Exhibition view of Trigger with (right), Simone Leigh, Cupboard VII, 2017

“Trigger: Gender as a Tool and a Weapon”

New York

New Museum

The provocatively titled “Trigger: Gender as a Tool and a Weapon” took on the politics of gender and identity with works by 40 artists, groups, and collectives. Avoiding the trap of using sexual orientation as an organizing principle and throwing out heteronormative or binary definitions of gendered identity in favor of a more fluid, inclusive, and performative model–one that refused limits and boundaries–the show’s organizer, Johanna Burton, with the assistance of Sara O’Keeffe and Natalie Bell, proposed a more activist curatorial model for how art about gender circulates in contemporary life. A number of artists intent on moving beyond simple stereotypes shared a strategy of posing and drag performance. On several occasions, Justin Vivian Bond posed in the New Museum’s front window as Karen Graham, the sphinx-like face of Estée Lauder cosmetics from 1970 to 1985…see the entire review in the print version of June’s Sculpture magazine.

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