coral Short

Craftivism

Sun Nov 17, 2013 @ 5:00 PM
MIX NYC
Curated by Coral Short, guest curator. TRT: 65 min.

Queerness, feminism, and craft go hand in hand for many of these emerging contemporary artists, as they rethink and reclaim craft in their own unique ways. Sit back and let these artists take you on a voyage through their meticulously crafted queer universes. From Paris, we have Igor Dewe’s fabulous sand castle high heels, from Baltimore we have Rachael Shannon’s giant welcoming inflatable Breastival Vestibule and from California we have Mev Luna’s mint and lavender weaving, with their own body chroma keyed and rustling through it. From LA we have Jeepney’s mystical costume crafted journey into the unknown. Each artist brings their own distinct voice full of personal politics, her/they/his/tories and private passions to their filmmaking, resulting in diverse practices and methodologies—all of which aggrandize our communities. The transformative combination of humour and desire are also explored with Caitlin Rose and Kailey Bryan’s surprising fresh creations. Craft itself is politicized, as it is constantly marginalized in the institutions which seek to exclude or re-name it. Crafting, therefore, is an outsider art, a rebellion against the establishment who does not want to accept it. Do we want entrance to the establishment? Do we want acceptance within their institutions? Many of us have been creating our own feminist queer international networks and communities for over a decade and will continue to do so for years to come.

The Artists / Craftivists

The short film programme Craftivism include works by: Joshua Vettivelu, Igor Dewe, Ellen Nielsen, Allyson Mitchell & Christina Zeidler, Caitlin Rose Sweet, T.L. Cowan, Sabrina Ratté, Babyskinglove, Travis Meinolf, Kandis Friesen, Jai Carrillo, Mev Luna, Janey Moffatt Laloë, Wai-Yant Li, Zeesy Powers, Sarah Pupo, Brescia Bloodbeard, Rachael Shannon, Kailey Bryan, and Jeepneys & Siobhan Aluvalot