NASTY WOMEN
Thursday, January 12 – Sunday, January 15, 2017
Opening Reception: Thursday, January 12, 2017, 7-10pm
Accompanying Programs: Friday, January 13 – Sunday, January 15, 2017

2017 is Year of the Nasty Woman.

In 2016 it was spoken, and in 2017 it was sealed.

What do I mean by this?

I’m referencing the first line of a renowned poem that is recited during the Jewish High Holidays, called Unetanneh Tokef (which means ‘Let us speak of the awesomeness’ in Hebrew): On Rosh Hashanah it is written, and on Yom Kippur it is sealed. Whether standing in Temple or observing at home, the poem epitomizes the High Holiday prayer services for Jews, as they atone for their sins and emotionally prepare for the coming New Year.

The era in which Unetanneh Tokef was written (circa 8th century) was a precarious time for the Jews, full of massacres and forced conversions. Looking at contemporary society, it feels like a precarious time for everyone, and the world is still full of massacres and forced conversions. Not to mention, women are still struggling for equality.

However, depending on how you look at it, Trump may have done contemporary culture a huge favor by tightening our focus.  Instead of yielding to mansplaining, machismo and androcentrism, feminists of this new era–as in women, men and gender variants who champion gender equality and wish to make the world a better domain for all genders–are being redirected with the task of helping feminism evolve.

Kicking off this task with gusto is the NASTY WOMEN NYC Art Exhibition which opens tomorrow in NYC at the Knockdown Center. Conceived of by Roxanne Jackson and Jessamyn Fiore, NASTY WOMEN is a group exhibition that serves to demonstrate solidarity among artists who identify with being a Nasty Woman in the face of threats to roll back women’s rights, individual rights, and abortion rights. NASTY WOMEN will serve as a fundraiser to support organizations defending these rights and to be a platform for organization before the Trump Presidential Inauguration in January. The works in this exhibition will be available for sale and 100% of the proceeds will benefit Planned Parenthood.

The main space of the Knockdown Center will present ten 3D letters approximately twelve feet high each which spell out ‘NASTY WOMEN’. They will be framed out with wood and covered with a strong plastic mesh from which the artworks will be hung- these letters serve as walls for the exhibition, and every work will be hung off or installed in/on these forms. The letters will dramatically run the length of the space creating a NASTY WOMEN monument.

As we look toward the coming year, let’s hope NASTY WOMEN gives voice to an experience that will imprint positively upon all our futures. 

Either way, in 2016 it was spoken, and in 2017 it was sealed.