Exhibition showcases current digital activist projects of “The Broads” as well as selections from over 30 years of iconic posters.
The Guerrilla Girls formed in 1985 to combat injustice in the art world. Their first poster named names:
WHAT DO THESE ARTISTS HAVE IN COMMON? They allow their work to be shown in galleries that show no more than 10% women artists or none at all.
The Guerrilla Girls remained anonymous to focus on the issues, rather than on the personalities of members of the collective, wearing gorilla masks in public. They reclaimed the term, “girl,” and recognized
the power of humor, differentiating their work from the feminist strategies of the 1970s. (“How many feminists does it take to change a light bulb? That’s not funny.”) The Guerrilla Girls also took the names of dead women artists to bring those who had fallen into obscurity into public awareness again. Between 1985 and 2000, nearly 100 women developed posters and other projects that changed art and feminist discourse worldwide.
At the turn of the millennium, responding to internal debates over how wide a net the group should cast, the Guerrilla Girls formed three wings: Guerrilla Girls would continue to focus on the art world with occasional forays into Hollywood. Guerrilla Girls On Tour would focus on injustice in the theater community. And Guerrilla Girls BroadBand would rove beyond the art world, tackling social justice issues like discrimination in the wired workplace; recruitment of youths for war; abortion access; and rape. Their poster, THE ADVANTAGES OF ANOTHER BUSH PRESIDENCY, was postered in advance of President Bush’s 2004 re-election.
Now, 30 years after the founding of the group, both the Guerrilla Girls and Guerrilla Girls BroadBand are having shows in New York. Both will trace their current work from the early posters to the work they are doing now: At Abrons Art Center, during the month of May, the Guerrilla Girls are analyzing the Frieze Art Fair and its place in the frenzied commercial art world. A party for this exhibition will be held on Friday, May 15th.
At BHQFUG, from May through mid-June, the Guerrilla Girls BroadBand will exhibit their current digital activist projects. Additionally, “The Broads” are conducting three workshops for BHQFU:
May 27: Campus rape “knit-in” led by Alla Horska – 7 PM
Join us for our inaugural DIY knit-in feminist circle, in support of feminist practice to raise awareness about campus rape issues. We will be joined by BHQFU in a call to take action to end gender-based violence and rape culture at our schools. Pattern is available for download: gorilla balaclavas activated to inform, share and engage community networks of support! We encourage you to go forth, organize your own event – Speak Up! All knitting experience levels welcome. // Alla Horska was a Ukrainian Monumentalist painter and a Shistdesyatnyky, a group of literati, artists and scholars of the 1960s in Ukraine.
May 30: Abortion access edit-a-thon, led by Josephine Baker and Minnette De Silva – 7 PM
“Map Abortion” is a dynamic new media project by the Guerrilla Girls BroadBand, providing a forum to share your story, submit facts and access critical information about abortion laws, service providers and support agencies in your State. This workshop is a “Map Abortion” edit-a-thon to band together and contribute data, inform by engaging technology in the fight for reproductive rights! We will be joined by noted workers in the field of reproductive freedom. // Minnette De Silva was the first Sri Lankan woman to be trained as an Architect and the first Asian woman to be elected a Member of the Royal Institute of British Architects. Josephine Baker was a Black entertainer from St Louis who became a huge star in
Paris in the 1920s and 30s, worked for the Resistance in WWll and, when she did return to do shows in the US, insisted on only playing mixed clubs.
June 13: Songwriting homage to Pussy Riot, led by Gerda Taro – 6 PM
The culmination of #ProvokeProtestPrevail’s community outreach, we invite you to participate in our group action and live “guerrilla” performance: an homage to Russian feminist punk protest group, Pussy Riot! In support of reproductive rights and through the power of music, we will collaborate to perform a Pussy Riot song, edit into a music video and share. Instruments, performers and voices welcome. //
Gerda Taro was a journalist and photographer who was killed during the Spanish Civil War.
A closing party will be held on June 13th at FUG.