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Unconditional Care: Listening to People’s Health Needs

September 1, 2023 - September 22, 2023

"Unconditional Care" explores today’s most pressing health issues and shares the stories and concerns of those most directly impacted by them. From chronic illnesses, pregnancy, and gun deaths to sexual assault, the artists share powerful personal experiences around health and bodily autonomy. By prescribing better representation, listening, and respect, the artists kindly seek unconditional care.

"Unconditional Care" is curated by Katrina Majkut and includes new and recent work by the following artists:
Christen Clifford @cd_clifford
Gays Against Guns @gaysagainstgunsny
Helen Goodteacher @native_indigenousblonde
Michelle Hartney @michellehartneyart/
Holland Houdek @hollandhoudek
Chidiebere Ibe @ebereillustrate
Marissa Moran Jahn @marisa_jahn
jessica oler @jessicaoler
Kean O'Brien @kean_obrien
Katrina Majkut @KatrinaMajkut
Lydia Nobles @lydianobles
Martha Poggioli @marthapoggioli

Read the artnet article by Sarah Cascone here

Read the full curatorial text here

Images: "Handblood" by Kean O'Brien, Acrylic on canvas, 2022 and "Medical Abortion Pills" by Katrina Majkut, Thread on aida cloth, 2015

About the Curator

Katrina Majkut (My’kut) is a Ukrainian-American visual artist, curator, and writer living. She curates exhibits that address some of today’s most pressing social issues with an intersectional feminist lens, fact-based research, and personal storytelling. In 2023, Majkut was part of national news when her artwork, Medical Abortion Pills, along with two other artists’ art, were censored by Lewis-Clark State College administrators in the show she curated called Unconditional Care. Majkut and the artists spoke out against censorship, first amendment violations, and anti-abortion laws. Her other curated exhibitions include Feeling Your Oats (2022) and Witches Get Stitches (2021) at Spring Break Art Fair, and Armed Disposal at Dinner Gallery (formerly Victori + Mo Gallery,) and Trestle Projects (NY). Majkut is also a nationally exhibiting artist in museums, commercial galleries and in over 30 colleges. She lectures on art activism, gender issues, and textile arts. Selected exhibitions include the Bronx Museum Biennial, Every Women NFT Biennial, Dorsky Museum, Museum of Craft and Design (CA), Untitled Space Gallery (NY), AIR Gallery. Residencies include MASS MoCA, Elizabeth Murray, Jentel, Feminist Incubator Residency at Project for Empty Space. Her art was recently seen in Elle Magazine, New York Times, The Guardian, and Hyperallergic Magazine. Majkut published her first non-fiction book in 2018, The Adventures and Discoveries of A Feminist Bride, which aims to make weddings more egalitarian. Her art catalogue is in the library at the National Museum of Women in the Arts, D.C. Majkut earned her BA from Babson College and her MFA from SMFA at Tufts University. She lives and works in New York.

About the Artists

Christen Clifford is a multidisciplinary feminist artist, writer, curator, filmmaker, and mother. Her first risograph artbook, BabyLove was acquired by The Thomas J. Watson Library at The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Video, chairs and beanbags from INTERIORS: We Are All Pink Inside were exhibited at The Brooklyn Museum in January 2023 as part of 50 Years since Roe: A Convening on Reproductive Justice. Her work has been seen at Project for Empty Space, The New Museum, LACE, Galerie Eva Presenhuber, Harold J Miossi Gallery, ArtShareLA, Bolivar Art Gallery, Art In Odd Places, Panoply Performance Lab. She is raising money for her first film, Cancer: A Love Story , supported by the Independent Film Project and Women Make Movies. She was an IFP Documentary Screen Forward Fellow and the winner of the Gregory Millard Nonfiction Fellowship from NYFA, as well as grants from Newark Creative Catalyst, LMCC, NYSCA, NYC artist corps, and she was a Feminist-in-Residence at Project for Empty Space. She has performed in the work of Alix Pearlstein, Daniel Fish, and Tino Seghal. SOLO PERFORMANCES: 17 Guys I Fucked; BabyLove (Winner Best of Fringe SFFF and NYFF); (What I Know About) My Parents’ Sex Life, aka Fuck Me Like It’s 1945; Cancer A Love Story. WRITER: The Guardian, Hyperallergic, Broadly, Filmmaker, also the essay Mother, Daughter, Mustache in the NYTimes bestselling anthology Women In Clothes and an essay in The M Word: Real Mothers in Contemporary Art. SELECTED PRESS: Interview with 3AM, Abortion Is Normal in Hyperallergic, Interiors in Hyperallergic and ARTFORUM, PussyBow in NYLON, Refinery29 and HuffPoUK. Her work has also been written about in The New York Times, Paper Magazine, Dazed, ArtNet, Bookforum and artNews. She teaches at The New School and curates at Dixon Place. Clifford is a studio member at Project For Empty Space, Newark and she lives in Jackson Heights, Queens and online.

Gays Against Guns (GAG) is a direct action group of LGBTQ people committed to ending gun violence through nonviolent means, civil disobedience, and activism. The group was founded by Kevin Hertzog, Brian Worth and John Grauwiler in 2016, as a result of the Pulse nightclub attack in Orlando, Florida which had killed 49 people and wounded 53 others in a mass shooting. It is the deadliest incident of violence against LGBTQ people in U.S. history and the deadliest terrorist attack in the U.S. since the September 11 attacks in 2001.

Michelle Hartney is a Chicago based interdisciplinary artist who works with fiber, installation, sculpture, metal, ceramics, and performance. Her practice focuses on gender rights, maternalhealthcare issues, cancel culture, and misogyny in art institutions. Hartney’s interest in using art to address social issues began during her graduate studies in art therapy at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, where she was an Albert Schweitzer Fellow. In 2016 Hartney founded the Reproductive Rights Art Collective, who’s mission is to use creative approaches to raise awareness about reproductive health issues through art, music, dance, poetry, and activism.

Holland’s work focuses on medical implants, the body, and embodied experience. Her work has been exhibited at the Museum of Modern Arts and Design (MAD) in New York, the Fuller Craft Museum, and many other museums and galleries throughout the world including in Austria, Canada, Chile, China, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Lithuania, Mexico, Morocco, Poland, Romania, Russia, Slovakia, South Korea, Spain, Switzerland, and Taiwan. Her work has been published in Metalsmith Magazine, American Craft, two Lark Books’ 500 Series, On Body and Soul: Contemporary Armor to Amulets, SNAG’s A Body Adorned, Contemporary Jewelry in China, CAST, and elsewhere. Holland was a finalist for the inaugural Burke Prize at MAD, a recipient of the prestigious Peter S. Reed Foundation Grant, and is the recipient of numerous best in show and other competitive awards. She is a former John Michael Kohler Arts/Industry resident, was the 2014 2015 Visiting Artist-in-Residence at the University of Iowa, and has also participated in artist residencies in Morocco and Berlin. Working closely with the medical industry, Holland has formed professional partnerships with the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, MedWish International, Cleveland Clinic, and others. She holds an MFA from Syracuse University, BFA from University of Wisconsin-Stout, and is currently an associate professor and art gallery director at Nazareth University in Rochester, New York.

Chidiebere Ibe hails from the Igbo ethnic group and is a native of Ebonyi State, Nigeria, was born in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State in Nigeria. He speaks English, Igbo, and Ibibio. Chidi has three siblings. Having lost his mother to surgery for fibroid, he became passionate about medicine, especially as it relates to women and children. He began medical illustrations by reading anatomy textbooks, watching videos online, and practicing illustrations using hand sketches, and a computer mouse. Presently, he is a Medical Illustrator, renowned for the creation of the Black Fetus Illustration. Chidiebere has MBBS in view at Kyiv Medical University, Ukraine. He holds a BSc degree in Chemistry from the University of Uyo, Akwa Ibom State. He is a TEDx speaker whose impact and works have been featured by reputable online media like Forbes, CNN, BBC, Good Morning America, WebMD, and Huffington Post among others. He currently serves as the Medical Illustrator of Harvard Medical School International Center for Genetic Disease, the Chief Medical Illustrator & Creative Director of the Journal of Global Neurosurgery, Research Fellow and Creative Director of the Association of Future African Neurosurgeons (AFAN), a Junior Member of the World Federation of Neurosurgical Societies, Global Neurosurgery Committee, etc

An artist, filmmaker, and transmedia producer of Ecuadorian and Chinese descent, Marisa Morán Jahn’s work redistributes power, “exemplifying the possibilities of art as social practice” (ArtForum). “[Jahn] introduces a trickster-like humor into public spaces and discourses, and yet it is a humor edged with political potency,” notes MIT Center for Art, Science & Technology, characterizing her playful approach. Codesigned with youth, new immigrants, and working families, Jahn’s civic-scale projects have engaged millions both on the street and at venues such as the Museum of Modern Art, the Venice Biennale of Architecture, the United Nations, Tribeca Film Festival, and Obama’s White House. Her public artwork, civic media tools, films, architectural and urban-scale collaborations have been supported by The New York Times, the BBC, PBS, Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times, Univision Global, Hyperallergic, Art in America, Architectural Review, CNN, and hundreds more. She has received grants and awards from National Endowment for the Arts, Rockefeller Foundation, Creative Capital, Open Society, Tribeca Film Institute, Anonymous Was A Woman, and more. In 2008, she embarked on creating the artwork / literacy movement “Bibliobandido” (Book Bandit) with a community in rural Honduras. This project centers around the eponymous character, a bandit who EATS stories and whose fame rivals Santa Claus. As a living legend still active today, Bibliobandido has transformed the lives of 20,000 young believers in Central and North America. In 2022, Jahn and award-winning filmmaker Benjamin Murray began shooting their Sundance-supported documentary film chronicling the impact of the beloved, story-hungry villain. For another civic-scale artwork called “CareForce” (2010-present), Jahn collaborated with the National Domestic Workers Alliance (NDWA) to create a social practice artwork including a PBS film that amplifies care workers' voices. This movement for domestic workers’ rights has contributed to new laws in 10 states and a federal bill underway. NDWA co-founder Ai-jen Poo writes, “CareForce harnesses the catalytic power of art, architecture, and storytelling to dream bigger, dream futures into being that we’ve never experienced and create new protagonists.” In 2020, “CareForce” informed the creation of “Carehaus,” an artwork that is also the U.S.’s first care-based co-housing building designed with architect Rafi Segal. The Biden administration and U.S. Congresspeople interviewed Jahn regarding the possibility of proliferating the “Carehaus” model across the country. With Segal, Jahn co-authored the related book “Design & Solidarity” (Columbia University Press, 2023). Jahn has taught at Columbia University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (her alma mater), and Parsons/The New School, where she is the Director of Integrated Design. She was a 2022 Sundance Fellow a Senior Researcher at MIT, and an artist in residence at the National Public Housing Museum.

jessica susan oler is an Black American Conceptual artist. oler was born and raised in Davis, California. She attended Sacramento City College where she earned three Associates Degrees in Social Science, Liberal Arts, and Sociology. In addition to this she earned her Bachelor's Degree in Sociology from San Francisco State University in 2014 and her Master's Degree in Fine Arts from California College of the Arts in 2019. As of late oler has earned admittance into the Doctoral Gender Studies Program at Queen's University under the supervision of Dr. Katherine Mckittrick come Fall 2023. oler's work has been shown at California College of the Arts; Chautauqua and Brooklyn, New York; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Miami, Florida; Lawrenceville and Atlanta, Georgia; Alameda, Oakland, and San Francisco, California; and Alexandria, New South Wales, Australia. jessica oler produces artworks in two-dimensional conceptual abstract format, video, photographic series, installation, and time-based work. As her practice shape shifts and expands she continues to lean into conceptual abstraction. Her process of constructing, deconstructing, and reconfiguring her original photographic prints continue to prove to be a way to work through the literal and figurative magnitude of the concepts that are approached. oler's multidisciplinary practice grapples with larger systemic quandaries that address patient narrative, medical racism, and black geography. As her work weaves in and out of the personal and political, the intrinsic interconnectedness of both are apparent. In oler's 2019 Untitled 12' x 12' photographic installation, she explored the inseparable history of American lynchings with a specific focus on the lynching of Mary Turner. During the summer of that year, oler built the first iteration of Big Bodies, a photographic installation built with her original photography in conversation with the Atlantic Slave Trade. This work was particularly significant as it was built alongside live double bass instrumentation. In 2021, oler was invited by Harvard Medical School to write her narrative surrounding her diagnosis of multiple sclerosis. This invite proved to be an expansive, groundbreaking invitation that opened the door to ethnography for her practice. As oler continues to move forward with her personhood, politic, and artistic practice the vastness of multi-disciplinarity continues to be a guiding force.

Kean O’Brien is a transgender, chronically ill, and disabled artist living between Chicago and Los Angeles. He holds and MFA from Califorina Institute of the Art and a BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Recent exhibitions include In Finite Space (City of West Hollywood city building), Mapping A Genocide (Art Center Highland Park, 2021), Mapping A Genocide (Summer Open with Aperture Foundation at Fotografiska NYC, 2020), Beyond Subjectivity (PhotoLA, 2020), FTM Searching (Czong Institute of Contemporary Art, South Korea, 2019), UnFunction (Rhode Island Center for Photographic Arts, 2018), Beyond Subjectivity (Nuit Rose, Toronto, 2018), Get Well Soon (Nous Tous Space, CA, 2018), Distance Makes the Heart Grow Harder (Marble House Projects, VT, 2018), Mapping A Genocide (PhotoLA, 2017), Mapping A Genocide (Human Resources, LA, 2017). They have lectured all over the country, including University of Arizona, Tucson (2020), American University in Beirut, Lebanon (2020), University of California, Santa Cruz (2019), American Studies Association (2019), National Women's Studies Association Conference (2019), School of the Art Institute of Chicago (2017), California College for The Arts (2016), California State University, Long Beach (2015), Emory College (2015).

Lydia Nobles is a New York based conceptual artist critiquing societal constructs that affect gender. Her practice engages identity and storytelling as advocacy by extending subjectivity within abstraction. Nobles’ current project, As I Sit Waiting, is an ongoing series of sculptures that addresses the issue of abortion access and reproductive advocacy. As I Sit Waiting is a fiscally sponsored project by the New York Foundation for the Arts.The series has been well received, with selections debuting in solo shows at Field Projects Gallery and Ross-Sutton Gallery in 2022. This past January, the Brooklyn Museum included her work in 50 Years Since Roe: A Convening on Reproductive Justice: Abortion Stories USA. Nobles has also been featured in numerous group shows including Lyman Allyn Art Museum, Latchkey Gallery, Conn College, Peep Space, Lump, Border Project Space, and Cindy Rucker Gallery, among others Her work is recognized in A Woman’s Thing, hypebae, Paper Mag, HYPERALLERGIC and Smack Mellon’s Hot Picks. Public programming includes Spring Break Art Fair, Ross-Sutton Gallery and the Brooklyn Museum. Nobles holds an MFA from Parsons School of Art and Design and a BFA from Moore College of Art and Design with a minor in Textile Design. Nobles’ also earned a certificate in Gender and Sexuality Studies from The New School.Awarded for her achievements and dedication to gender studies, she received the Gender and Sexuality Grant from The New School in 2017. Recently, Nobles’ completed the artist-in-residence programs at Field Projects, Trestle Art Space and Pink Noise Projects.

Photos

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New York State Council on the Arts
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