Talk: Art + Activism with Andrea Bowers, John Quigley, and Marcos Ramirez ERRE

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About the Event

Contemporary artists often inspire us to think differently about the world around us, posing questions and proposing alternatives to the status quo. Activists likewise use art and design to visualize their ideas and calls to action, and to expand their reach. In the first of two engaging conversations exploring the intersections of art and activism, inspired by the exhibition Andrea Bowers currently on view at the MCA, Bowers joins artists and activists John Quigley and Marcos Ramirez ERRE to discuss the bounds and overlaps between their creative practices and social justice missions.

The exhibition Andrea Bowers showcases more than twenty years of the artist's work inspired by, and in collaboration with, communities of activists. Long-standing friends and compatriots of Bowers, Quigley and Ramirez ERRE will begin the conversation by sharing their own artistic work before entering a frank conversation with Bowers about their common causes, their collaborative work, and the bounds and overlaps of their lives as artists and activists.

Art + Activism talks for the exhibition Andrea Bowers are organized by Curator January Parkos Arnall and Assistant Curator J. Gibran Villalobos, with Otez Gary, Curatorial Assistant.

About the Speakers

Andrea Bowers (American, b. 1965) is a multidisciplinary visual artist who has made art that activates for over thirty years. Bowers works in a variety of mediums, from video to colored pencil to installation art, and explores pressing national and international issues. Her work combines an artistic practice with activism and advocacy, speaking to deeply entrenched social and political inequities as well as the generations of activists working to create a fairer and more just world.

Born in Wilmington, Ohio, Bowers received her MFA from the California Institute of the Arts in 1992 and currently lives and works in Los Angeles. She built an international reputation as a chronicler of contemporary history, documenting activism as it unfolds and collecting research on the frontlines of protest through an empathetic and labor-intensive practice. Her subject matter contends with issues like immigration rights, workers’ rights, climate justice, women’s rights, and more, illustrating the shared pursuit of justice that connects these issues.

This is the first museum retrospective surveying over two decades of Bowers’s practice. Highlights of the exhibition include Memorial to Arcadia Woodlands Clear-Cut (2013) and My Name Means Future (2020). These two works, both focused on issues related to environmental justice, highlight the range of mediums employed by the artist. The former is a large-scale sculpture based on her involvement with tree-sitting activists protesting the destruction of old-growth trees in California; the latter is a video that features Tokata Iron Eyes, a young Indigenous rights activist whose ancestral lands have been threatened by the Dakota Access Pipeline project.