WOMEN’S SEXUAL EMPOWERMENT ART EXHIBIT; Video.
Flashback! Hos, Putas, and Dragon Ladies: Our Sexuality ReMixed
is a multimedia exhibit featuring performance, visual art and readings for women’s history month that took place at chashama gallery in NYC from March 8 – 14, 2007. I curated and created the exhibit to empower, examine, consider, reveal and comment on the sexual representations of American women of African, Latin and Asian decent, and to premiere the erotica film Afrodite Superstar
The show exhibited emerging visual artists: Ifetayo Abdus-Salam, Damali Abrams, Nancy Encarnacion, Jennifer Fuentes, Devorah Hill, Urban Envy and Liliana Velasquez. Collaborating entities included The Goddess Factory, Bless Da Mic, Casa Attabex Ache with the support of chashama gallery.
The exhibit’s opening night featured an artistic dominatrix painting performance by Liliana Velasquez. Damali Abrams and Bless Da Mic presented an open mic with a twist: women-friendly erotic performance poetry and readings then Casa Atabex Ache presented a workshop (for women only) on spirituality and sexual empowerment. We included a warning on invitations: “This exhibit features nudity and adult situations. If you are offended by nudity or sexual representations then please do not attend.”
MY ARTIST’S STATEMENT as exhibit curator: “I use movies and motivation to empower women emotionally, politically and sexually. Each of these tenets is equally important to empowerment. It’s a holistic approach. You can’t feel completely empowered politically if you are not empowered sexually. You can’t own yourself sexually or emotionally, if you don’t own your political self.
Corporations are trying to own & market our sexuality. It’s being bought, sold and traded on the open market. It is vital not only to criticize but to offer an alternative voice to those seeking this kind of content. Clearly this is challenging with so many negative and exploitative images dominating popular culture.
We work with V-Day to stop violence against women and girls. A central part of this initiative is being clear that sex is not wrong or bad. The results of irresponsible sexuality and representations include teen pregnancy and growing rates of HIV. However, we need to be clear that there is still a healthy place for erotic joy in communities that that have been viewed consistently as over-sexualized.
The sexual representations are damaging, not sex. People have a vested interested in owning and controlling our sexuality and we will no longer allow them to do so.”
chashama gallery is located at 112 West 44th Street. chashama provided residency support for the creation of this show. chashama is a NYC arts organization whose mission is to support artists of all genres. chashama “adopts” vacant properties that are donated by their owners and converts them into theaters, galleries, studios, and window performance sites; chashama then re-grants this space for free or at heavily subsidized rates. Since 1995, chashama has transformed more than 20 vacant properties and has given more than 5,000 artists access to space.
Tags: activism, afrodite superstar, art, black women, video, women of color