The title of this exhibition, In a Dream You Saw a Way to Survive and You Were Full of Joy, comes from a work by the prominent feminist artist Jenny Holzer. This evocative phrase tells a story of possibility and implies critical questions that have guided our thinking around the artworks gathered for this project: Who, under what conditions, must struggle to survive? What does survival look like for individuals and communities? And, how might the tools of our imaginations help us to find joy and collectively reshape the conditions of our society?
With works by eight female artists – Danielle Brathwaite-Shirley, Adriana Corral, Ellie Ga, Juliana Huxtable, Tala Madani, Danielle Mckinney, Wendy Red Star, and Clare Rojas, along with engagements by Jenny Holzer – this exhibition grapples with a range of critical issues facing our society today. As Holzer’s phrase suggests, the featured artists both acknowledge societal inequities and envision pathways toward a new and better future. Confronting identity and history in ways informed by feminism and other political thought, their works evaluate systems that suppress and exclude those whose lives are not privileged within the dominant patriarchal power structure.
Curated by Robin K. Williams and Julie Le