May 2018–July 2018
When we think about the tension between coercion and consent, we often point to the cultural forces that shape our lives: the ways that women and femmes are socialized to be accommodating; the rigidity and persistence of social hierarchies; the cultural narratives that normalize domination, objectification, and abuse of power and privilege (injustices we’re so used to that many don’t seem to recognize them as injustices at all). For some of us, compliance with these narratives is unthinking, automatic. We consent to things we aren’t sure we want. We’re willing participants in capitalism, ableism, whiteness, class and language hierarchies, rape culture, and the gender binary — systems that count on our reluctance to say “no.”
We’ll be joined by artist in residence Yasmine Diaz, whose work addresses themes of gender, bicultural identity, memory, family honor, and shame—highlighted most pointedly through the medium of collage.
This quarter, we attempt to name the ways that we negotiate with power and add to the #metoo conversation about consent. Which experiences, identities, and collective practices might we refuse if given the opportunity? In what ways do we resist abuses of power? What would it feel like to have autonomy over our bodies? How do we learn to assert ourselves and to hold boundaries? What does it mean to take control?