“A Little Trouble” – is a female focused art show in the Extension Gallery at the Allston shop curated by Pueblo 2012 mastermind and longtime shop employee Michael Chew.
The show features powerful work by some amazing women, with proceeds from art sales going to Planned Parenthood. The opening reception was on Saturday January 28th, and will be on exhibit through the end of February.
To celebrate the opening we put together this playlist where the ladies chose some tracks and Chew laid down the mix.
Read the show’s statement below by Annie Fell, and swing by the shop to check this amazing exhibit featuring artwork by Olivia Ives-Flores, Annie Fell, Lauren Callahan, Zoe Hoffman, Cori Decicco, Juliana Conley, Moira Sheehan, Rachel O’Brien, Eileen Clynes, Jackie Shaab, and Amber Hakim.
In the narrative of mainstream pop culture, women have a history of ruining art. From the impure women barred from performing in the theaters of Elizabethan England to the conspiracy theory that Courtney Love killed Kurt Cobain, there have been innumerable dumb bitches to get in the way of The Men shaping art as we know it; perhaps the most famous of them is Yoko Ono. Before her name was reduced to a verb meaning “to break up the band,” Yoko was an intensely feminist multimedia artist, creating elaborate pieces that included a faux MoMA exhibit which protested the museum’s lack of female artists in 1971. Despite being far more interesting than–to quote the great John Waters–”those honky Beatles who ruined rock and roll,” she was burned at the stake for allegedly causing the downfall of the band, for reasons either sexist, racist, or, most likely, a lethal combination of the two. I wish Yoko Ono broke up The Beatles. It’s a way more interesting story than her being in any way complicit with those Christopher Columbuses of rock and roll.
My point is that Yoko’s accomplishments were erased by the mainstream narrative, until those accomplishments were reduced to what now seems to be considered a pop cultural war crime, all because she married some guy who–all tea, all shade–was not even that cute. We as a culture view female artists through the filter of the men they are associated with, be it romantically or collaboratively. On the other hand, openly feminist artists are pigeonholed by their opposition to The Patriarchy. Whichever side you’re on, your work is characterized by its relation to men. There’s no escape from being The Other.
I love that we are all coming together to celebrate art made by people who aren’t cisgender white dudes, but I also hate that this show is even happening. Showcasing the work of female artists should absolutely not be such a production (though that’s obviously not a misstep by Orchard, but rather the fault of–oy gevalt, brace yourself–Society). If this was recognized as a problem in 1971, it shouldn’t still be a problem over 40 years later. Showcasing female or non-binary artists should not be a conscious effort, it should just be assumed. I think that’s the goal: for women and non-binary folks to create art without it being overshadowed by the context of their Otherness.
In her 1996 Commencement speech at Wellesley College, writer/filmmaker Nora Ephron implored the graduating class, “Whatever you choose, I hope that you choose not to be a lady. I hope you will find some way to break the rules and make a little trouble out there, and I hope you’ll choose to make some of that trouble on behalf of women.” While it does a disservice to female/non-binary artists to assume that all of their work is or should be explicitly political, simply creating in the face of oppression unfortunately is, more often than not, a radical act.
All of us in this show are creating these pieces through the lenses of our own vastly different life experiences; though not all of it is expressly political, we are all trying our best to make a little trouble.