“The ability to keep bodily matters private is a privilege that some of us will never have. Just ask a poor person on welfare, a fat person, a visibly disabled person, a pregnant woman. Ask a person of color whose ethnic heritage isn't seemingly apparent. Just ask a seriously ill person, a gender ambiguous person, a non-passing trans man or trans woman. All these people experience public scrutiny, in one way or another, of their bodies.” (Eli Clare)
Being hypervisible in some ways, and invisible in others - such as not seeing the broad range of actually existing bodies represented in all sorts of contexts - just scratches the surface of what it is like embodying a marginalized identity. We are so much more than our bodies and yet, we are not able to not be our bodies. As a collective of folks committed to challenging dominant and oppressive narratives, we constantly need to interrogate and challenge the way our society perceives & polices people’s bodies. The body is a site of conflict, but also of protest & resistance. We wrestle with questions such as “How are class, gender, race, and other identity markers represented within and by our physical bodies? What does it look like to fully embody the values of anti-capitalist, anti-racist, queer, feminist praxis?” (Hoax Editors) We are tired of living in a society that values ‘dissociation culture,’ where our bodies are only valued in terms of their ability to produce, rather than speak, hurt, feel & love.
This month we want to celebrate the bodies that are ours: the parts that they can’t take away, the parts that we have reclaimed, and the parts we have been taught to hold shame around. We want to “build communities who privilege the hard work of recognizing and honoring bodies’ realities, learning their languages, reveling in their art, celebrating their struggles and their pleasures.” (Kaeti Marie) In particular, we want to privilege the voices and experiences of those whose voices are unheard or purposely silenced, “promoting a possibility of us all looking very very different from one another while we fight together for a new world.” (Dean Spade)
We are asking interested artists to submit two to three pieces for consideration in the exhibition.
All mediums are welcome (illustration, painting, photography, mixed media, poetry). Pieces that can be hung on the wall are easier for us to display, but they don’t have to be two-dimensional. We can consider a limited number of stand-alone three-dimensional pieces.
Please submit clear digital photos of the specific art you would like to contribute. Artwork does not have to be representational or explicitly focused on the body; however, we ask that you provide a brief artist’s statement that articulates how your work aligns with the themes of the exhibition.
Send all submissions to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line “Bodies Art Exhibition,” no later than May 20th, 2016. We will be notifying artists on May 23rd of our decision.
Photo and sculpture by Ed September (ed-september.tumblr.com)!