Resources

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downloadDownload: Alien She poster


docPhotos on Flickr

a Follow @AlienSheExhibit

docWall Panels: Artists + Short Curatorial Texts

docExhibited works (from wall labels)

docFeminism & Race Conversation Resources

Press Resources

Media Contact: Margaret Cox, mc94@cmu.edu

Alien She co-curator: Astria Suparak, astria.suparak@gmail.com

docPress release: Alien She Exhibition on Riot Grrrl's Impact Premieres at Carnegie Mellon's Miller Gallery, Aug 12, 2013

docArt&Education announcement: Alien She, Feb. 5, 2014

docArt&Education announcement: Alien She, Sept. 11, 2013

May 2014 eNews > Reception Friday Actual Size 2014 CMU Senior Art, Save the Date PGH Biennial, Alien She tours to YBCA, + Store Sale

March 2014 eNews > Lossless: CMU MFA 2014, Alien She tours to Vox Populi, Intimate Science at Parsons + Up Next

Feb. 2014 eNews >Artforum on Alien She; Our 1st NYC show, Intimate Science at Parsons The New School for Design

Nov. 2013 eNews > Alien She in the News, Pew Center book on Curators, Thanksgiving Week

Sept. 19, 2013 eNews > Reminder: Friday opening for Alien She. 5pm Tour, 6-8pm Reception

Sept. 16, 2013 eNews > New Season launches Friday. And what have we done in the last 5 years?

Short Link: bit.ly/AlienShe

Related Projects

Riot Grrrl Census
If Riot Grrrl has had an influence on your life, please respond to this short survey:
riotgrrrlcensus.tumblr.com

Riot Grrrl-related Posters
We are looking for posters/flyers from Riot Grrrl shows, conferences or meetings. Email high-res scans (300dpi) of your poster/flyer submissions to riotgrrrlcensus (at) gmail.com, with the following information if known: OWNER / YEAR / CITY / DESIGNER

Riot Grrrl Chapters Map
If you see a chapter missing on
the map or know more specific information (dates, exact
locations), email details to:
riotgrrrlcensus (at) gmail.com
Short link: www.bit.ly/RGmap


View Riot Grrrl Chapters in a larger map

Press

Art Papers: "[The exhibition's] broad focus on community, channeled and multiplied through a diversity of accessible communicative media, Alien She asserts that Riot Grrrl's power is very much in the present." - Becky Huff Hunter, Art Papers May/June 2014

The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage: Exclusive interview with Miranda July on Riot Grrrl and Joanie 4 Jackie: "Creating a loose underground network of women filmmakers actually did sustain me and teach me what I needed to know"

The Philadelphia Inquirer: "One of the most interesting things is that we've seen how Riot Grrrl has influenced our friends, peers, artists, and colleagues today," Moss said. "Riot Grrrl has had an impact not just in the communities we're involved in, but also internationally."

Vice Magazne: "Alien She curators Astria Suparak and Ceci Moss have exhaustively pulled together a comprehensive exploration into the feminist punk rock movement... The riot grrrl scene runs deep both in terms of the other art it inspired and the ethos and attitude it bred." - "GO SEE ALIEN SHE: An Exhibition Exploring Riot Grrrl's Impact," Vice Magazine's Noisey blog, March 7, 2014

Steeltown Anthem: "Alien She: A Powerful Exhibit," Steeltown Anthem, Feb. 2014

Alien She in Art Forum

Artforum: "Alien She, the first exhibition to explore the legacy of the Riot Grrrl punk feminist movement...dynamically aggregates art and craft, video documentary, print ephemera, and music, concentrating on Riot Grrrl’s sphere of influence in North America from the early 1990s to the present," - Chelsea Haines, "Critics Pick," Artforum, Jan./Feb. 2014

Pittsburgh Magazine: "Best of Culture: Exhibits," - Mike May, Pittsburgh Magazine, Dec. 2013

Citypaper Alien She

Pittsburgh City Paper: "Alien She is superbly designed, comprehensive and approachable,... [it] resounds riot grrrl's, and feminism's, hold on contemporary life. It says, 'THIS happened, keep going." - Michelle Fried, "Alien She explores riot-grrrl's influence on art and culture: Miller Gallery exhibit goes beyond music into film, installation work and more," Pittsburgh City Paper, Nov. 27, 2013

Boing Boing: "Riot Grrrl, redux," - Ceci Moss and Astria Suparak, Boing Boing, Nov. 6, 2013

Justseeds Blog: "Epically researched, crowdsourced and thoughtful exhibit critically examining Riot Grrrl and its lasting impact through primary artifacts of the movement (zines, show and meeting flyers, music) and also the work of contemporary artists" - Mary Tremonte, "Amazing! Top 5 list of things that have been inspiring," Justseeds Blog, Oct. 26, 2013

The Pitt News: "Alien She captures the irrepressible legacy of riot grrrl and avoids reverting to a nostalgic reflection on better days. Instead, it uses the movement as a platform from which a new generation can explore the feminist and queer issues that were once erupting from punk gigs, scribbled upon leaflets and discussed at weekly meetings," - Dylan Abbott, "Alien She looks to riot grrrl's past and future," The Pitt News, Oct. 21, 2013

Pop City Media: "Pittsburgh's always been a bit of a counter-culture hotbed, particularly in the punk scene. Everyone's heard the Ramones and The Clash, and a few of you out there may have heard of Pittsburgh-local Anti-Flag - but a little-explored part of punk history is revealing itself at CMU's Miller Gallery," Pop City Media, Oct. 5, 2013

Huffington Post

The Huffington Post
: "A new exhibit at Carnegie Mellon's Miller Gallery is paying homage to this revolutionary movement in "Alien She," the first ever exhibition to explore the legacy of Riot Grrrl on contemporary culture... From Ginger Brooks Takahashi to Miranda July, "Alien She" rips through 20 years of archival material, including new and rarely before seen pieces that illuminate the lasting effect of Riot Grrrl axioms. Taking its name from a Bikini Kill song, the collected artworks reflect on, challenge and continue feminist critiques of the '90s, evoking the diversity of identities and senses of self-determination that have sprung forth in the years since." - Katherine Brooks, "First Riot Grrrl Exhibition Explores The Lasting Impact Of The Punk Feminist Movement," The Huffington Post, Sept. 28, 2013

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: "Hot List of activities for the weekend of Sept. 19," Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Sept. 19, 2013

Pop Filter Hot Pick: "Reflecting the gallery's reenergized commitment to exploring social issues, presenting original research and spotlighting artists working today, Alien She also includes related public programs, an interdisciplinary approach, interactive media, and a national reach." - Jennifer Baron, "Alien She explores legacy of Riot Grrrl at Carnegie Mellon's Miller Gallery," Pop City Filter, Sept. 18, 2013

Pittsburgh City Paper: "While bands like Bikini Kill and Bratmobile have become a kind of shorthand for the movement, Alien She, a new exhibit at Carnegie Mellon's Miller Gallery, explores Riot Grrrl from a broader perspective," - Margaret Welsh, "New Miller Gallery exhibit features art from the Riot Grrrl movement," Pittsburgh City Paper, Sept. 18, 2013

Rhizome: "The show looks like it's well worth a road trip," - Michael Conner, "The Week Ahead: Alien She Edition," Rhizome, Sept. 16, 2013

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Traveling Exhibition

 
Ginger Brooks Takahashi
 
dwnldprojet MOBILIVRE-BOOKMOBILE project, one of the collaborative projects of
Ginger Brooks Takahashi, 2001-2006. Photograph courtesy of the artist.
 
Tammy Rae Carland
 
dwnldUntitled (Lesbian Bed #8), Tammy Rae Carland, photograph, 2002. Courtesy of the artist and Jessica Silverman Gallery, San Francisco
 
Tammy Rae Carland
 
dwnldI'm Dying Up Here (Glitter Drapes), Tammy Rae Carland, 2011; photograph; 30 x 40 in. Courtesy of the artist and Jessica Silverman Gallery, San Francisco.
 
Miranda July
 
dwnldPhoto documentation of The Swan Tool, performance by Miranda July, 2001, photograph by David Nakamoto
 
Faythe Levine
 
dwnld From the series Time Outside of Time, by Faythe Levine, photograph, 2010-ongoing. This project documents various off-the-grid, alternative and intentional communities in the U.S.
 
Faythe Levine
 
dwnldFilm still from Sign Painters, a documentary film (2013, 80 min.) and book (Princeton Architectural Press, 2012), by Faythe Levine & Sam Macon
 
Allyson Mitchell
 
dwnldWomen’s Studies Professors Have Class Privilege / I’m With Problematic, from the series Creep Lez, Allyson Mitchell, 2012
Altered t-shirts with iron-on transfer and vinyl letters. Courtesy of the artist and Katharine Mulherin Gallery, Toronto.
 
L.J. Roberts
 
dwnldMom Knows Now (guerilla banner drop on the steeple of the Ira Allen Chapel, University of Vermont, Burlington, VT), L.J. Roberts, hand-knit yarn. 88” (L) x 180” (H), 2003
 
Alien She exhibition photo
 
dwnldInstallation shot: Foreground: We Couldn’t Get In. We Couldn’t Get Out. (2006-2007); Crank-knit yarn, hand-woven wire, steel poles. Midground: Gay Bashers Come And Get It (2011); Jacquard-woven cotton and lurex, hand-dyed fabric, crank-knit yarn, thread. Graphic appropriated from a poster designed by Matt Height, silkscreened at Queeruption (1999) at DUMBA, Brooklyn, and used as an album insert for queercore band Limp Wrist. Both by L.J. Roberts and courtesy of the artist.
 
Alien She exhibition photo
 
dwnldInstallation shot: Foreground: Feminist Body Pillow (2013); Hand printed t-shirts, jeans (tote bag made in a screenprinting workshop led by the artist at Fabulous Independent Educated Radicals for Community Empowerment (FIERCE); Julius Bootleg t-shirt and Live And Let Lez tank top by the artist; t-shirt (rainbow fist) by Dean Daderko;
A Wave of New Rage Thinking t-shirt by LTTR; The Advantages of Being a Lesbian Artist t-shirt by Ridykeulous; Gay Power sweatshirt by Emily Roysdon). By Ginger Brooks Takahashi and courtesy of the artist.
 
Alien She exhibition photo
 
dwnldInstallation shot: FREE TEXTS (2011-2012, updated 2013); Free downloadable PDF files of texts found online and tear-off tab flyers. By Stephanie Syjuco and courtesy of the artist and Catharine Clark Gallery, San Francisco. This project was updated for Alien She, and includes texts selected by the artists in the exhibition.
 
 
dwnldAlien She exhibition at Vox Populi, Philadelphia: The Counterfeit Crochet Project (Critique of a Political Economy) (2006-ongoing); Yarn, downloadable PDF instructional guide for creating knockoff logos. By Stephanie Syjuco and courtesy of the artist and Catharine Clark Gallery, San Francisco. Images courtesy of Vox Populi
 
Alien She exhibition photo
 
dwnldInstallation shot: Foreground: Ladies Sasquatch (2006-2010); Found textiles, taxidermy supplies, appliqué borg, styrofoam, wood. Recommended Reading (2010); Wallpaper of photocopied drawings. Both by Allyson Mitchell and courtesy of the artist and Katharine Mulherin Gallery, Toronto.
 
Alien She exhibition photo
 
dwnldInstallation shot: Foreground: Joanie 4 Jackie (1995-2003); VHS masters, tapes and DVDs from the Chainletter Series with accompanying booklets of letters written by each filmmaker to other women on their compilation, VHS tapes from the Co-Star Series with accompanying posters, personal correspondence from July’s collection; Courtesy of the artists and Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson. Background: Videos (1996-2001) by July; Single-channel video with sound, 57:30 minutes; Courtesy of the artist and Video Data Bank, Chicago. Learning To Love You More (2002-2009) by Miranda July and Harrell Fletcher, with website by Yuri Ono; Exhibition prints from web project and archive; Courtesy of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.
 
Alien She exhibition photo
 
dwnldInstallation shot: A sampling of zines and distribution catalogues (1991-2013) primarily from the original Riot Grrrl movement. The zines cover a range of topics such as sexism, empowerment, fat activism, mental illness, gender identity, violence, racism, homophobia and sex work.
 
Alien She exhibition photo
 
dwnldInstallation shot: Posters (c. 1991-present) from Riot Grrrl related shows, conventions and meetings internationally, solicited from institutional and personal archives through open calls, word-of-mouth and invitations.

 

 

 

 

Alien She

Curated by Astria Suparak + Ceci Moss
Organized by Miller Gallery at Carnegie Mellon University
September 21, 2013 – February 16, 2014. Touring.

See list of events.

Artists: Ginger Brooks Takahashi (Pittsburgh), Tammy Rae Carland (Oakland), Miranda July (Los Angeles), Faythe Levine (Milwaukee), Allyson Mitchell (Toronto), L.J. Roberts (Brooklyn), Stephanie Syjuco (San Francisco)

Archival Materials from: dumba collective; EMP Museum, Seattle; Interference Archive; Jabberjaw; the Riot Grrrl Collection at the Fales Library & Special Collections, NYU; and many personal collections

Collaborative Projects and Platforms include: Counterfeit Crochet Project, Feminist Art Gallery (FAG), General Sisters, Handmade Nation, Joanie 4 Jackie, Learning to Love You More, LTTR, projet MOBILIVRE-BOOKMOBILE project, Sign Painters and more

Regional Music Curators: Tammy Rae Carland of Mr. Lady Records and I (heart) Amy Carter zine (American South); Pete Dale of Slampt Records and Pussycat Trash (England); Donna Dresch of Chainsaw Records and Team Dresch (Pacific Northwest); Maaike Muntinga of Riot Grrrl Benelux and Ladyfest Amsterdam + Jessica Gysel of Girls Like Us magazine (Belgium + the Netherlands); Lynne T + Bernie Bankrupt of Lesbians on Ecstasy (Canada); Allison Wolfe of Bratmobile, Girl Germs zine and Ladyfest Olympia (D.C. + Olympia); Elisa Gargiulo of Dominatrix (Brazil); Ceci Moss + Astria Suparak, exhibition curators and former Riot Grrrls (California)

ABOUT THE EXHIBITION

Alien She is the first exhibition to examine the lasting impact of Riot Grrrl on artists and cultural producers working today. A pioneering punk feminist movement that emerged in the early 1990s, Riot Grrrl has had a pivotal influence, inspiring many around the world to pursue socially and politically progressive careers as artists, activists, authors and educators. Emphasizing female and youth empowerment, collaborative organization, creative resistance and DIY ethics, Riot Grrrl helped a new generation to become active feminists and create their own culture and communities that reflect their values and experiences, in contrast to mainstream conventions and expectations.

Riot Grrrl formed in reaction to pervasive and violent sexism, racism and homophobia in the punk music scene and in the culture at large. Its participants adapted strategies from earlier queer and punk feminisms and ‘70s radical politics, while also popularizing discussions of identity politics occurring within academia, but in a language that spoke to a younger generation. This self-organized network made up of teenagers and twenty-somethings reached one another through various platforms, such as letters, zines, local meetings, regional conferences, homemade videos, and later, chat rooms, listservs and message boards. The movement eventually spread worldwide, with chapters opening in at least 30 states and 22 countries.* Its ethos and aesthetics have survived well past its initial period in the ‘90s, with many new chapters forming in recent years. Riot Grrrl’s influence on contemporary global culture is increasingly evident – from the Russian collective Pussy Riot’s protest against corrupt government-church relations to the popular teen website Rookie and the launch of Girls Rock Camps and Ladyfest music and art festivals around the world.

Alien She focuses on seven people whose visual art practices were informed by their contact with Riot Grrrl. Many of them work in multiple disciplines, such as sculpture, installation, video, documentary film, photography, drawing, printmaking, new media, social practice, curation, music, writing and performance – a reflection of the movement’s artistic diversity and mutability. Each artist is represented by several projects from the last 20 years, including new and rarely seen works, providing an insight into the development of their creative practices and individual trajectories.

In various ways, these artists have incorporated, expanded upon, or reacted to Riot Grrrl’s ideology, tactics and aesthetics. For instance, many continue to cultivate and nurture alternative communities. Ginger Brooks Takahashi creates spaces for conversation and exchange with jubilant publications, dance parties, mobile reading rooms and soup delivery service. Through photography and video, Faythe Levine documents groups committed to DIY independence and handmade aesthetics, such as crafters, off-the-gridders, and, in her new book and documentary, traditional hand-lettered sign painters. L.J. Roberts fabricates declarations of protest and solidarity with evocative banners and textile works.

Riot Grrrl thrived through the establishment of DIY networks and information sharing, an aspect manifest in Stephanie Syjuco’s project for freely distributing copyrighted critical texts and in Miranda July’s video chainletter for “lady moviemakers.” Recalling forgotten her/histories was also central to Riot Grrrl, and in that vein, Allyson Mitchell pays homage to key writings, feminist presses, bookstores and libraries with lesbian feminist library wallpaper, while Tammy Rae Carland reveals intimate relationships in her autobiographical photo series. All of the artists included here have worked collaboratively and many have built platforms for other artists and under-recognized groups to connect, encourage, share resources and self-publish.

The exhibition’s historical section is designed to be plural and open-ended; this is a living history, not a sealed past. By representing numerous voices and experiences, rather than outlining one single definitive story, we hope it will reflect the multiplicity that was such an integral part of the original movement. Toward this end, a sampling of the Riot Grrrl movement’s vast creative output is included here. Hundreds of self-published zines and hand-designed posters were solicited from institutional and personal archives through open calls, word-of-mouth and invitations – similar to the way Riot Grrrl expanded. Music playlists represent different Riot Grrrl scenes across the U.S., Canada, South America and Europe, guest curated by musicians, DJs and label owners, and accompanied by records, cassettes, set lists, band T-shirts and other ephemera. Video interviews and an ongoing, online Riot Grrrl Census provide an expanded oral history.

The exhibition’s title, Alien She, is a reference to a Bikini Kill song of the same name. The lyrics are about the negotiation of normalized gender roles, the uneasy line between feminist critique and collectivity, and the process of coming to a feminist consciousness, with the repeated refrain, “She is me, I am her.” More broadly, Alien She conjures the possibilities of identity, self-determination and subversion. In the face of alienation and bigotry, Riot Grrrl fostered community, action and creation. This exhibition provides a view into the passion and diversity of the original Riot Grrrl movement, and highlights how these ideas have broadened, evolved and mutated in the work of contemporary artists.

Alien She was curated by Astria Suparak and Ceci Moss, former Riot Grrrls from Los Angeles and the Bay Area, and organized by the Miller Gallery at Carnegie Mellon University. Support for Alien She is provided in part by Vox Populi.

The curators would like to thank Sara Marcus, Vega Darling, Mimi Thi Nguyen, Lisa Darms and exhibition intern Rose Hermalin.

* From data compiled in the Riot Grrrl Chapters Map, an online collaborative project created for the exhibition that assembles research from various people and the public: www.bit.ly/RGmap

PUBLIC EVENTS

Sept. 20, Fri.
5-6pm: Exhibition Tour
With the Curators + Artists
Sponsored by the University Lecture Series
6-8pm: Opening: Revolution and Reception
Sponsored by Full Pint & Red Star Kombucha
@ Miller Gallery, 5000 Forbes Ave.
Free
RSVP: fb
10pm-2am: Dance Party: Sappho: We don't play guitars!
With DJing by Alien She artists Ginger Brooks Takahashi and Allyson Mitchell and collaborators Mary Tremonte, Deirdre Logue and more
@ Brillobox, 2nd floor, 4104 Penn Ave., Bloomfield
$6 admission, $3 if you bring yr riot!

RSVP: fb

Sept. 26, Thurs.
7:30pm: Film Screening: Sign Painters 

New documentary by Alien She artist Faythe Levine & Sam Macon
Presented by AIGA Pittsburgh and Pittsburgh Filmmakers
@ Harris Theater, 809 Liberty Ave, Downtown
$8 admission, $7 students, $5 CMU students/staff/faculty + AIGA Pittsburgh members
RSVP: fb

There was a time, as recently as the 1980s, when storefronts, murals, banners, barn signs, billboards, and even street signs were all hand­lettered with brush and paint. But, like many skilled trades, the sign industry has been overrun by the techno­fueled promise of quicker and cheaper. The resulting proliferation of computer ­designed, die­cut vinyl lettering and inkjet printers has ushered a creeping sameness into our landscape. Fortunately, there is a growing trend to seek out traditional sign painters and a renaissance in the trade. In 2010 filmmakers Faythe Levine, co-author of Handmade Nation, and Sam Macon began documenting these dedicated practitioners, their time ­honored methods, and their appreciation for quality and craftsmanship. Sign Painters, the first anecdotal history of the craft, features stories of more than two dozen sign painters, young and old, working in cities throughout the United States. (2013, 80 minutes) www.signpaintersfilm.com

Oct. 10, Thurs.
6:30-9:30 pm: Workshop: Feminist Vision & Activism for Men

Organized by WWHAT’S UP (Whites Working and Hoping to Abolish Total Supremacy, Undermining Privilege) and the Department of Women’s Studies at the University of Pittsburgh
@ First Unitarian Church, 605 Morewood Ave. (entrance on Ellsworth)
$5 – 25 sliding scale – scholarships available.
RSVP to bfiorillo@gmail.com

Feminism is a vision of a better world for all of us. The violence of sexism impacts our families, communities, social justice movements, and society. This is a workshop for men who want to explore what feminism means for their lives and social justice efforts, in a supportive, encouraging space. This is an opportunity for men to talk openly about challenges that hold us back challenging sexism and to develop tools to help us be more effective feminists working for equality and liberation for all. http://chrisscrasspittsburgh.wordpress.com

Oct. 30, Wed
Self-Publishing Panel + Discussion: From Print to Podcast

6:30pm: Meet for refreshments and introduction at the zine collection (1st floor).
7pm: Presentations and discussion in Classroom A (basement).
@ Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, Main, 4400 Forbes Ave., Oakland
Free
RSVP: fb

Short presentations by people self-publishing across platforms - including podcasts, blogs, zines, artist publications, and TV shows - opening to a discussion on the unique properties and benefits of each format. Guests include Ayanah Moor and Raquel Rodriguez from Queer & Brown in Steeltown, Ginger Brooks Takahashi from LTTR and projet MOBILIVRE-BOOKMOBILE project, and Jon Rubin from WAFFLE SHOP. Visit the Alien She exhibition prior to the panel, located 2 blocks east at 5000 Forbes Ave (at Morewood), open from 12-6pm. Organized by the CMU School of Art and Carnegie Library, in connection with the Alien She exhibition at the Miller Gallery (which features work by Brooks Takahashi) and the zine collection at the Carnegie Library.

Nov. 13, Wed.
5-7pm: Conversation: Feminism and Race

Doors close at 5:30pm. RSVP requested, but not required, to miller-gallery@andrew.cmu.edu
Presented by WWHAT’S UP (Whites Working and Hoping to Abolish Total Supremacy Undermining Privilege)
@ Miller Gallery, 5000 Forbes Ave.

RSVP: fb

Download the Feminism & Race Conversation Resources

Nov. 23, Sat.
8pm: Film Screening: Sadie Benning

@ Carnegie Museum of Art Theater, lower level, 4400 Forbes Ave.

This event is part of A Collection of Misfits: Time-Based Media and the Museum symposium. Sadie Benning is a featured artist in the 2013 Carnegie International. Fliers from her early video screenings and music from her band Le Tigre are included in Alien She.

Jan. 17-21:
Fri. 8pm, Sat. 6pm and 8pm, Sun., Mon., and Tues. 8pm
Film Screenings: The Punk Singer
@ Pittsburgh Filmmakers, Melwood Screening Room, 477 Melwood Ave.

This documentary on Kathleen Hanna (Bikini Kill, Le Tigre, The Julie Ruin) features Tammy Rae Carland, Allison Wolfe, Lynn Breedlove, and many others included in Alien She.

 

TOUR

Sept. 21, 2013 – Feb. 16, 2014
Miller Gallery at Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA

March 7 – April 27, 2014
Vox Populi, Philadelphia, PA

Oct. 24, 2014 – Jan. 25, 2015
Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco, CA

Feb. 15 - May 17, 2015
Orange County Museum of Art, Newport Beach, CA 

Sept. 3 – Nov. 27, 2015
Pacific Northwest College of Art: Feldman Gallery & Project Space, Portland, OR

Additional venues to be announced. Contact tesar@cmu.edu for details.