THE UN-HEROIC ACT.
REPRESENTATIONS OF RAPE IN CONTEMPORARY WOMEN'S ART IN THE US
curated by Monika Fabijanska
Shiva Gallery, John Jay College of Criminal Justice, CITY UNIVERSITY OF NEW YORK (CUNY), New York City
This concentrated survey of works devoted to rape, by a diverse roster of women artists representing three generations, including Jenny Holzer, Suzanne Lacy, Ana Mendieta, Senga Nengudi, Yoko Ono, Kara Walker, and many younger artists, aims to demonstrate that rape constitutes one of central themes in women’s art and will analyze its rich iconography in all mediums.
PLEASE, MAKE A TAX-DEDUCTIBLE DONATION TO SUPPORT THIS BREAKTHROUGH EXHIBITION
The Un-Heroic Act is a sponsored project of the New York Foundation for the Arts. You can support the exhibition and the catalog by making a tax deductible donation here:
THE UN-HEROIC ACT SPONSORSHIP LEVELS & BENEFITS
Each sponsor above $250 will receive a copy of the exhibition catalog.*
- you will receive: website and social media heartfelt recognition as well as mention during artist’s talks you attend
- $250 will cover the cost of one artist’s talk or participation in symposium
you will receive: exhibition tour with the curator, exhibition catalog;* recognition: name listed on the website
- $500 will cover the cost of a class/performance by artists with JJC CUNY students or public audience
you will receive: exhibition tour with the curator, exhibition catalog;* recognition: name listed in the catalog
- $1,000 will cover the cost of artist’s travel (a Native American artist from Alaska or an artist from California)
you will receive: exhibition tour with the curator, exhibition catalog;* recognition: name & logo listed in the catalog and on the website, name listed in email announcements
- $2,000 will cover the cost of a public symposium panel
you will receive: exhibition catalog;* recognition: name listed on the wall, name & logo listed in the catalog and on the website, name listed in email announcements
- $5,000 will cover the cost of exhibition catalog (54 pp., 30 full color ill.) or shipping of artworks
you will receive: 5 copies of the exhibition catalog;* recognition: catalog: thank you page with logo (no product photo), name listed on the wall, name listed on the postcard and poster, name & logo listed in the catalog and on the website, name listed in email announcements
Donations are tax deductible to the full extent of the law less * the $20 value of the catalog.
MORE ABOUT THE EXHIBITION
The exhibition aims to fill a gap in the history of art, where the subject of rape – as seen from women’s perspective – is a blank spot. What makes women's works radically different from those by men is the focus not on the action or drama, but on the lasting psychological devastation of the victim: her suffering, silence, shame, and loneliness. Often strikingly beautiful, they are rarely shown or their true meaning is obscured.
The Un-Heroic Act will examine remarkably varied visual languages artists employed – from figuration to abstraction and text – in order to evoke feelings as contrasting as empathy and shock, and to cover a whole variety of subjects (from fairy tales and art history, to rape as a war crime, rape epidemics on Indian reservations, rape and slavery, college rape culture, the role of social media, PTSD, etc.)
In other words, it is not an exhibition about rape, but about the iconography of rape. Recognizing breadth of material, I decided on a curatorial selection that takes into account several elements at the same time: 1/ three generations of artists; 2/ ethnic diversity (artists of American Indian, African American, and Asian origins, and Latinas); 3/ all visual mediums, from drawing to social practice; 4/ various issues that inspired artists to treat the subject, which will enable the audience to recognize and understand many aspects of rape and its lasting consequences for the victim; and finally 5/ varied visual languages artists chose to tackle with such sensitive subject.