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Two new I space exhibitions examine feminist health, aging issues

"Inheritance" by Christa Donner

Christa Donner
"Inheritance"
2009
wall mural

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9/4/2009 | Melissa Mitchell, Arts Editor | 217-333-5491; melissa@illinois.edu

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. – Feminist health movements  – past and present – and antidotes to the fear of growing old will be examined in two new exhibitions on view Sept. 11 through Oct. 10 at
I space, the Chicago art gallery of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

"Menotoxins" by Laura Szumowski
Laura Szumowski
"Menotoxins"
2009
offset on paper

“EveryBody! Visual Resistance in Feminist Health Movements, 1969-2009,” organized by U. of I. art and design graduate student Bonnie Fortune, juxtaposes historical documents – including posters, zines and other literature and ephemera – from the Women’s Health Movement of the late 1960s and ‘70s with presentations and performances by artists and activists advocating health reform today.

Historical materials featured in the exhibition have been loaned by individuals, groups and institutions, including the Chicago Women’s Graphics Collective (CWGC) and Federation of Feminist Health Centers. Among the exhibition’s artists and other contributors are Heather Ault, CureThis! Christa Donner, Suzann Gage, Terri Kapsalis, Suzanne Lacy, Madsen Minax, the Pink Bloque, Favianna Rodriguez, Dewayne Sleightweight, subRosa, Laura Szumowski, VideoFreex, Sara Welch, Women on Waves and Faith Wilding.

Additional printed material is courtesy of the Barnard Zine Library, Lincoln Cushing/Docs Populi Archive, Duke University Sallie Bingham Center for Women’s History and Culture, Just Seeds, Library of Radiant Optimism for Let’s Re-make the World and Microcosm Publishing.

 “EveryBody!” also will feature a video component, provided by Video Data Bank. Each week, a different title will be presented. Events planned in conjunction with the exhibition – at I space and on the Urbana-Champaign campus – include:

• Artist talk and book release with Gage, Sept. 12, 2 p.m., I space:  The California-based nurse practitioner and holistic health professional will discuss her medical illustrations from the book “New View of a Woman’s Body” (Federation of Feminist Women’s Health Centers, 1981). The event also will feature the release of a published interview of Gage by the exhibition curator.

• “The Hysterical Alphabet: A Multimedia History,” Sept. 23, 7:30 p.m., Knight Auditorium, Spurlock Museum, 600 S. Gregory St., Urbana. The production will feature Kapsalis’ presentation of a “hysterical” version of the alphabet based on medical lore and backed by film collages by Danny Thompson and musical manipulations by John Corbett.

• Artist talk with Christa Donner, Oct. 5, 5:30 p.m. 62 Krannert Art Museum, 500 E. Peabody Drive, Champaign. Donner, a Chicago-based artist whose work is exhibited internationally, will discuss her work and visual research, which focuses on body image, illness and injury, reproductive systems, power and mass media.

Also on view in association with the exhibition will be the “Feminist Health Political Graphics Exhibit,” Sept. 9 through Oct. 1, Women’s Resource Center, 703 S. Wright St., Champaign. The exhibit, featuring posters from CWGC and Docs Populi, is sponsored by Sharon Irish.

The second new exhibition at I space is titled ”The Glue Factory, a Broadside Project Regarding the Fear of Growing Old,” curated by architects Helen Slade, Mike Newman and Rashmi Ramaswamy.  The curatorial team, which works together as the Museum of Contemporary Phenomena,  explore “extraordinary moments in society … where people, ideas and events converge and demand to be investigated.”

“The Glue Factory” is part of the group’s ongoing interactive project, begun in 2006, which sought feedback from gallery visitors regarding their fears. The fear of growing old – alone, without health, family, resources or housing – was a common theme that emerged. To address this fear, MCP invited a roster of “creative thinkers” to provide their antidotes, which are presented as “broadsides” in “The Glue Factory.”

Exhibition artists and participants include Sean Culver, Antonio Garcia, Teresa Ghilarducci, Elise Goldstein, Feel Tank Chicago (members Lauren Berlant, Deborah Gould, Mary Patten, Amy Partridge, Matthias Regan and Rebecca Zorach); HaHa, Dawn Hancock, Samantha Hill, Scott Jarrett , Jon Langford, Brad Lichtenstein, Ann Panopio, Jason Pickleman, Paul Raff, Christine Tarkowski, Katrina Van Valkenburgh and Stephanie Victa.

Additional participants, students aged 14-19 from Chicago’s “After School Matters” program, directed by teachers Ken Camdken and Erin Foley, are Camara Andorso, Daniel Ayale, Yulibeth Brito, Valentino Cobrera, Vanessa Cortez, Shiquite Dodson, John Joe Friedmorn, Martha Galindo, Jonathan Lind, Oscar Mendoza, Cindy Nunez, James E. Robinson Jr. and Jason Rodriquez.

An opening reception for both exhibitions is planned from 5-7 p.m. Sept. 11 at the gallery, 230 W. Superior St., Chicago.

I space gallery hours are Tuesday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

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