Womxn in Windows
October 15th - Novemer 15th, 2020
321 Canal Street, New York City
Womxn in Windows presents its second annual exhibition of video works by womxn filmmakers and video artists. The artists’ videos will be on view 24 hours a day from October 15 through November 15, 2020 in over 12 windows along Chinatown’s historic Chung King Road in Los Angeles, Shanghai, China, London, and here in New York City, at 321 Canal Street.
Our first exhibition in 2019 was conceived in order to highlight the perspectives of womxn, and to encourage cross-cultural dialogue. Womxn in Windows 2020 showcases the film and video works of eight womxn artists who were invited to exhibit work that examines the intertwined relationships between culture, religion and society. These films remind us how womxn have relied on faith and on each other as well as on a desire for equality, understanding and the power to make the right choices for ourselves. We are here today because of the faith of our ancestors and because of every womxn who has believed in the power of good.
“This has been a heavy year for all of us in America and across the world. In the midst of a global pandemic, movements for Black lives and Indigenous sovereignty, environmental disasters, extreme income inequality, mass corruption, dictatorships across countries, religious injustices and ethnic cleansing, an impending election and a cultural revolution, it felt more necessary than ever to produce this year’s exhibition, support artists financially and to continue engaging with audiences not naturally inclined to seek such work out,“ says founder and curator Zehra Ahmed. “As an immigrant womxn, I am reminded that I have grown personally because of the people I have encountered, the values that I have learned along the way, and the multiple experiences I have had across cultures, societies, and faiths. These experiences have led me to believe that we all want the same thing; a just and free life where we can all receive equal rights, love and recognition because of who we uniquely are. We are all different and that is our strength.”
This year’s artists—Christine Yuan, Everlane Moraes, Ja’Tovia Gary, Kilo Kish, Kya Lou, Rémie Akl, Rikkí Wright and Sylvie Weber—come from backgrounds spanning the United States, Brazil, Lebanon, Taiwan, the Dominican Republic and Germany. The format of the exhibition allows for socially distant and safe viewing of the works, and they will also be streamed online for those who might not be able to visit the exhibition in person. Visitors are encouraged to do whatever is safest for them
Weber’s film, The Prophetess, is a story of two womxn who overcome psychological and physical trauma caused by sexual terrorism, and how the story of Kimpa Vita—the mother of African revolution in the kingdom of the Kongo (1390–1857)—continues to give strength to this community of womxn centuries later. Gary’s film, An Ecstatic Experience, examines the legacy of resistance and liberation through spiritual and ritualistic methods; she redefines the feminine gaze, focusing on the Black figure within the moving image. Yuan’s film, In Limbo, explores the space between life and death while paying respect to the feminine divine through movement.
Kish’s film, Blessed Assurance: a dream that i had, sees religion differently. As she says, “I wanted to explore belief in one’s art and the way it relates to religious faith and spiritual calling. Creative practice almost becomes a religion. And I think, through it, you become closer to God.”
Moraes’ film, Aurora, presents three Black Cuban womxn at different stages of their lives. All three womxn remind us that existential doubt transcends age and beliefs. They continue to explore their inner conflicts and sufferings at every stage in life and remind us that we must persist even when we feel displaced. Lou’s film, Eulogy, is an edited cut of three hours of family VHS footage. It considers family structures as formative to understanding how communities are informed by care, absence, belief and joy.
Rémie Akl shares three videos. In a world full of religious propaganda, where a womxn is shamed for being Arab or too afraid to speak out, Akl is proudly and loudly informing us of her Arab identity. She reminds us that the current uprising in Lebanon has nothing to do with religion or political beliefs but is a war against corruption. Her films further highlight the notion that the ongoing revolution is to restore humanity and financial disparity, regardless of belief. Akl asks the question, are you A human, an animal or just a thing?
Rikkí Wright’s A Song About Love is a spiritual reckoning on the different forms of love in this world, from human to divine. Wright navigates the contrasts between real and redemptive love and the roots of enduring faith in the Black community.
This year, in addition to the exhibition in Los Angeles, the films will be screened simultaneously in storefront windows in New York City, London and Shanghai.
New York in partnership with the Wallplay Network - 321 Canal Street, Chinatown London in partnership with Protein Studios - 31 New Inn Yard, Hackney
Shanghai in partnership with Bitter - Jing’an District
Womxn in Windows is a platform for the perspectives of womxn on culture, identity and society. What started as an annual public exhibition of womxn-made art films in storefront windows is now a mission to support global cross-cultural dialogue. Centered around the idea that individual differences advance societal strength, the platform believes that learning from one another’s cultures and experiences contributes towards a transformative humanity of equality, freedom and respect. By providing a forum for diverse and underrepresented voices and their stories, Womxn in Windows aims to inspire the next generation of thinkers and citizens.
Opening Event: October 17, 2020
Chung King Road, LA, CA 5:00–8:00 p.m.
This event is free and open to the public. All guests must RSVP ahead of time in order to maintain social distancing guidelines.
From 5–8 p.m. we will have 30-minute slots for groups of up to 10 people to book a walking tour with a guide to hear more about the exhibition and the artists.
A soundscape produced in partnership with dublab will play across the plaza for the event.
We will be handing out an exhibition zine and merchandise from our sponsors Reebok, Free People, Unbound Babes, Califia Farms and CANN.
For more information contact firstname.lastname@example.org
@womxninwindows website #oncanal