A big question for U.S. women: Are you a feminist? Sandra Oh represented plenty of us when she said, "People who say that they don't like that word have drunk some kind of Kool-Aid. What is wrong with them?" Still, plenty of other perfectly intelligent, self-respecting women say nah, they don't need to define themselves as such. At the massive new art show "The Way That We Rhyme," the term "woman" is explored in depth and in technicolor; the "F" word comes up from time to time.
The exhibit is heavy on film and video offerings, including a series co-curated by Miranda July -- her motion-picture "chain letter" Joanie 4 Jackie saw young women in the mid-1990s experimenting with cameras, and here are the results. Also on display is the frighteningly intelligent video work of Laurel Nakadate, a young, beautiful Asian American who twists older men's pervy desires for her into their own public humiliation. Do they deserve it? Who is exploiting who here? Is it feminist?
Deborah Grant's paintings, Vaginal Davis' installations and gender-specific salons, and "Restricted Access," an exhibit of historical feminist ephemera (plus video of young women's reactions to it), and a zine archive are only some of the other elements of TWTWR.
Tonight, an opening event features music by Brilliant Colors, the Sarees, and DJ Jenny Hoyston (of Erase Errata); performances by Toxic Titties, Dynasty Handbag, and others; live interactive textile art by MK Guth, Subrosa, and Stephanie Syjuco, and a film screening curated by local filmmaker Ariella Ben-Dov. Additionally, a day-long event tomorrow includes more of the same plus evening performances by Nao Bustamante and Julie Atlas Muz.
March 28-June 29, 2008