FEATURE: ‘Abandoned Margins: Policing the Black Female Body’ exhibition open at Chicago’s Woman Made Gallery

February 2, 2016

Woman Made Gallery in Chicago is exhibiting ‘Abandoned Margins: Policing the Black Female Body’, a group show that challenges the supremacist systems that marginalize and disenfranchise black female bodies.

The show explores the projected images and perceptions of black women in American culture and the paradox of being simultaneously fetishized and considered undesirable. “…public discourse frequently depict them [black women] stereotypically as overweight and asexual, or hyper-sexualized and in need of less protection but more policing for moral failures. The black female body then becomes an object in the faces of power, brutality, and fetishism– detached from the name and genuine identity it belongs to,” says Janice Bond, a Chicago-based curator and the curator of this exhibition.

The featured artists of ‘Abandoned Margins’ explore the concepts of western beauty standards, cultural identity, historical erasure, trauma, and representation by-way-of multimedia, installations, sculpture, film, printmaking, and more.

‘Abandoned Margins: Policing the Black Female Body’ is on exhibit at Woman Made Gallery now until Feb. 25. There will be a symposium and artist talk with Janice Bond on Feb. 20 (noon until 6 p.m.) as well as a poetry reading Feb. 7 (1:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.). You can learn more about ‘Abandoned Margins’, its featured artists, and Janice Bond’s other curation right here.

By Erin White*, AFROPUNK contributor

Nature’s Intent
Dreamy Creamy Crack House

modular print installation

12.5 x 12.5 x 12.5 inches

Jasmine Murrell
Mother of mother’s series, Strong arms that withstand broken backs and broken hearts #3

40 x 30 inches

Lee Bullitt
Know Whence You Came
16 x 13 inches

Nakeya Brown
Vidal Sheen

archival inkjet print

8 x 10 inches

Photo: Tony Smith
Pictured: Janice Bond

*Erin White is AFROPUNK’s editorial and social media assistant. You can follow her on Tumblr or friend her on Facebook. Have a pitch or an inquiry? Shoot her an email at