The Institute of Contemporary Art at the University of Pennsylvania welcomes you to celebrate the opening of our Fall 2019 exhibition season, comprised of the exhibitions arms ache avid aeon: Nancy Brooks Brody / Joy Episalla / Zoe Leonard / Carrie Yamaoka: fierce pussy amplified, Colored People Time: Banal Presents, and Michelle Lopez: Ballast & Barricades.
The opening celebration is free for all to attend.
arms ache avid aeon: Nancy Brooks Brody / Joy Episalla / Zoe Leonard / Carrie Yamaoka: fierce pussy amplified draws upon the collective power and diversity of individual art practices by the original core members of the queer art collective fierce pussy. Their works challenge boundaries of photography, video, painting, and sculpture, and activate forms of resistance through abstraction and by investigating the limits of perception and materials. Selections of each artist’s work from the late 1980s to the present are being installed in chapters. Chapters one to four were shown at Beeler Gallery at Columbus College of Art & Design. Chapter five, at ICA, contains a new set of artworks, continuing to challenge protocols of the exhibition format as the artists attune to the transit of time and space as materiality.
Colored People Time: Banal Presents is the third and final chapter in the exhibition series Colored People Time and stages a conversation between the artists Carolyn Lazard, Cameron Rowland, and Sable Elyse Smith. The artists in this exhibition — and we, as viewers — occupy a current moment haunted by what the Professor Saidiya Hartman has termed the “afterlife” of slavery. This “afterlife” names the enduring presence of slavery’s racialized violence that permeates every aspect of our society. Banal Presents locates the present as the space where we bend the relationship between the past and the future. The present, in all of its fleetingness, is where we act.
Michelle Lopez: Ballast & Barricades employs a formal, fragmented architectural language to critique symbols of nationalism, power, and consumption. Known for her sculptural works that recast histories of minimalism and everyday objects through a feminist lens, in this exhibition Lopez brings together a selection of recent sculptures alongside a monumental, site-specific installation that creates a suspended cityscape reduced to rubble. Here, blockades, borders, flags, and natural elements bleed together while remnants of construction sites and scaffolding create a delicate system of counterweights and counterbalances—all meticulously crafted by hand. For Lopez, this sculptural terrain is suggestive of an ongoing history of bodies and violence in the absence of figuration. It is an urban landscape fabricated out of the material remains of crisis, teetering on the brink of collapse.