Threewalls is honored to present Fearful Symmetries, the first retrospective exhibition of the influential feminist artist, Faith Wilding. Widely known as a performance artist, Wilding was a key figure in the formation of the first Feminist Art Program in Fresno in 1970, and at Cal Arts in 1971. She was a major contributor to the now historical, month-long collaborative feminist installation Womanhouse, sited in an abandoned mansion in Los Angeles in 1972, where she performed her highly celebrated work Waiting.
Fearful Symmetries, curates a selection of works from Wilding’s studio practice spanning the past forty years, highlighting a range of works on paper – drawings, watercolors, collage and paintings – exhibited together here for the first time. Taking up key, allegorical imagery in Wilding’s work, the exhibition focuses on themes of “becoming,” both the transformative event itself, and the threshold to transfiguration. This state of in-between-ness is articulated through imagery of leaves, the chrysalis, hybrid beings, and liminal circumstances themselves, like “waiting”, the subject of Wilding’s two prominent performances Waiting and Wait-With.
Alongside the exhibition is a curated archive, featuring Wilding’s work with the collaborative research and performance group subRosa; rare videos of performances made throughout her career; and papers and publications dating from Wilding’s participation in the feminist art movement in the 1970s.
A series of special events punctuate the exhibition, including a performance and discussion with Irina Aristarkhova on January 9; two screenings of feminist films from Wilding’s archives at The Nightingale theater, January 29 and February 5; and on February 14, a reading from her memoir-in progress about growing up in a commune in Paraguay. Wilding’s exhibition was planned to coincide with her reception of a Lifetime Achievement from the Women’s Caucus for Art at the College Art Association annual conference on February 15, 2014.
The exhibition will be accompanied by a publication featuring original writings by Irina Aristarkhova, Mario Ontiveros, and Faith Wilding. Select reproductions of material from Wilding’s archive will be made available, courtesy of Tan & Loose Press.
Image credit: “Isadora Duncan”
Collaborative costume image, staging Nancy Youdelman
Photography: Dori Atlantis
Perfomer: Faith Wilding
Fresno Feminist Art Program, 1971.
Preview Event: Faith Wilding in conversation with Irina Aristarkhova: January 9th, 2014 6-9PM @ Venue 1, RSVP required
Screenings from the archives: documents on feminist art movement on January 29@ The Nightingale, 1084 N. Milwaukee
Screenings from the archives: documents on Womanhouse on February 5, 7 PM @ The Nightingale, 1084 N. Milwaukee
TRACERS TAKES ON FEMINISM: CONVERSATIONS ABOUT MOTHERHOOD, LGBTQ AND RACE. Organized by Jennifer Reeder and Carrie Ruckel: Fri. Feb. 14th, 10-5 PM
Being like leaves: Faith Wilding reading selections from her memoir: February 14, 8 PM @ Gallery 400 Lecture Hall
This exhibition has been generously supported by The Irving Harris Foundation & The Foundation for Contemporary Art