Created for the 2011 Pittsburgh Biennial, this project was intended to initiated collective inquiry about how feminist knowledge sharing might inform “bench-side” approaches to scientific method and science pedagogy. Gallery visitors were invited to sit at the different tables, alone or with another person, to think and talk about the themes, histories, and ideas embedded in each setting—and to share their responses in the space. We combined notes, drawings, materials, and objects that reflect some of our own and others’ meanderings and serious study in scientific, social and artistic pursuits. Our intent was to evoke intimate versions of the sometimes-improvised lab work benches, work spaces and kitchens, in which many women scientists (and artists) did their first important work.
In the spirit of Virginia Woolf’s Thoughts on Peace in an Air Raid, we invite you to do some “tea table thinking” here and in the spaces in which you live and work.
- Pittsburgh Biennial, Miller Gallery, Carnegie Mellon University.
Curated by Astria Suparak, Sept 16–Dec 11, 2011.
A poetic, performative installation, commissioned for an inter-generational feminist exhibition: The Way That We Rhyme: Women, Art and Politics
. subRosa borrowed from the aesthetic forms and utopian gestures of the “Art Into Life” philosophy of Russian Constructivists, and the Wall of Respect
painted in 1967 by Chicago-based black activists, to initiate discussions of feminist joy and solidarity. Performers rode on two ‘rafts’ made from painted canvas and discarded tires and billboard materials, and invited viewers aboard. Participants were invited to pin shout-outs to inspirational figures on paper “Cones of Respect” that were then pinned on a ‘pier post’ reminiscent of a communications tower. The project demonstrated “the way that we work” in solidarity with each other and with other women, and invokes different social movements and philosophies that influence each of us.
- The Way That We Rhyme: Women, Art & Politics, curated by Berin Golonu, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco, March 29-June 29, 2008 (catalog).
*Download templates to make your own Cones of Respect (please send us photos!).
Cell Track is a flexible-scale wall installation and accompanying web site examining the privatization and patenting of human, animal, and plant genomes within the context of a history of eugenics. It has been exhibited alone and in combination with other subRosa projects, sometimes with site-specific content modifications.
Cell Track draws attention to the increasing separation between the bodies that produce stem cells—and other genetic material—and the medical and pharmaceutical products derived from them.
Maternal body cells and tissues—such as eggs, placentas, fetuses, and umbilical cord blood—have become valuable “raw materials” extracted and accumulated for emerging bio-tech industries. This has opened new pathways for corporate science to profit from the manipulation and control of life via the privatization of DNA sequences, engineered genes, stem cell lines, transgenic organisms, and the like. Cell Track
gives a historic overview of the privatization of biology while also raising the the possibility of activist, feminist-inspired experimental research and labs accessible to amateurs, artists, independent scientists, and non-profit researchers conducting research and sharing knowledge for the public good.
- Bio-Difference: The Political Ecology, Biennale of Electronic Arts Perth, Lawrence Wilson Art Gallery, Univ. of Western Australia, Sept. 12–Oct. 3, 2004
- YOUGenics3, curated by Ryan Griffis, Betty Rymer Gallery, Art Institute of Chicago, Dec. 4–Feb. 5, 2004
- Deliciously Disposable Earth, curated by Carolina Loyola-Garcia, Three Rivers Arts Festival Gallery, Pittsburgh, PA, Jan. 17–Feb 22, 2008 (catalog)
- Soft Power. Art and Technologies in the Biopolitical Age, curated by Maria Ptqk. Amarika Project at Vitoria-Gasteiz, Spain. Fall, 2009
- BPLTC I: Cellular Control, curated by Eliane Ellbogen, Eastern Bloc, Montreal, Sept. 24–Oct. 14, 2015
- Eugenic History of Southern Agriculture with subRosa and curated by Atlanta Anti-University at Murmur Gallery, Sept 12-13, 2016
This project has its own web site, and you can download the Cultures of Eugenics booklet that accompanies it.
This major, year-long subRosa project for The Interventionists,
mapped the intersections of women’s material and affective labor in cultures of production in North Adams, MA, and Ciudad Juárez, Mexico, and investigated the similarities and differences of economic, cultural and every-day life effects of the outsourcing of labor and globalization on these towns and on their local female labor force. Large, aerial wall maps of North Adams and Ciudad Juárez featured oversized map pins denoting “points of view,” and flanked a “forensic floor” that concealed objects, texts, and clues beneath loose boards. Visitors were encouraged to discover connections between the aerial maps, the contents beneath the floor, and a third printed “road map” distributed in the space. Also displayed were five posters by contemporary Mexican artists, expressing concern and outrage about the continuing murder and disappearance of women in Ciudad Juárez.*
The “Clothing Tag Map,” a separate part of this project—displayed in the foyer of the Museum—allowed visitors to cut the tags off their clothing and pin them to a Dymaxion world map, according to the location where each garment was manufactured. Thus visitors actively explored, and demonstrated their own participation and complicity in globalized labor conditions.
- The Interventionists: Art in the Social Sphere, curated by Nato Thompson, MASS MoCA, North Adams, MA, May 2004–March 2005 (catalog, link).
- Thought Crimes: The Art of Subversion [clothing tag map only], curated by Diane Barber, Diverse Works, Houston, TX, April 1–May 28, 2005.
* Can You See Us Now has its own web site.
An interactive super-sized sculptural performance originally created as an element of subRosa’s “Knowing Bodies” installation in Fusion! Artists in a Research Setting
[see below]. Constructa/vulva
comes with a wildly colorful collection of ‘parts’, including many sizes and shapes of labia, cervix, and clitori. Performers (in recent versions, costumed as speculums) encourage and assist audience members in creating their ideal vulva by affixing their choices of parts to Velcroed surfaces. An instant portrait of the audience member with their creation was given to them.* The project honors the 1970s Feminist Women’s Health Movement, which encouraged women to get to know, love, and care for their own bodies and sexualities.
- Fusion! Artists in a Research Setting, Regina Gouger Miller Gallery, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA, Aug. 22–Sept. 29, 2000.
- EveryBody!: Visual resistance in feminist health movements, 1969-2009, curated by Bonnie Fortune. I-Space, Chicago. Sept. 11–Oct. 10, 2009 & Carleton College Gallery, April–May, 2011.