Last Friday was the EvE: Empowerment vs. Exploitation exhibition opening at Warehouse 416. It was part of Oakland Art Murmur where numerous art galleries and venues open collectively for public view. Oakland is the place to be!
Tea Roots, a nonprofit public benefit corporation organized the exhibit. Jurors Cassandra Rockwood-Rice, MK Chavez, Rosa De Anda, and Aishwarya Vardhana selected thirty-three artists. From Tea Roots’ website: “Our goal is to facilitate creative communication about perspectives around gender-based issues like discrimination, media objectification, sexual exploitation, intimate partner violence, and perspectives as seen similarly addressed in recent social media waves. As we take precarious new steps in the direction of healing these long-standing dilemmas we ask, How do we move away from exploitation and empower ourselves and others?”
Four of my artworks were included in the exhibit: WOMEN (clear braille on polymer), WOMEN (paper and stickers), FIRE & FURY (plastic), and NOT YOUR SEX OBJECT (rubber).
WOMEN description: Lady Justice is a symbol of impartiality in our judicial system. Standing stoically with a scale in one hand and a sword in the other, she is blindfolded representing that power, status, or money has no influence. A standard braille sign becomes repurposed by altering its function. The art serves as a marker questioning how special interests have weakened the fundamental principles of democracy. Citizens must not blindly follow but question, organize, and demand the highest standards preserving truth and justice.
WOMEN description: My art practice investigates symbols of influence and power that impact perception. At least nineteen women have accused President Donald J. Trump of unwanted sexual advances. Trump’s presidency has faced a Women’s March, the #MeToo movement, and a resistance uprising. Custom return address labels have been repurposed with the word “WOMEN.” As evidence stacks and women organize, Mr. Trump can’t hide from his actions and the truth (link: https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/onpolitics/2018/03/20/meet-19-women-who-claim-affairs-trump-accuse-him-unwanted-advances/443685002/).
FIRE & FURY description: A standard braille sign has been repurposed altering its function. Since taking office, President Trump has escalated tensions with North Korea by threatening “fire and fury.” According to TIME magazine: “Women make up more than half the U.S. population…the fact remains that in 2016, women held just 23% of government offices.” What if women grabbed back with fire and furry against unreasonable aggression? Women must stand firm against unreasonable behavior and set the standard for humanity (link: http://time.com/4556917/presidential-election-2016-women-government/ ).
NOT YOUR SEX OBJECT description: A standard trucker mud flap has been repurposed altering its function. When Donald J. Trump became President he was greeted with the Women’s March, confronted by sexual abuse victims, and ultimately ignited the #metoo revolution. The structures of gender objectification are interwoven into systemic discrimination and consumerism. Women are not sex objects or empty silhouettes. We must reject and reclaim cultural symbols.
The walls of Warehouse 416 are filled with meaningful artworks for the EvE: Empowerment vs. Exploitation exhibition! An artist’s panel talk is Saturday March 9th from 1-5pm. A poetry and spoken word event curated by Mk Chavez featuring the “She Who Has No Master (s)” writers collective (Vietnamese Diasporic Network) will be Saturday March 16th from 1-5pm.
Don’t miss this incredible exhibit!
EvE: Empowerment vs. Exploitation. Warehouse 416. Oakland, CA. March 1-16th, 2019.