Amid the bleak landscape that has been 2020, finding moments of brightness and pleasure has been an understandable challenge. For Sami Schalk, a Black and disabled writer and professor, navigating the physical and emotional strain of the pandemic has proved particularly challenging. Enter her multi-part project, #QuarantineLooks: Embracing the Fabulously Mundane, soon to be presented as part of the ongoing exhibition Indisposable: Structures of Support After the ADA, now online via the Ford Foundation Gallery.
Begun as a way of combating her own depression, Schalk’s project revels in taking simple yet transformative steps towards feeling good. Cultivating an aesthetic she refers to as the “fabulously mundane,” she began styling herself in glamorous outfits and makeup as a means of tending to her own mental health, while also rejecting the need to perform “looking sick” — a frustrating, ableist expectation often foisted upon disabled folks as a precursor for receiving care or validation. Sharing images of herself on her Instagram and eventually teaming up with photographer Samantha Waldron likewise helped Schalk stay connected with friends and loved ones while living and working in pandemic-induced isolation.
Schalk considers her project as one which builds on the work of adrienne maree brown, who coined the term “pleasure activism” as a means of affirming the importance of seeking and experiencing pleasure as a marginalized person, considering the ways in which such acts are often denied or policed. As curators Jessica Cooley and Ann Fox explained to Hyperallergic, the project “is a call to embrace our bodyminds as always already being a site for celebration and radical love. This is especially true for queer, BIPOC, and disabled people whose appearance both in private and public spaces has a long history of being policed or erased by the ongoing violence of eugenic and white supremacist ideology.”
For the exhibition Indisposable, which centers experiences of disability amid the pandemic and struggles for racial justice, Schalk will debut a video essay about her project, followed by a conversation with fellow disability studies scholar Jina B. Kim.
Participants are encouraged to wear what makes them feel “fabulous” to enjoy a break from the humdrum of the everyday. As Schalk offers, “I hope participants take away some joy and a deeper understanding of why pleasure politics and pleasure matter so much, especially for multiply marginalized people.”
When: November 18, 1–2pm EST
Where: online, via the Ford Foundation Gallery
See the Ford Foundation Gallery for more info
Some have compared her album art to John Collier’s 19th-century portrait of Lady Godiva, but Beyoncé can channel her radical spirit without evoking Western art history.
With a fresh Ethereum wallet ready to scoop up freebies, I attended the world’s largest conference dedicated to that controversial wart on the Zeitgeist, the “non-fungible token.”
International audiences have free access to the media collections of MMCA Korea, Sharjah Art Foundation, and ArkDes through this subscription-based art streaming platform.
Hundreds of copies of the LA-based guerrilla poster artist Robbie Conal’s latest work, “Supreme Injustices,” were pasted up from Venice to Los Feliz.
This week, another reason to leave Facebook, who really invented democracy, and what is “Skimpflation”?
Convened by Erika Sprey, Lamin Fofana, Sky Hopinka, Emmy Catedral, and Manuela Moscoso, the public program unfolds this summer at CARA in New York City.
Your list of must-see, fun, insightful, and very Los Angeles art events this month, including Pope.L, Beatriz Cortez, Mika Rottenberg, and more.
The acclaimed composer and noise artist talks to Hyperallergic about his Pulitzer Prize-winning composition “Voiceless Mass.”
The Bay Area art book fair is back this July with free programming at three different on-site venues, new exhibitors, and fundraising editions from renowned artists.
Her works, depicting objects from Korean markets, invite viewers to marvel at what can be achieved with fabric.
Salonen’s paintings point to a location in which reality is slippery, ill-defined — a dream or place of play.
The Ancient Egyptian tomb of Khnumhotep and Niankhkhnum, one of the most intricate in the Saqqara necropolis, shows the pair holding hands and embracing.