With just a week to go till “Bitch Is The New Black” begins to pack down, its your last chance to get to Honor Fraser to check out one of the most exciting group shows this year.
Curated by Emma Gray, The group show spotlights fourteen Los Angeles-based women who are all emerging or established artists from roughly the same generation and are bright lights on the local scene. All share a certain maverick outlook and ballsy attitude that distinguish them at a time when their male counterparts continue to receive the lion’s share of the artworld’s attention.
A wide range of interdisciplinary work will be on display: painting, sculpture, photography, video and performance. The works also display a diverse range of attitudes toward female identity politics. Kirsten Stoltman delivers straight from the hip, describing herself as a ‘self-destructive feminist’. Annie Lapin, who studied under another of BITNB’s featured artists, Catherine Opie, could have her outlook described as ‘post-feminist’. Cathy Akers pees standing up like a man in her pee performances and uses the trope ‘hertopia’ to describe her dioramas. Rosson Crow often utilizes typically male bastions, like the stock exchange, butcher shops or oil fields as her subject matter. Other artists avoid the “f”-word altogether.
Thematically, the exhibition was inspired by the Anne Sexton poem Consorting with Angels. The title of the exhibition, an incredibly glib fashion term, was repurposed from a snippet of dialogue from Saturday Night Live that was broadcast during the 2008 presidential election. Tina Fey celebrates the idea of a woman president as a “bitch,” reasoning that “bitches get stuff done.” A few episodes later her cast mate Tracy Morgan rebutted Fey’s statement by saying: “Bitch may be the new black. But black is the new president, bitch!” Most importantly, the title asserts the artists’ shared independent streak. “Bitch Is The New Black” isn’t re-envisioning a new collective feminist consciousness; it is about celebrating talented artists in the city of Los Angeles who happen to be women –- with attitude.
Artists: Cathy Akers, Kathryn Andrews, Rosson Crow, Krysten Cunningham, Pearl C. Hsiung, Annie Lapin, Shana Lutker, Ruby Neri, Catherine Opie, Amanda Ross-Ho, Anna Sew Hoy, Mindy Shapero, Kirsten Stoltmann, Bari Ziperstein.