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The Future of Responsibility

Feminist Activists the Guerrilla Girls + Artist Chitra Ganesh

Wednesday, June 20, 2018
7:00 PM–8:30 PM

We are living in a moment when institutions across the board, from the White House to the international contemporary art world, are being called on to take responsibility for longstanding acts of willful neglect and abuses of power within their fields. These shifts and recalibrations range from the removal of confederate statues to the reconsideration of exhibitions and programming in museums, television, and the media, especially among allegations of sexual harassment and inappropriate conduct.

Since 1985 the Guerrilla Girls have been committed to bringing into focus how racial and gender inequality impact which artworks are exhibited, circulated, and supported. Join Rubin Museum Fellow Chitra Ganesh and the Guerrilla Girls for a discussion about how individuals, working with or within institutions, can take responsibility as we move into a new cultural era.


This program is made possible by Rasika and Girish Reddy, Manoj and Rita Singh, and the Akhoury Foundation.


About the Speakers

The Guerrilla Girls are feminist activist artists. “We wear gorilla masks in public and use facts, humor, and outrageous visuals to expose gender and ethnic bias as well as corruption in politics, art, film, and pop culture. Our anonymity keeps the focus on the issues and away from who we might be: we could be anyone and we are everywhere. We believe in an intersectional feminism that fights discrimination and supports human rights for all people and all genders. We undermine the idea of a mainstream narrative by revealing the understory, the subtext, the overlooked, and the downright unfair. We have done hundreds of projects (posters, actions, books, videos, stickers) all over the world, including Bilbao, Iceland, Istanbul, London, Los Angeles, Mexico City, New York, Rotterdam, São Paulo, and Shanghai. We also do interventions and exhibitions at museums, blasting them on their own walls for their bad behavior and discriminatory practices, including our 2015 stealth projection on the façade of the Whitney Museum about income inequality and the super rich hijacking art. Our retrospectives in Bilbao and Madrid, and our US traveling exhibition, Guerrilla Girls: Not Ready To Make Nice, have attracted thousands. In 2016 we produced new street and museum projects at Tate Modern and Whitechapel Gallery in London, as well as in Paris, Cologne, and Minneapolis. In 2017 we had new projects and exhibitions at MASP, São Paulo; the Frestas Triennial, Sorocaba; the Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam; the Museum of Military History, Dresden; and many other places.”

In her drawing-based practice, Chitra Ganesh brings to light narrative representations of femininity, sexuality, and power that are typically absent from canons of literature and art. Her wall installations, comics, charcoal drawings, and mixed-media works often take historical and mythic texts as inspiration and points of departure to complicate received ideas of iconic female forms. Her vocabulary pulls from surrealism, expressionism, Hindu and Buddhist iconography, and traditional South Asian pictorial forms, connecting these sources with contemporary mass-mediated visual languages. Chitra Ganesh graduated magna cum laude from Brown University with a BA in Comparative Literature and Art-Semiotics, and received her MFA from Columbia University in 2002. For over a decade, Ganesh’s work has been widely exhibited both locally and internationally, including at the Queens Museum, Museum of San Diego La Jolla, Berkeley Art Museum, Bronx Museum, Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, and Baltimore Museum. Her works are held in prominent public collections such as the Philadelphia Museum of Art, San Jose Museum of Art, Baltimore Museum, the Whitney Museum, and Museum of Modern Art.


Image Credit
Chitra Ganesh (b. 1975, Brooklyn, NY); Rainbow Body (still); 2018; digital animation; courtesy of the artist
Inset Image: Guerrilla Girls at the Abrons Art Center, 2015. Photo © Andrew Hinderaker

Tickets: $22.00


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Student Tickets: $10.00

For select programs the museum offers $10 student-rate tickets. These tickets are available in advance of the event and can be purchased online, over the phone, or at the front desk. Tickets must be redeemed in person with the presentation of a student ID. Limited to one ticket per student ID.