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F*CK U! In The Most Loving Way

Exhibition catalog for "F*CK U! In The Most Loving Way" created by the Northern California Women's Caucus for Art.

NCWCA PRESIDENT

NCWCA PRESIDENT STATEMENT WCA has always been a feminist activist group. We were formed in 1972 when women artists, critics and professors were very underrepresented at professional conferences. Our early founders included women who were part of Womanhouse, the Feminist Artist Program at Cal Arts. WCA is now a nationwide organization with chapters in many states. California, for example, has five. Each chapter in California has its own personality but the Northern California chapter (NCWCA) is regarded as the most activist. NCWCA has hosted shows on the environment, reproductive rights, and now—the legacies of feminism art with the current exhibition's two-fold tribute and critical examination of Womanhouse. Back in the summer of 2016 when we were planning the exhibition we thought, as many did, we’d be celebrating the election and inauguration of the first U.S. woman President during the exhibition. When that didn’t happen, we quickly switched to flexing our protest and marching muscles. And, of course, we made art. We hope you enjoy this show and are inspired to create your own artistic response to the current political scene. Judy Johnson-Williams NCWCA President 2017 14

F*ck U! In the Most Loving Way Prospectus Summer 2016 The primary goal of the exhibition F*ck U! In the Most Loving Way is to revisit the critiques of women’s relational roles presented in the 1972 landmark feminist Womanhouse exhibition by showing works that address women’s ongoing challenges to build their lives and thrive within ongoing structural and intersectional systems of oppression. In 1971, under the direction of Judy Chicago and Miriam Schapiro, 25 students in the Feminist Art Program at California Institute of the Arts began work on an old deserted Hollywood mansion. The exhibition was open to the public from January 30 to February 28, 1972, and is widely known as one of the first major public exhibitions of feminist art. Numerous room installations were created to highlight women’s experiences, gender stereotypes, social expectations for women, and the exploitation of women’s roles such as unpaid domestic affective laborers, i.e., “homemakers.” In the years since this project was realized, much has changed. The majority of women now have lives that expand far beyond traditional domestic walls either by choice or by necessity. Despite their social advances, women find themselves at odds with ongoing expectations of ableist heteronormative patriarchy that refuses to recognize transwomen and genderqueer individuals as women; denies queer women their rights to marry and have children; and discourages women with disabilities from living on their own with dignity. Married and single mothers continue to take primary responsibility for domestic chores, childrearing, and familial caretaking–even as they work outside the home as the sole or primary breadwinners in their families. Meanwhile, women who embrace leadership roles outside the realms of domesticity still encounter disrespect, pity, or both. At a time when crude, rude, and sexist discourses in the public sphere seem to be increasingly the norm, this exhibition explores how women are choosing to express their discontent with prescribed and outdated binary gender roles. F*ck U! In the Most Loving Way surveys the range of possible responses women can select when confronted with conflict within relationships. Can we reply in ways that lead to resolution and more love? Or is it important that women strive to win debates from which they were previously excluded? Since women have been silenced for so long, this exhibition provides a platform for women to air their grievances in manners of their choosing while reminding the viewer that identity is fluid, relational, intersectional, performative, and participatory. This exhibition aims to foster dialogue about where women position themselves centrally yet in relation to others. It features artworks that confront traditional gender roles, express what a “woman” is today, and depict what a woman’s life is currently really like. 15