Editor’s Note: Images for media are available here
The Jan Shrem and Maria Manetti Shrem Museum of Art at the University of California, Davis, will open its 2019 season with a new exhibition, Xicanx Futurity, featuring the work of six Xicana artists, Jan. 29 through May 5. Additionally, due to popular demand, Bruce Nauman: Blue and Yellow Corridor, the fall exhibition, has been extended through April 14.
Xicanx Futurity focuses on the work of artists Celia Herrera Rodríguez, Felicia “Fe” Montes, Gina Aparicio, Gilda Posada, Melanie Cervantes and Margaret “Quica” Alarcon. It is curated by UC Davis Chicana/o studies faculty Carlos Jackson and Susy Zepeda, as well as Maria Esther Fernandez, chief curator of the Triton Museum of Art in Santa Clara.
An opening celebration will be held at 2 p.m. Jan. 27, with a panel discussion at 2:30 p.m. with all six artists in a conversation moderated by Jackson, chair and associate professor, Department of Chicana/o Studies.
The meaning behind the exhibition
The artists in this exhibition engage in an intergenerational dialogue that centers indigenous forms of communal and hemispheric ceremony, rooted in sacred practices.
These practices emerged from or have been influenced by the Chicano/a Art Movement of the late 1960s. One aspect of this was to create a new identity for a community marginalized by taking “Chicano,” which was then a pejorative term, and giving it new meaning informed by a politic of self-determination and social justice. Queer Chicanx and Chicana feminists criticized the movement for its exclusionary and hetero-patriarchal practices.
The “x” at the beginning of Xicanx references Nahuatl, an indigenous language of Mesoamerica, and the “x” at the end represents a contemporary challenge to the gender binary. Xicanx Futurity represents the central ideas of the Chicana/o/x movements that are continuously in formation, and it illuminates the multiple paths toward justice, equality, and decolonization that are an everyday, lifelong and generational process.
Futurity, not to be confused with futurism, “describes the actions that are rooted in an understanding of the past while advancing new possibilities for the future,” according to a description of the exhibition.
Bruce Nauman: Blue and Yellow Corridor, which has been on exhibit since Sept. 27, is the first realization of an ambitious corridor installation that Nauman, who earned his master’s degree from UC Davis in 1966, initially conceived of in 1970-71. It was not built until its debut at the Manetti Shrem Museum in 2018. The UC Davis museum brings Nauman’s work home to the place where he served as teaching assistant to Wayne Thiebaud and befriended William T. Wiley, both of whom were first-generation art faculty on campus. Since the mid-1960s, Nauman has produced a prolific and radically innovative body of work that has expanded the very boundaries of what art can be.
Admission is always free for all.
Cherríe Moraga In Conversation
4-5:30 p.m. Feb. 14
Moraga is an internationally recognized poet, essayist and playwright whose professional life began in 1981, with her co-editorship of the groundbreaking feminist anthology, The Bridge Called My Back: Writings by Radical Women of Color. She is the author of several works of her own, and is a professor of English at UC Santa Barbara. She will be in conversation with co-curator Susy Zepeda, Chicana/o Studies, UC Davis.
Decolonizing Healing: Everyday Rituals & Remedies
3:30-5 p.m. March 5
This plática/discussion centers practitioners engaged in thoughtful dialogue about decolonizing healing. Zepeda is in dialogue with a Sacramento folk herbalist and “kitchen witch” Lola Venada.
Intersectional Feminism in Museums: Panel Discussion
4:30-6 p.m. April 17
This discussion explores recent exhibitions and museum approaches that challenge mythologies about sexuality, gender, race and power. How are museums responding in light of #MeToo, LGBTQI advocacy, Black and Brown Lives Matter, and other activist movements? Museum leaders address the aims and challenges in confronting societal inequities in diverse cultural contexts.