[Image: Allyson Mitchell. Recommended Reading. 2010. wallpaper of photocopied drawings. courtesy of the artist and Katherine Mulherin Gallery, Toronto. Photos by Mario Gallucci.]
“Alien She” is a two-part exhibition that explores the lasting impact of Riot Grrrl on the art practice of seven visual artists and collectives. The two parts of the exhibition are presented at the 511 Gallery at PNCA and the Museum of Contemporary Craft (MOCC). The exhibition at the 511 Gallery presents archival materials including zines, posters, and music listening stations to immerse the viewer into the culture and ideologies of the Riot Grrrl movement. Riot Grrrl began in the early 90s as a punk feminist movement reacting to the violent sexism, homophobia, and racism apparent in the punk music scene. The movement went on to inspire the socially and politically driven careers of the artists included in the exhibition and many more.
[Image: Exhibition images. "Alien She". 511 Gallery at PNCA. Photos by Mario Gallucci]
One of the consistent themes throughout the exhibition is the use of craft based practices to communicate the social ideals of the artists involved in the exhibition. Upon entering the exhibition at MOCC the viewer is arrested by a bright pink, hand woven, barbed wire fence sculpture, We Couldn’t Get In. We Couldn’t Get Out, by artist L.J. Roberts. The installation evokes the feeling of confinement and experience of discrimination faced by immigrant, queer, and transgender communities. Robert’s art practice is informed by the DIY, craftivism, and feminist spirit associated with Riot Grrrl.
[Image: L.J. Roberts. We Couldn't Get In. We Couldn't Get Out. Crank-Knit Yarn, Hand-Woven Wire, Steel Poles, Assorted Hardware. 2006-2007. courtesy of the artist. Photos by Mario Gallucci.]
Placed behind Robert’s barbed wire fence stand Allyson Mitchell’s Ladies Sasquatch sculptures. The series of sculptures embody a, “feral sexuality outside prescriptive heteronormative notions of beauty and lust and toward a ‘queer utopian dreamworld’.”
[Image: Allyson Mitchell. Ladies Sasquatch. 2006-2010. courtesy of the artist and Katherine Mulherin Gallery, Toronto. Photos by Mario Gallucci.]
[Image: Crochet tutorial workstation. photos by Mario Gallucci]
Artists: Ginger Brooks Takahashi (Pittsburgh), Tammy RaeCarland (Oakland), Miranda July (Los Angeles), Faythe Levine (Milwaukee), Allyson Mitchell (Toronto), L.J. Roberts (Brooklyn), Stephanie Syjuco (San Francisco) and more.
Alien She is curated by Astria Suparak and Ceci Moss, and organized by the Miller Gallery at Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh.
Alien She is presented in two parts:
Museum of Contemporary Craft
724 NW Davis
Portland, OR 97209
511 Gallery @ PNCA
511 NW Broadway
Portland, OR 97209
"Alien She". Curated by Astria Suparak and Ceci Moss. Museum of Contemporary Craft and 511 Gallery at PNCA, Portland, OR. Sep 3, 2015 – Jan 9, 2016.