Lilliam Nieves
Beauty Queen IV, 2019
Red oak panel, surface inked with black ink, 96 x 48 x 3/4
Museum purchase with funds from the Ballinger Endowment Fund

An Unfinished Journey: Embodying the Feminist City

April 22, 2023 to August 27, 2023

An Unfinished Journey: Embodying the Feminist City speaks of an enduring endeavor to attain and maintain women’s rights. Through mixed media artworks by Sandra C. Fernández (b. 1964 New York), Tania Candiani (b. 1974 Mexico City), and Lilliam Nieves (b. 1975 Puerto Rico) the exhibition asks how bodies can claim a sense of belonging and agency, how they can act against systems of oppression that devalue humans and different forms of seeing and being in our communities. How does urban design—architecture, zoning laws, and infrastructure—sustain or dismantle hegemonic power structures? And how can the city, as a space of relationality, and its inhabitants, exhort and advance social justice, as individuals continue to strive for their rights?

The “feminist city” imagines sites where bodies are respected and freed from violence. It recognizes that cities and bodies, much like the category of women and feminism, are contested terms and loci that continue to be redefined and reconceptualized. As feminist geographer Leslie Kern mentions, the feminist city is “an ongoing experiment in living differently, living better, and living more justly.” The feminist city adopts an intersectional approach to acknowledge and addresses both private and public acts of violence against the body. The feminist city brings awareness of different forms of exclusion, devaluation, and misogyny. It also invites us to demand women’s rights and to seek the empowerment of the individual and collective female body. The artists in this exhibition adopt video, painting, sewing, and printing techniques, to reclaim space, their bodies, and their rights in an unfinished journey to embody the feminist city. An Unfinished Journey is curated by Adriana Miramontes Olivas, PhD.