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O'Grady, Semmel: Maccarone Gallery
September 9 – October 16, 2016
Image: O'Grady, Body/Ground, 1991, detail

Lorraine O'Grady and Joan Semmel included in Coming To Power: 25 Years Of Sexually X-Plicit Art By Women at Maccarone Gallery, New York.

Maccarone Gallery, with Pati Hertling and Julie Tolentino, restage the landmark feminist exhibition Coming To Power: 25 Years Of Sexually X-Plicit Art By Women, curated by Ellen Cantor in 1993 at David Zwirner Gallery.

Instigated by Cantor’s vision, Coming To Power reflected the bold voices and urgency of iconic female artists’ work from the 60-70’s, pop and porn of the 80’s, and collided with early 90’s sex positive, queer, BDSM, and sex radicals of performance and video art culture.

In the 1993 press release, Cantor states: “In contrast to the previous generation’s more politicized work, the intended impact of the younger artists’ work is to elicit sexual excitement as well as express autonomous pleasure, passion and pain. Together both generations engage in a dialogue previously dominated by men and disallowed to women by the taboos in society.”

Returning to and experiencing this work is a confrontation. It forces us all to face the impact of both the potency of this righteous canon as well as experience its absences, losses, hits, and misses. We look towards this exhibition – its shadow, as well as its future – as a language constructed from both past and future bodies ― bodies of work re-rendered, and bodies simultaneously recognized. We hope to underscore that a “survey of women” is a rigorous transit into the archives’ crevices, spatial discourse, sordid gossip, and recollections.

In this iteration of Coming To Power, Hertling and Tolentino draw these important works back together to harness the momentum of intersectional feminism, sexual politics, and queer practice through a performance program that highlights diverse, queer, trans, and genderqueer artists to embolden the discourse of the provocative, sexual self: FlucT, luciana achugar, Kia Labeija, Lion with B L K W Y N T E R, Xandra Ibarra/La Chica Boom, Zackary Drucker & Orlando Tirado, Jim Fletcher, Narcissister, Niv Acosta, and Jen Rosenblit.

As part of the unprecedented Fall 2016 collaboration between Foxy Production, Maccarone, NYU’s 80WSE Gallery, and PARTICIPANT INC, Skowhegan, Electronic Arts Intermix (EAI), and the Museum of Modern Art, with the Estate of Ellen Cantor, seeks to open dialogue surrounding Cantor’s multifaceted and groundbreaking work.

Additionally, Hertling & Tolentino, with Capricious Press will publish I’m Still Coming: Ellen Cantor’s COMING TO POWER 1993 & 2016, featuring commissioned essays by Skowhegan including Tina Zatvisanos, Amalle Dublon, Clara Lopéz Menéndez, Ashton Cooper, Vivian Crockett, Natasha Marie Lorens, Cerith Wyn Evans’ interview with Cantor and more.