Abandoned Margins: Policing the Black Female Body

Woman Made Gallery, Chicago, United States
22 Jan 2016 - 25 Feb 2016

Abandoned Margins: Policing the Black Female Body

Nakey Brown, Self Portrait in Shower Cap, Courtesy: Artist

‘Abandoned Margins’ tries to challenge the supremacist systems under which black female bodies are marginalized.

Artists in the exhibition: Nakeya Brown, Lee Bullitt, Ifeatuanya Chiejina, Sharla Hammond, Mengly Hernandez, LaToya Hobbs, Candace Hunter, Nature’s Intent, Tye Johnson, Nic Kay, April Martin, Alexis McGrigg, Rosemary Meza-DesPlas, Marcia Michael, Emily Mulenga, Jasmine Murrell, Kim Nogueira, Harmony Rosales, Melissa Sutherland, Shoshanna Weinberger, Brittany Leanne Williams, Sarah Beth Woods

Juried by Chicago-based curator Janice Bond, the works in Abandoned Margins “explore how representations of black women in US popular culture and public discourse frequently depict them stereotypically as overweight and asexual, or hypersexualized and in need of less protection but more policing for moral failures. The black female body then becomes an object in the faces of power, brutality, and fetishism– detached from the name and genuine identity it belongs to.”

Featured artists in Abandoned Margins seek to both lay bare the inequitable and sectarian lens through which black women are viewed, as well as create a new empowering visual language.  Jasmine Murrell, for example, says “through trauma, subjugation and historical erasure have created deep cultural wounds, there  remains, without fail, an irrepressible urge for transformation, evolution, and ascension. It is this undefined and indestructible spirit that inspires my work, which includes installation, sound, multimedia, sculpture, land art, and film.” Utilizing the aesthetics of beauty advertising and the reproductive possibilities of printmaking, Nature’s Intent™ investigates concepts of western beauty standards, cultural identity and the history of media representation of women of color. Working with common beauty products, Nakeya Brown experiments with and subverts symbols of black femininity. The artist notes, “I utilize time specific effects that have racialized, commodified, and cultural relevance in their relationship to black women’s bodies and lived experiences.”

Opening on the same night as Abandoned Margins is Beyond the Binary, a solo show by curator Janice Bond exploring the spectrum of black femininity.

Related Events & Public Programs:

Reception: Friday, January 22 | 6-8pm

Symposium and Artist Talk with Janice Bond: Saturday, February 20 | 12 – 6pm

Poetry Reading: Sunday, February 7 | 1:30 – 3:30pm



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