8 months ago

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.

Video Festival and

Video Festival and Screening—Saturday, January 14, 2017 at Ninth Street Independent Film Center, 145 9th Street, San Francisco, CA. Images top row, left to right: • Tracy Brown, and Chanel Matsunami Govreau, photo by Mido Lee Images bottom row, left to right: • Amy Finkbeiner, and Amy Finkbeiner, Chanel Matsunam Govreau and Tracy Brown, photo by Mido Lee 26

Some Untidy Truths: On Curating the “Revisiting Womanhouse” Space in F*ck U! In the Most Loving Way Tanya Augsburg Origins F*ck U! In the Most Loving Way is an exhibition organized by the Northern California Women’s Caucus for Art (NCWCA) that took place at Arc Gallery in San Francisco from December 17, 2016 to January 21, 2017. The members of NCWCA had for some time discussed doing a show that referenced the 1972 landmark feminist installation Womanhouse. NCWCA Exhibition Director Leisel Whitlock originally proposed that NCWCA put on an exhibition that would be a critical response to Womanhouse’s focus on the domestic spaces and experiences of white middle-class heterosexual housewives. More specifically, Whitlock envisioned the show as a contemporary artistic exploration of the social and domestic roles of all those who self-identify as women and/or female in 2016 (and not just white heterosexual ciswomen), which included considerations of how the concept of domesticity has evolved since the early 1970s. When the Exhibition Committee, which renamed itself as the Exhibition Collective for this exhibition, met in NCWCA President Judy Johnson-William’s home on a warm Sunday afternoon in early June 2016, the rest of its members and I brainstormed about possible titles for the show. As we talked about our own experiences, as well as our concerns over current American politics, Leisel Whitlock suggested the title Fuck U! In the Most Loving Way. Not all of the Exhibition Collective members were initially enthused about the provocative exhibition title. Some objected to the profanity. Others were concerned about press and publishing as the word “fuck” is not one that can be uttered or published in mainstream media. However, when Judy Johnson- Williams pulled out the Summer 2016 issue of Art Forum and pointed out Ara Osterweil’s article “Fuck You! A Feminist Guide to Surviving the Art World” we knew we were on the right track. 1 We also had enough media savviness to insert an asterisk into our exhibition title, replacing “Fuck” with “F*ck.” 2 After the meeting, I wrote the exhibition prospectus with input from the other Exhibition Collective members. “Revisiting Womanhouse” was not part of the initial vision of the show that the NCWCA Exhibition Collective worked on during the summer of 2016. The idea for “Revisiting Womanhouse” emerged out of my email exchanges with Womanhouse co-director and artist Judy Chicago in late August and early September 2016. xo 27