About Face  installation view: On the wall: Photographs by Sophia Wallace; In the foreground: Nick Cave,  Soundsuit,  2014, Fabric, sequins, beads, metal armature, and mannequin with pedestal, 108.5 x 27 x 18.5 in. Courtesy of the artist and the Carl & Marilynn Thoma Art Installation photos courtesy of Michael Tropea.

About Face installation view:
On the wall: Photographs by Sophia Wallace; In the foreground: Nick Cave, Soundsuit, 2014, Fabric, sequins, beads, metal armature, and mannequin with pedestal, 108.5 x 27 x 18.5 in. Courtesy of the artist and the Carl & Marilynn Thoma Art Installation photos courtesy of Michael Tropea.

About Face: Stonewall, Revolt and New Queer Art
Wrightwood 659 Museum
May 22 - July 20, 2019

This is an exhibition about metamorphosis. Fifty years after Stonewall, we’re still very much a community in progress. The traditional view, that Stonewall represents the birth of a gay and lesbian movement, couldn’t be further from the truth on at least two counts: it hardly represents the beginning and it was never just gay and lesbian. On the contrary, we have always embraced a transpolitics, in the sense of working to variously transgress, transfigure, transpose, transform, and finally, transcend a world of binary options, whether they be gay/straight, male/female, minority/majority, or conformist/nonconformist. Not for nothing were trans folk of various stripes the literal spark that ignited the Stonewall flame. This exhibition thus focuses on art in which boundaries blur, forms mutate, the natural is denaturalized, and the transgressive and transcendent are linked. In the works on view in About Face, sexuality, gender, ethnicity, and race—far from being clear categories—hybridize and overlap to the point that “queer” becomes a verb, not a noun.  

As a result, we have changed the culture such that, in the main, we all are growing queerer and queerer—slowly and discontinuously to be sure, with strong regional differences and numerous, agonizing setbacks. And by we, I don’t mean only those of us who already identify with the term queer; I mean to include quite specifically those who don’t. Queers aren’t the outliers anymore, we’re the team leaders, thought-leaders, and cheerleaders for a brave new world where the stable, familiar categories of identity continue to erode and mix. This hasn’t been an easy accomplishment and the route is littered with corpses—with AIDS by no means the only cause of death. But importantly, this new queerer world isn’t about creating a more modern, stable identity, but the perpetuation of a continuously hybrid one, a recognition that we are all an amalgam of many identities, that the problem with “identity politics” is that it’s written in the singular. This recognition was modeled in art long before it could be brought to life.  

About Face: Stonewall, Revolt and New Queer Art is installed in five sections—Transgress, Transfigure, Transpose, Transform, and Transcend—that map a trajectory from political resistance to the overcoming of stable identity categories. A state-of-the-field survey of queer art today, About Face features works by a diverse group of artists from Colombia, India, Cuba, the UK, Sweden, South Africa, China, France, Indonesia, the United States, and Canada. The artists are trans, female, male, and intersex, as well as African or of African descent, Indigenous, Asian, White, and Latinx, and/or some combination of all of these. Most of these artists actively seek to recruit audiences to the very queer recognition that, without the defining or policing of our differences, identity is always plural, what the poet Frank O’Hara termed “myselves.”  Thus to be queer is to be a hybrid thing.  About Face charts this ongoing process of the queering of our culture.

Artist featured in the exhibition include: Carlos Alfonzo, Ralph Arnold, Shimon Attie, Amos Badertscher, Joan E. Biren, Rashayla Marie Brown in collaboration with Brianna McIntyre, Roger Brown, Jerome Caja, Nick Cave, Tianzhuo Chen, Patricia Cronin, John Dugdale, Bob Faust, Gilbert & George Maria Elena Gonzalez, Hervé Guibert, Harmony Hammond, Keith Haring, Lyle Ashton Harris, Sharon Hayes, Richard Hofmann, Peter Hujar, Bill Jacobson, Deborah Kass, Greer Lankton, Attila Richard Lukacs, Harvey Milk, Kent Monkman, Carlos Motta, Zanele Muholi, Alice O’Malley, Carl Pope, Marlon Riggs, Jacolby Satterwhite, Leonard Suryajaya, Gail Thacker, Keijaun Thomas, Arthur Tress, Del LaGrace Volcano, Sophia Wallace, and Martin Wong.

The curator of the exhibition is Jonathan David Katz, PhD, Visiting Professor of Gender, Sexuality and Women’s Studies at The University of Pennsylvania and chair of the doctoral program in Visual Studies at the University at Buffalo.

Upcoming

 
Untitled (Modesty) digital c-print, 18 x 24 in. (45 x 60 cm) 2010

Untitled (Modesty) digital c-print, 18 x 24 in. (45 x 60 cm) 2010

This work is from a photographic series I made in 2010 called “On Beauty” where I used the tropes and rules that have governed the photography of women on cis male bodies. I shot the models from above, controlled how they were permitted to look at the gaze of the camera, only allowing subjects to make eye contact with a coy expression, keeping their lips parted and available, or having the models cover or hide their bodies as if they were inappropriate in public. This portrait is of my friend the exceptional artist Az. It was inspired by his use of a portrait of his mother wearing a hijab as his tag, which he sprayed all over the streets of Berlin. There are more layers to the story. In conversations leading up to the shoot, I learned from Az about the Iranian student activist Majid Tavakoli, who was arrested by government authorities and then photographed dressed in a burqa with the goal of humiliating and discrediting the activist. Shortly after state news showed Tavokoli in the veil, hundreds of men responded by posting photographs of themselves in veils, in an act of solidarity with Majid and a refusal to allow markers of femininity be used to shame.

Photography After Stonewall 
June 4 - 29, 2019
Soho Photo Gallery
15 White St.
New York, NY 10013
212-226-8571

The Exhibition
Soho Photo Gallery is holding a very special exhibition in June to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots and the start of the gay liberation movement. The exhibited work will demonstrate how the uprising made possible a type of imagery that earlier generations had to suppress.

Photography After Stonewall highlights the work of twenty-three living artists, all of whom have developed a creative approach to LGBTQ issues. The themes include Body/Gender/Sexuality, Home, Family, Gays in the Military, AIDS, Fetish, Pulp, and Fantasy. Fifty years ago, much of this would have been unthinkable. Among its many accomplishments, the Stonewall Riots opened up a new area for artistic expression.

Events are being held around the nation to commemorate this important milestone. This exhibition is the only one that focuses entirely on creative photography. The participating photographers are Ronaldo Aguiar, Berena Alvarez, James Bidgood, Vincent Cianni, Joyce Culver, John Paul Evans, Sunil Gupta, David Hilliard, Robert Kalman, Rivka S. Katvan, David Lebe, Patrick McNabb, Slava Mogutin, Barbara Nitke, Lissa Rivera, Jeff Sheng, Pacifico Silano, Sage Sohier, Sam Stoich, Bill Travis, Arthur Tress, Annie Tritt, and Sophia Wallace.

The exhibition, curated by gallery photographers Bill Travis and Larry Davis, opens on June 4, 2019, 6-8pm. The show runs from June 5-29, 2019.

The Book
Along with the exhibition, the gallery is publishing a beautifully designed 128-page book, with over 70 photographs from the show, as well as scholarly essays and artist statements (book design by gallery photographer Robert Kalman.) Copies will be available to purchase at the gallery in June. 

Events
The gallery is hosting two events in June around the exhibition. Both are free and open to the public.

June 7, 2019, 6-7:30pm: Roundtable with photographers Joyce Culver, Lissa Rivera, and Sophia Wallace.
June 12, 20196-7:30pm: Duane Michals will talk about his work.

 

Recent Past

Photos by Kris Graves

Narrative Threads
Feminist Incubator Exhibition at Project for Empty Space
2 GATEWAY CENTER GALLERY,
NEWARK, NJ 07102
March 27–April 24

For Immediate Release

March 4th, 2019 Newark, NJ: Project for Empty Space is pleased to present Narrative Threads a group exhibition of work by Sophia Wallace, fayemi shakur, Aimee Gilmore, Katrina Majkut, Julie Marie Seibert, and Sara Jimenez. This exhibition is a culmination of work created by the artists during their residency at the annual Feminist Incubator.

A common purpose amongst these six cultural practitioners is the idea of connectivity through reconstructed (or newly constructed) narratives. Each creator comes to the conversation via different media and discipline; including poetry, textile/thread based work, performance, book arts, and interactive installation, to name a few. What binds them together is their interest in reclaiming autonomy, agency, and ownership through storytelling. For far too long the stories of female-identified people have been codified through the lens of the outsider; leaving little to no room for some semblance of truth on the terms of the subjects.

Every project within this exhibition is built on the voices of multiple contributors. Some projects, such as those by fayemi shakur and Aimee Gilmore, rely on active collaboration with other women as the foundation of their works. Other works, in particular, the embroidered portraits by Julie Marie Seibert, highlight and pay homage to prominent contemporary Women of Color who are making dynamic socio-political shifts.

Installation and cross stitch pieces by Katrina Majkut deconstruct and rebuild narratives that are questioning the validity of anti-assault products. Sophia Wallace positions her mixed media works to critique established vernacular around female and feminized genitals and asserts recentered narratives around anatomy; specifically the clitoris, history, and the right to pleasure for cis, trans, and nonbinary people. Multifaceted performance and video works by Sara Jimenez looks introspectively as a way to acknowledge the importance of self-generated narratives. Each artist explores ideas of multi-centered narratives through the work that they have created before, during, and beyond their time in the Feminist Incubator.

For more information about the artists please visit projectforemptyspace.org

PES Feminist Incubator Space

PES Feminist Incubator Space (Formerly known as GRAB BACK) is a series of short-term residencies, happenings, conversations, performances, and public discourses focusing on the empowerment and freedom of women. The inaugural incubator (January - June, 2017) was a response prompted by mainstream attention to what has become a normalized climate of hyper-misogyny, rape culture, and dehumanization of women and women of color. PES Feminist Incubator Space is a means of cultivating productive and critical intersectional dialogue and is a response to violence against humanity. PES Feminist Incubator Space is now a part of our annual program, which will provide ongoing opportunities to female-identified artists.