Mon Blossom © AM DeBrincat
On November 9th, 2016 multimedia artist Indira Cesarine watched Hillary Clinton concede the presidential election to Donald Trump. That very same day, she got to work on what would become UPRISE / ANGRY WOMEN.
“Artwork can be an act of protest in itself,” Cesarine, who is the founder of The Untitled Space in New York City, writes. Her call for work by female and female-identifying artists in the wake of the election elicited more than 1,800 acts of protest from more than 400 individuals.
UPRISE / ANGRY WOMEN features eighty photographers, painters, sculptors, filmmakers, printmakers, and performance artists.
The artists come from all backgrounds, and many made work specifically for the exhibition. They care about reproductive rights, gun laws, the environment, and the wage gap. They stand against misogyny, racism, homophobia, and hatred. Their approaches are by turns earnest and satirical, deadpan and playful. They are responding to everything from threats to defund Planned Parenthood to the President-Elect’s “grab them by the pussy” comment. The single thread that binds them is their profound investment in their country.
One of the featured artists, Kat Danziger, isn’t old enough yet to vote. “I’m still finishing high school,” she wrote in her Artist Statement, “I want to make a larger contribution to my community of powerful women being targeted by the results of this election.”
“I was in a state of shock, and honestly embarrassed to be American,” Cesarine remembers of the day Donald Trump became our President-Elect.
Having gone through the words and pictures of hundreds of women, it’s safe to say she’s no longer in shock. She jumped into action in a matter of a few hours, and in her own words, preparing for the exhibition has “pretty much taken over [her] life.”
She’s seen what happens when women grieve, when women rage, when women get back up after being pushed down, and in the end, she’s found a glimmer hope in the anger.
That same Wednesday Cesarine embarked on the project, New York Magazine published their own response to the election: a list of quotations titled 25 Famous Women on Anger. They cited this 2006 passage by the late Maya Angelou: “Use that anger. You write it. You paint it. You dance it. You march it. You vote it. You do everything about it. You talk it. Never stop talking it.”
Cesarine and her 79 fellow “angry women” agree. “The election has lit the fires of creativity more than ever,” the curator writes, “We are already seeing an impact of feminist art, and I don’t think that is going to slow down; in fact, I think in face of this type of opposition, more female artists are going raise to the surface. Right now, people are waking up to the misogyny in this country.”
UPRISE / ANGRY WOMEN is presented in collaboration with the ERA Coalition, an organization working to get The Equal Rights Amendment into the United States Constitution. Although the ERA was first proposed to Congress in 1923, shortly after women won the right to vote, and despite the fact that that it passed Congress in 1972 during the Second Wave, it was not ratified by the states, meaning that discrimination on the basis of sex is still not prohibited by the Constitution. A portion of the proceeds from the exhibition will go to the Fund for Women’s Equality.
Running from January 17th until the 28th at The Untitled Space, UPRISE / ANGRY WOMEN coincides with both the inauguration of Donald Trump and the 44th anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision.
Tell Me Like It Is © Anna Rindos
And So She Was Left Behind © Bia Monteiro
Feels Awesome to be American © Enid Crow
In Solidarity © Jordie Oetken</em>
I, Me, Myself, You © Sarupa Sidaarth