Reading Room: The Feminist Art of Self Help

Venue: 1131 Mission Street

Reading Room: The Feminist Art of Self Help is a group exhibition that explores the work of artists who critique gender essentialism of feminism from within and outside its movements. Rooted in the tradition of experimental and intersectional feminist arts, exhibiting artists create new visual language and interventions in response to current and urgent political formations.

By taking refuge in architectural and emotional interiors, these artworks collectively propose radical feminist aesthetics. To spend time in a “reading room” implies an investment in returning to foundational histories; a willingness to revise prior positions, as well an openness to new information. This act is a form of self-study that has the capacity to transform artistic practices into collective political action.

Reading Room exhibiting artists not only call for political action, but also the creation of artistic spaces as forms of self-care. This desire to undermine the binary of private and public space comes from an awareness of the inescapability of their own bodies that are legislated, hold trauma, and reproduce social, political, and biological histories. Reading Room addresses the desire to revisit and put to use feminism in its full and sometimes messiest iterations of hope and desire.

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