Monday, January 25, 2016

Must See: Guerrilla Girls Take Over the Twin Cities

I don't know if I've ever been this excited for a museum exhibit. 

I was definitely pumped about Frida Kahlo at the Walker several years back, but this blows all others out of the water.

Impossible to ignore, the Guerrilla Girls have been kicking the patriarchy's ass for more than 30 years, and they're bringing their particular version of cultural kung-fu to the Twin Cities for six weeks beginning NOW. The Guerrilla Girls have long been heroes of mine for their totally unashamed, completely badass call for equal representation (gender and racial) everywhere, but especially in the art world.

Why does it matter you ask? Because representation is everything.

What message does it send when the only people paid, or at least paid well for their work, are men? What message does it send when the subjects of the vast majority of paintings are naked women? What message does it send when you don't see minorities at all?

When we don't see ourselves as agents of power, or worth attention, or if we understand that our value is based entirely on our physical attributes, we are unable to reach our true potential. And that's a shame, because there are so many ways the world could improve if we simply took the time to ask the majority of the population to help solve our problems.

Such a stark lack of representation in film, books, museums, and even in the office place does not reflect the real world, and that does all of us a disservice. We owe it to ourselves to represent the vibrant, difficult, complex diversity that really exists in every aspect of our lives - our economy and work, our imaginations, our books/tv shows/movies, our awards shows, and our art.

The Guerrilla Girl takeover of the Twin Cities is an amazing, sweeping effort that will touch most (if not all) of our major galleries and museums, provide countless free talks and events, create safe spaces to celebrate minority and female artists, and for more than one month raise awareness of these issues in an extremely visible way. I've never seen anything like it, and it's awe-inspiring.

EVERYONE needs to take advantage of this opportunity. There are more free events than I can put here already, and more are coming - they can all be found in an easy to read, centralized space on the takeover website. The Guerilla Girls have done an amazing job on their website for the takeover - make sure you check it out by clicking on this link.