CULTURAL & COMMUNITY INTERACTIONS
Half the Sky: Intersections in Social Practice Art Cultural Exchange and Exhibition China
Community interactions are integral to exploring the intersections of social practice art with social change across the two cultures. Spearheaded by delegate Sandra Mueller with support from a team of talented producers and translators, the diverse offerings include a collaborative art making session with Alli Berman and a participatory ritual with Sherri Cornett and Sandra Mueller to place golden fabric markers, begun by WCA members, inside their “Points of Connection” dome. Mann and Chan will offer a “People’s Microphone” session and Louder than Words will have a short presentation to call attention to the roles that women and men can play to end gender violence, a global phenomena that is addressed in multiple artworks in the exhibition as well as in a catalogue essay. Additional formal and informal events including an opening reception with official remarks as well as informal artist exchanges will be offered.
Common Threads: Intersections in Line and Time — A Durational Performance
“Common Threads” is a performative installation that takes place over time. It begins with Berman adding color and line to four inch interlocking squares that were then hand colored by WCA members in Chicago and later cut into quarters. During the cultural exchange in Shenyang, participants will add their own vibrant colors to create a communal quilt of 1,200 squares that connect to one another, yet can be viewed on their own. They will sit atop a base of hand-sewn, ripped paper on the gallery wall where some stitches are seen clearly while others are covered over — akin to how women’s work still “holds up half the sky” even when it recedes from sight.
Journey Markers — Participatory Ritual
Sherri Cornett and Sandra Mueller
The “Points of Connection” participatory installation invites reflection and creative exchange. Cornett and Mueller will ritually place 100 golden markers created by WCA members to initiate connections with Chinese artists. Sitting quietly inside the dome, participants can simply hold the soft cloth marker, add a drawing or phrase or start a new marker. The Journey Markers are symbolic of the many modes and points of connection it takes for women across the globe to “Hold Up Half the Sky."
People’s Microphone Session
Elana Mann and Audrey Chan
Artists Elana Mann and Audrey Chan will lead a bi-lingual (English and Mandarin) call-and-response People's Microphone session based on their Myths of Rape (2012) performance to bring awareness to issues around rape and sexual assault. The myths and facts about rape address commonly-held preconceptions and misconceptions about rape in the context of society, rela- tionships, and global conflicts.
These Walls Can Talk Presentation
S.A. Bachman and Neda Moridpour
Women are more likely to be brutalized or die from male violence than from cancer, accidents, and war combined. LOUDER THAN WORDS’ installation addresses domes- tic abuse and alludes to domestic space by the juxtapo- sition of wallpaper, photographs, and a TV screen. The wallpaper design incorporates a number of common objects that are frequently used to inflict injury: fists, knives, belts and more. Conversely, the TV presents men reciting Jackson Katz’s 10 Things Men Can Do To Prevent Gender Violence.