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“All Byte: Feminist Intersections in Video Art” features nine emerging artists whose work engages the inseparability of class, race, sexuality and other factors when addressing gender
Franklin Street Works, University of Connecticut-Stamford’s Women’s Gender and Sexuality Studies Program, and Sacred Heart University’s Masters of Film and Television Program have collaborated to co-curate “All Byte: Feminist Intersections in Video Art,” an exhibition of video works informed by intersectional feminist approaches. The exhibition will be on view at Franklin Street Works from April 9 – July 10, 2016. Opening reception is Saturday April 9th from 6:00 – 8:00 pm with a member VIP preview from 5:00 – 6:00pm.
Feminist conversations and scholarship around the inseparability of class, race, country of origin and other factors when contemplating gender are reflected in artworks that, among other things, encourage viewers to listen across difference and explore matrixes of power. Through a call for submissions, the curators also sought out emerging artists in order to explore “fourth wave” feminist approaches to video and film. “All Byte” features works made between 2013 and 2015 by nine artists or collectives: Michelle Marie Charles, INVASORIX, Kegels for Hegel, Sarah Lasley, Nicole Maloof, Virginia Lee Montgomery, Sunita Prasad, Legacy Russell, and Maryam Tafakory. This original exhibition is co-curated by the Program Director of Sacred Heart University’s Film and Television Masters school, Justin Liberman; Director of Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at the University of Connecticut-Stamford, Ingrid Semaan; and Franklin Street Works’ Creative Director, Terri C Smith.
The term “intersectionality” was coined by feminist legal scholar and critical race theorist Kimberlé Crenshaw in 1989. This analytic frame aimed to disrupt the approach of “single axis analysis,” which treated race and gender as mutually exclusive. Instead, intersectional work looks at how social factors and systems of power interlock and shape each other. The “All Byte” co-curators chose videos that exhibit an understanding of intersectionality and a sophisticated or fresh use of the medium. When taken as a whole, these works address gender in concert with many other factors, including: exploring the queer body through a transformative journey; queering of influential, usually white male, theorists through song; placing the alienated female body in surreal parallel to the predominantly white, male tech industry; addressing the contradictions between the lyrics and images in hip-hop videos that often portray women as sexual props; recounting academia’s gendered power structures through parody and art history; exploring inaccurate, race-based assumptions about citizenship and experience; unearthing colonial histories, preserved in the street signs of a small American neighborhood; gender based medical practices; and more. Through the intersectional feminist lens, these artists shed light on systems that reinforce dominance to the exclusion of others and create narratives of inclusion and understanding.
ABOUT THE COLLABORATORS
Franklin Street Works is a not-for-profit contemporary art space whose mission is to manifest contemporary art projects in a professional and welcoming setting. Franklin Street Works aims to broaden community participation in the arts, contribute to a larger arts dialogue, and cultivate emerging artists. To date, the organization has exhibited the work of more than 250 artists, curated 20 original exhibitions, and organized approximately 100 programs, including talks, tours, and performances. Exhibitions have received accolades, including a two-year grant from the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, funds from the City of Stamford, a matching grant from Fairfield County’s Community Foundation, and funds from the Mertz Gilmore Foundation.
The Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies (WGSS) Program at UConn-Stamford was founded as a flexible interdisciplinary academic program devoted to the critical analysis of gender and the pursuit of knowledge about women. The WGSS program offers an undergraduate minor. Faculty and students in the WGSS Program explore the construction of women, gender, and sexuality in different social, cultural, political, economic, aesthetic, and historical contexts by combining methods and insights of traditional academic disciplines with innovations in interdisciplinary feminist scholarship. Our research and teaching illuminate the complex and changing local, comparative, and transnational processes that contour gender and sexuality; examine local, comparative, and transnational settings; and analyze the diverse narratives, structures, and patterns that shape everyday life, social institutions, and cultures.
The Film and Television Masters program (FTMA) at Sacred Heart University is a conservatory devoted to cinematic storytelling. Our program is designed to foster the next generation of storytellers through dynamic workshops and independent projects. FTMA’s home is in the heart of Connecticut’s “Creative Corridor” with close ties to neighboring New York City. Focusing on story and hands-on production, students learn the craft and techniques that will empower them to stand out in today’s new media market. Our program is especially unique in that our students complete their own professional portfolio while going beyond the classroom into professional environments. Through partnerships with media companies and guidance from industry professionals our students tailor their concentration to meet their career needs.