(Left) Malkit Shoshan and (Right) Judy Norsigian. Speakers for the first 2020 Talk on May 20th, 2020.
Announcing a new series of talks to be held throughout 2020 organized by Claire Barliant, Daisy Nam, and Meg Rotzel.
Fertility, May 20th, 2020, Mills Gallery Boston Center for the Arts (ONLINE)
Update as of May 12, 2020:After indefinitely postponing our first 2020 Talk, we have regrouped and are moving the talk online. While the world seems to be on “pause,” the fight over reproductive rights continues unabated—particularly as some states try to restrict abortion access as a result of the pandemic. Our speakers, who bring different perspectives to reproductive rights, will discuss how advocates continue to tirelessly promote women’s right to a safe and legal abortion. Malkit Shoshan researches how the control of women’s bodies intersects with efforts at regulating and exploiting nature. She will discuss her recent exhibition at Harvard Graduate School of Design, Love in a Mist, which demonstrated how the fight for reproductive health is intertwined with environmental concerns. Judy Norsigian is a cofounder of Our Bodies Ourselves, a collective that started in Boston in 1969 and which published the seminal text on women’s bodies and health. Today, OBOS advocates on behalf of women for improved healthcare around the world. Norsigian offers the viewpoint of one who has been on the frontlines of the fight for better reproductive health for fifty years.
The number 2020 instantly conjures “perfect vision.” Looking, thinking about looking, and changing our outlook—that is the theme for this year. Inspired by what 2020 evokes, we are organizing a series of programs hinging on the idea of reflection. Join us on March 20th, 2020, for the first of this series with media partner Boston Art Review. Because this is 2020, our hindsight should be perfect, no?
We believe it is incumbent to look at the past with a scrupulous eye. Today we face an array of global threats—to democracy, the environment, the hard-fought rights of women and people of color—that are best addressed when we marshal our collective energies. Only by looking back may we gain a greater understanding of where we are today and how to move forward.
With that in mind, we are assembling speakers who spark active conversations around issues that matter. They are artists, activists, designers, and writers—and all have a common goal to repair what is broken in our world. Our first speakers address one of the toughest struggles women face today—the fight to retain our reproductive rights. In 2011, there was one attempt to outlaw abortions in Ohio; in 2019, there were 39—as well as moves to pass the heartbeat bill in Missouri, South Carolina, Kentucky, Florida, Mississippi, Minnesota, Tennessee, Maryland, Texas, West Virginia, New York, Ohio, Illinois, Georgia, Louisiana, and Michigan.
The first speakers in this series bring different perspectives to the current status of reproductive rights. Malkit Shoshan researches how the control of women’s bodies intersects with efforts at regulating and exploiting nature. She will discuss her recent exhibition at Harvard Graduate School of Design, Love in a Mist, which demonstrated how the fight for reproductive health is intertwined with environmental concerns. Judy Norsigian is a cofounder of Our Bodies Ourselves, a collective that started in Boston in 1969 and which published the seminal text on women’s bodies and health. Today, OBOS advocates on behalf of women for improved healthcare around the world. Norsigian offers the viewpoint of one who has been on the frontlines of the fight for better reproductive health for fifty years.
These talks are being presented in conjunction with Boston Art Review’s sixth print publication, scheduled for the fall of 2020, which will be centered around feminism and activism in contemporary art.
Please join us on March 20th, 2020 from 6-8pm, for the first of this series of conversations at The Mills Gallery, Boston Center for the Arts, 539 Tremont Street.
Judy Norsigian is a co-founder of Our Bodies Ourselves who served as executive director of the organization from 2001 to 2015. She is currently chair of the OBOS board of directors. An internationally renowned speaker and author on a range of women’s health concerns, her areas of focus include women and health care reform, abortion and contraception, childbirth (especially the role of midwifery), genetics and reproductive technologies, and drug and device safety.
Malkit Shoshan is the founding director of the Foundation for Achieving Seamless Territory (FAST), an Amsterdam- and New York-based think-tank that develops projects and campaigns at the intersection of architecture, urban planning, and human rights. She is a researcher, award-winning author, and designer. She is currently Area Head of the Art, Design, and the Public Domain Master in Design Studies at Harvard GSD and a visiting scholar at the Institute for Public Knowledge at NYU. Her socially and politically engaged work has been published and exhibited internationally. Shoshan’s recent exhibition Love in a Mist, at Harvard Graduate School of Design, illustrated the unexpected connections between efforts to control women and nature, such as the use of synthetic hormones on both women and livestock.
Claire Barliant is a writer based in Cambridge, MA. Her writing on art, architecture, and other subjects has appeared in several publications, including Apollo, Artforum, Art in America, East of Borneo, Icon, The New Yorker, Metropolis, Modern Painters, and Triple Canopy. She has also contributed essays to several artist monographs and museum catalogues. In 2014 she curated As We Were Saying, an exhibition at EFA Project Space, New York, about the renewal of identity politics in art, which was reviewed by Holland Cotter for the New York Times. She is currently an MFA candidate in creative writing at Emerson College and works in the Contemporary Department at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum.
Daisy Nam is currently the Marcia Tucker Senior Research Fellow at the New Museum. She was most recently the curator-in-residence at Bellas Artes, Bataan, Philippines and Surf Point in York, Maine in 2019. She was previously the assistant director at the Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts, Harvard University from 2015-2019 where she organized exhibitions, publications, and public programs. From 2008-2015 she was the assistant director of public programs at the School of the Arts, Columbia University curating and producing talks, screenings, performances, workshops, working closely with artists to engage with the campus community and public at large. At the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, she worked on fundraising initiatives that supported the museum’s collection, exhibition and educational programs. She holds a master’s degree in Curatorial and Critical Studies from Columbia University and a bachelor’s degree in Art History and Cinema Studies from New York University.
Meg Rotzel is a curator of artist projects and public programs in the research university context. She is Curator of Exhibitions for the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University where she organizes art shows and exhibitions that draw from the collections of the Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America. Meg worked for a decade at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology where she connected artistic disciplines to research in science, technology, and the humanities. She created new artworks through programs originating from the Center for Advanced Visual Studies, the MIT program in Art, Culture and Technology, and the Center for Art, Science and Technology. Meg approaches her work within institutions as an artist and collaborator, following art school, she founded and directed the Boston based artist-run non-profit Berwick Research Institute and developed residency programs for artists and curators in their early careers. She received a MA from Brown University in Public Humanities, a BFA from Tufts University, and a Diploma from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts.
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This article was updated on May 19, 2020 at 5:42 PM.