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Pacific Northwest College of Art
Museum of Contemporary Craft

Found in: Exhibitions

Alien She

Sep 3, 2015 – Jan 9, 2016

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Alien She, curated by Astria Suparak + Ceci Moss, is the first exhibition to examine the lasting impact of Riot Grrrl on artists and cultural producers working today. A pioneering punk feminist movement that emerged in the early 1990s, Riot Grrrl has had a pivotal influence, inspiring many around the world to pursue socially and politically progressive careers as artists, activists, authors and educators. 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.

Riot Grrrl formed in reaction to pervasive and violent sexism, racism and homophobia in the punk music scene and in the culture at large. Its participants adapted strategies from earlier queer and punk feminisms and ‘70s radical politics, while also popularizing discussions of identity politics occurring within academia, but in a language that spoke to a younger generation. This self-organized network made up of teenagers and twenty-somethings reached one another through various platforms, such as letters, zines, local meetings, regional conferences, homemade videos, and later, chat rooms, listservs and message boards. The movement eventually spread worldwide, with chapters opening in at least thirty-two states and twenty-six countries.* Its ethos and aesthetics have survived well past its initial period in the ‘90s, with many new chapters forming in recent years. Riot Grrrl’s influence on contemporary global culture is increasingly evident – from the Russian collective Pussy Riot’s protest against corrupt government-church relations to the popular teen website Rookie and the launch of Girls Rock Camps and Ladyfest music and art festivals around the world.

Alien She focuses on seven people whose visual art practices were informed by their contact with Riot Grrrl. Many of them work in multiple disciplines, such as sculpture, installation, video, documentary film, photography, drawing, printmaking, new media, social practice, curation, music, writing and performance – a reflection of the movement’s artistic diversity and mutability. 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.

Artists: Ginger Brooks Takahashi (Pittsburgh), Tammy Rae Carland (Oakland), Miranda July (Los Angeles), Faythe Levine (Milwaukee), Allyson Mitchell (Toronto), L.J. Roberts (Brooklyn), Stephanie Syjuco (San Francisco) and more

Archival Materials from: dumba collective; EMP Museum, Seattle; Interference Archive; Jabberjaw; the Riot Grrrl Collection at the Fales Library & Special Collections, NYU; and many personal collections

Collaborative Projects and Platforms include: Counterfeit Crochet Project, Feminist Art Gallery (FAG), General Sisters, Handmade Nation, Joanie 4 Jackie, Learning to Love You More, LTTR, projet MOBILIVRE-BOOKMOBILE project, Sign Painters and more

Women’s Studies Professors Have Class Privilege / I’m With Problematic, from the series Creep Lez, Allyson Mitchell, 2012
Altered t-shirts with iron-on transfer and vinyl letters. Courtesy of the artist and Katharine Mulherin Gallery, Toronto.

Alien She is curated by Astria Suparak and Ceci Moss, and organized by the Miller Gallery at Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh

*From data compiled in the Riot Grrrl Chapters Map, an online collaborative project created for the exhibition that assembles research from various people and the public: www.bit.ly/RGmap

“Image credit: “ before “Women’s Studies Professors Have Class Privilege”

PNCA

Details

Arlene and Harold Schnitzer Center for Art and Design

511 NW Broadway
Portland, OR, 97209   [map]

Alien She is presented in two parts:

Museum of Contemporary Craft
724 NW Davis
Portland, OR 97209

511 Gallery
511 NW Broadway
Portland, OR 97209

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