The first ever exhibition highlighting the influence of punk feminist movement Riot Grrrl.
What queer girl hasn’t felt the impact of Riot Grrrl, that music and multi-art movement that expressed the rage and rebellion of young women everywhere? From bands like Bikini Kill and Le Tigre, headed by Kathleen Hanna, to the films of Miranda July, Riot Grrrl gave voice to female artistic expression—and inspired a generation of artists along the way. Now, the Orange County Museum of Art (OCMA) presents Alien She, an exhibition with proof positive of the lasting impact of the Riot Grrrl movement on today's artists.
Focusing on seven contemporary artists working in variety of media, the exhibition includes original works as well as materials gathered archivally: sculptures, photographs, videos, artist publications and drawings, self-published zines, flyers, and posters—even band t-shirts and playlists and other live performance ephemera. Alien She also features workshops, performances, and discussions with curators and artists, and will remain on view through May 24, 2015.
The Orange County Museum of Art, which promotes progressive culture, considers the Riot Grrrl movement of the 1990s, which flourished especially on the West Coast of the United States, an important moment in contemporary culture. A new breed of feminism, Riot Grrrl fought back against sexism, racism and homophobia—not to mention corporate culture and capitalism—and involved and encouraged a new wave of creativity and youth empowerment through various media including DIY fashion, art, music, film, videos, ‘zines, conventions, and early Internet activity such as listserves, message boards, and chat rooms.
Video interviews and collaborative, online projects like the Riot Grrrl Census (http://riotgrrrlcensus.tumblr.com) and Riot Grrrl Chapters Map (bit.ly/RGmap) provide an expanded oral history and opportunity for additional contributions from gallery visitors and the public.
Photo documentation of The Swan Tool, performance by Miranda July, 2001
Photograph by David Nakamoto
“Riot Grrrl fostered community, action and creation,” say exhibition curators Astria Suparak and Ceci Moss. “This exhibition provides a view into the passion and diversity of the original Riot Grrrl movement and highlights how these ideas have broadened, evolved and mutated in the work of contemporary artists.”
Many female artists continue to draw from the alternative aesthetics and attitudes of Riot Grrrl, such as Ginger Brooks Takahashi, Allyson Mitchell, Faythe Levine, Tammy Rae Carland, L.J. Roberts, and Stephanie Syjuco. Miranda July, also featured in Alien She, has influenced the controversial and taboo-talking Lena Dunham of Girls fame.
"This is a living history, not a sealed past," says curators Moss and Suparak. "By representing numerous voices and experiences, rather than outlining one single definitive story, we hope the historical section of the show will reflect the multiplicity that was such an integral part of the original movement."
Orange County Museum of Art is located at 850 San Clemente Drive in Newport Beach, CA.
For additional information, call 949.759.1122 or visit www.ocma.net.
New Hours Beginning February 15, 2015
Wednesday – Sunday, 11 am – 5 pm; Friday, 11 am – 8 pm
Adults $10, seniors and students $7.50, children 12 and under are free. Fridays are free to the public.