Public Works: Artists’ Interventions 1970s–Now

Public Works: Artists’ Interventions 1970s–Now

Mills College Art Museum

Karen Finley, 1-900-ALL-KAREN, 1998. Courtesy the artist and Fales Library and Special Collections, New York University.
September 2, 2015
Public Works: Artists’ Interventions 1970s–Now

September 16–December 13, 2015

Opening: Wednesday, September 16, 6–8pm

Mills College Art Museum
5000 MacArthur Blvd.
Oakland, CA 94613
Hours: Tuesday–Sunday 11am–4pm
Wednesdays 11am–7:30pm.

T +510 430 2164
Twitter / #publicworksintervene / #womenatwork / #millsartmuseum

Featuring works by Amy Balkin, Tania Bruguera, Candy Chang, Minerva Cuevas, Agnes Denes, Tatyana Fazlalizadeh, Karen Finley, Coco Fusco, Guerrilla Girls, Sharon Hayes, Lynn Hershman Leeson, Jenny Holzer, Emily Jacir, Suzanne Lacy, Marie Lorenz, Susan O’Malley, Adrian Piper, Laurie Jo Reynolds & Tamms Year Ten, Favianna Rodriguez, Bonnie Ora Sherk, Stephanie Syjuco, and Mierle Laderman Ukeles. Southern Exposure Off-Site commissions by Constance Hockaday and Jenifer K. Wofford.

Curated by Christian L. Frock, independent curator, writer and educator, and Tanya Zimbardo, Assistant Curator of Media Arts at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.

Public Works: Artists’ Interventions 1970s–Now examines strategies of public practice by women artists from the 1970s to the present. The exhibition presents photography, prints, audio, video, and installations from a number of important historical and contemporary projects that explore the inherent politics and social conditions of creating art in public space.

Public Works moves beyond traditional views of public art as monumental and/or permanent artworks and instead focuses often on small but powerful temporary artistic interventions online and in the urban environment. Through various tactics, Public Works explores themes of public space, public expression, public action, public platforms and public life through the evolving lens of participatory projects, socially engaged performance and political action, among other media.

A series of public commissions are featured alongside the works in the gallery, including Susan O’Malley’s You Are Exactly Where You Need to Be (2012), a temporary mural on the facade of the museum and available as a take-away postcard; a newly commissioned gallery installation and newspaper intervention in the Oakland Tribune by Favianna Rodriguez; and off-site performance commissions by Constance Hockaday and Jenifer K. Wofford, produced in collaboration with the San Francisco-based nonprofit Southern Exposure.

The fully illustrated exhibition catalogue of the same title features an introduction by Mills College Art Museum Director Stephanie Hanor, PhD, essays by curators Christian L. Frock and Tanya Zimbardo, and conversations and texts from María del Carmen Carrión, Courtney Fink, Leila Grothe, Valerie Imus, and Meredith Johnson. Available here.

The exhibition is supported in part by the Phyllis C. Wattis Foundation

Public programs 
Visit for full details

Artist lecture: Bonnie Ora Sherk
Wednesday, September 23, 7pm
Danforth Lecture Hall, Mills College

Performance / panel: “On Freedom of Expression and Technology as Public Platform”
Featuring a live Skype performance by Enar de Dios Rodríguez; a special multiple produced by Leah Rosenberg; and a panel discussion with exhibiting artists Amy Balkin, Tania Bruguera, Stephanie Syjuco, and Favianna Rodriguez
Sunday, October 4, 3pm
Danforth Lecture Hall, Mills College

Curators talk: Christian L. Frock and Tanya Zimbardo
Wednesday, November 4, 7pm
Danforth Lecture Hall, Mills College

Southern Exposure Off-Site Commission 
Jenifer K. Wofford: MaxiPad
Sunday, November 8, TBA

Southern Exposure Off-Site Commission 
Constance Hockaday: You Make a Better Wall Than a Window – The Tour 
Sunday, December 6, TBA
SF Ferry Building


About the Mills College Art Museum (MCAM)
Founded in 1925, The Mills College Art Museum is a forum for exploring art and ideas and a laboratory for contemporary art practices. Through innovative exhibitions, programs and collections, the museum engages and inspires the intellectual and creative life of the Mills community as well as the diverse audiences of the Bay Area and beyond.

Media contact
Maysoun Wazwaz: T +510 430 3340 / [email protected]


Mills College Art Museum presents Public Works: Artists’ Interventions 1970s–Now

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Mills College Art Museum
September 2, 2015

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