Sunday, January 14, 2018

Art Exhibitions Show How The Political Is Personal For Post-Women's March US

On Jan. 21, 2017 five million people demonstrated worldwide in response to the inauguration of a U.S. president who brazenly exploited racial animus, misogyny and xenophobia, all while stashing corporatist ambitions under the rug, in a discordant election campaign that saw him lose the popular vote by a substantial margin. The Women's March adds context to a pair of exhibitions, both winding up their runs as the anniversary of the landmark event approaches. (‘One Year : The Art of Politics in Los Angeles’ at the Brand Library and Art Center has ended. 'We Wanted a Revolution: Black Radical Women, 1965-85’ at the California African American Museum ends today.)

“Free, White and 21" was a phrase that appeared in dozens of movies in the ‘30s and ‘40s. It positioned white privilege as the ultimate argument-stopper. See examples in the video below:


Howardena Pindell's 1979 video titled Free, White and 21 is a series of confessional vignettes about racist indignities, large and small, that she suffered from her Philadelphia childhood onward.

The Liberation of Aunt Jemima: Cocktail, a recently rediscovered 1973 art piece by Betye Saar, is the embodiment of an African American woman declaring, “Enough!

Betye Saar, "The Liberation of Aunt Jemima" 1973, mixed media
California African American Museum

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Betye Saar! I've been a fan of her work ever since she did an exhibition and workshop at my college more than 30 years ago.

The Nag said...

I'm now a fan too.