On March 5, 2020, BMoCA opened this exhibition by Minneapolis-based performance artist Candice Davis titled Lifting As We Climb. The commissioned work is part of a series of exhibitions scheduled for 2020 to commemorate the centennial of women’s suffrage. Davis’s exhibition asked important questions and challenged us to have difficult yet essential conversations around race and inequality. Nine days after opening, the exhibition closed due to the coronavirus pandemic outbreak, and, unfortunately, many people did not have a chance to see it.
Davis’s work seems especially salient in this time as we struggle with how we can take action as individuals and as communities.
As a central feature of the exhibition, Davis presents the figure of the staircase as a metaphor for assumed socio-economic progress versus the real, racial, gendered, and monetary disparities in contemporary America. Drawing on black feminist theory, Davis looks at sources from the suffrage movement, current visual culture, and gender politics to encourage a debate around minority women’s representation and citizenship.
This show is the first of three exhibitions BMoCA is presenting in 2020 to commemorate the centennial of women being guaranteed the right to vote in the United States. BMoCA will exhibit work by three contemporary women artists who reflect on the complexities of being a woman in our democracy today. A hundred years have passed since the vote was won, and the relation between gender and equality is still being negotiated daily. What does it mean to have a vote? To be a body? To use your voice?
In conjunction with these exhibitions, BMoCA will present public working sessions for women in the Boulder community to take part in. Female-identifying individuals will have opportunities to meet each exhibiting artist in a public event and discuss complexities of being a woman in our democracy today, obstacles to having your voice heard, and the relationship between gender and equality.
About Candice Davis
Candice Davis is a conceptual artist originally from San Antonio, Texas and currently working in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Davis graduated from the Minneapolis College of Art and Design in 2018 with a BFA in Web + Multimedia Environments. Her practice focuses primarily on digital media, installation, and performance as a means of witnessing for the experiences of marginalized people. She is a recent recipient of a Next Step Fund Award and is currently an Artists on the Verge 11 Fellow.
About Rose van Mierlo
Rose van Mierlo is an independent international critic, curator, and lecturer working between the United Kingdom, United States, India, and the Netherlands.
She was a Critical Writing Fellow at Lokaal 01 (Belgium, 2011), and a post-academic fellow at DNA/GEMAK (the Netherlands, 2011). After completing a MA in Contemporary Art Theory at Goldsmiths (University of London, 2015), she was appointed as the Curator of Exhibitions and Public Programs at the Swiss Cottage Gallery (London, 2017). She is currently a director of the SquareWorks:Lab Fellowship in Mumbai and a part-time lecturer in critical art theory.
Van Mierlo has curated emerging and established international artists, such as Ronny Sen, Rithika Merchant, and Soghra Khurasani (This burning land belongs to you, 2017); Katarina Hruskova (The Waning Yolk, 2018); Caitlin Griffiths (While we belong to ourselves, a part of us belongs to everyone, 2018); and Tash Kahn and John Ros (Citizen, 2018) and has commissioned public art projects by Claudette Johnson, Sutapa Biswas, Elly Clarke, Ingrid Pollard, and Liz Hingley.
About Present Box
Present Box is a series of temporary exhibitions that invite artists to transform BMoCA’s lobby and front entrance into innovative installations, performances, and events. The site-specific projects are intended to encourage artists to create work outside their comfort zone, and to foster interactive participation. Artists are also urged to explore themes that are relevant for our present time.
Thank you to our generous sponsors:
Scintilla Foundation, Luff Family Fund, City of Boulder, Boulder Arts Commission, Boulder Human Relations Commission, Scientific & Cultural Facilities District, Colorado Creative Industries, and National Endowment for the Arts.
Special thanks to our community partners:
YWCA Boulder County
Note: This exhibition closed early on March 13, 2020 due to COVID-19.