I am honored to be one of twenty women artists who will participate in A K Mimi Allin‘s No-No Girls performance piece at Seattle Art Museum this evening. The event is part of the opening ceremony for the incredibly exciting and important Elles: Pomidou show which opens tomorrow at SAM.
Directly from Marisa C. Sánchez, Associate Curator, Modern & Contemporary Art – SAM:
“Elles: Pompidou is a landmark exhibition of more than 130 works of art made by 75 women artists from 1907 to 2007. Organized by the Centre Pompidou in Paris, home to the Musée National d’Art Moderne—one of the largest collections of modern and contemporary art in Europe—this exhibition is an unforgettable visual experience that will challenge visitors’ assumptions about art of the past century. This ambitious survey of daring painting, sculpture, drawing, photography, video, and installation by innovative women artists offers a fresh perspective on a history of modern and contemporary art. With vision, humor, sensuality and ambiguity, these women represent the major movements in modern art—from abstraction to contemporary concerns, including identity politics.”
In preparation of and as a requirement for participation as a No-No Girl, Mimi and artist Vanessa Dewolf led us through some exercises to help us begin to engage with and experience No as we say it/feel it. The exercises were powerful and showed me specifically where different experiences of No reside in my body. We did a little writing after we did each exercise. Here are some thoughts I had:
Minute Number One: Even standing so close, I could not see her. I could hear her – I knew it was “no,” but not her specific no. I could only hear my own. I could feel her closeness- but not her body. I could feel the wall with my fingers. I could feel a wall of fear in saying No.
Minute Number Two: I felt the no with my finger. I felt the know with my voice. That power of the know came from the vibration of the No.
I was encouraged and even excited that in three short exercises I leapfrogged over some very tangible fear and began to open up to the experience of No in myself and in the presence of so many women – artists – of women I deeply respect and admire.
I am looking forward to tonight – to my experience of being a No-No Girl. I anticipate feeling afraid. And exhilarated. Alive.
Thank you for visiting.