Not Ready to Make Nice: The Guerrilla Girls in the Artworld and Beyond
September 4 - November 14, 2014
Not Ready to Make Nice, a major presentation of the Guerrilla Girls, illuminates and contextualizes the important historical and ongoing work of these highly original, provocative, and influential artists who champion feminism and social change. The Guerrilla Girls have been powerfully and consistently active since first breaking onto the art scene in 1985. Appearing only in gorilla masks and assuming the names of dead women artists, the activist group has remained anonymous for nearly three decades while revealing shocking truths about sexism and prejudice in the art world and beyond. Beginning with their courageous poster campaigns of the 1980s and continuing with large-scale international projects, they brilliantly take on the art establishment in a way that has never been seen before or since. Using “facts, humor, and fake fur,” they have exposed the discriminatory collecting and exhibiting practices of the most feared art dealers, curators, and collectors. Expanding their work to include non-visual arts media in the 1990s, the Guerrilla Girls have taken on everything from the discrimination of women film directors to the environmental crisis. Focusing primarily on recent work from the past decade, this exhibition features rarely-shown international projects that trace the collective’s artistic and activist influence around the globe. In addition, a selection of iconic work from the 80s and 90s illustrates the formative development of the group’s philosophy and conceptual approach to arts activism. Documentary material, including ephemera, behind-the-scenes photos, and secret anecdotes, reveal the Guerrilla Girls’ process and the events that drive their incisive institutional interventions. Visitors can peruse the artists’ favorite “love letters and hate mail,” and are invited to contribute their own voices to interactive installations. This multimedia, expansive exhibition illustrates that the work of the anonymous, feminist-activist Guerrilla Girls is as vital and revolutionary as ever.
Not Ready to Make Nice was curated by Neysa Page-Lieberman and organized by Columbia College Chicago.