Columbus College of Art & Design

fierce pussy

Thursday, Feb. 8, 2018
6:30 p.m.

Free and open to the public.

Nancy Brooks Brody, Joy Episalla, and Carrie Yamaoka of the New York-based queer women artist collective fierce pussy (formed with Zoe Leonard in 1991) speak ahead of the four members’ upcoming seasons at Beeler Gallery at Columbus College of Art & Design in fall 2018 and spring 2019, which will be devoted to the resonances amongst their individual practices and the way in which the abstraction in their works activates perceptual and political agencies. Moderated by Jill Casid, Professor of Visual Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Formed in New York City in 1991 through their immersion in AIDS activism during a decade of increasing political mobilization around gay rights, fierce pussy brought lesbian identity and visibility directly into the streets. Low-tech and low budget, the collective responded to the urgency of those years, using readily available resources: old typewriters, found photographs, our own baby pictures, and the printing supplies and equip.m.ent accessible in their day jobs. Originally fierce pussy was composed of a fluid and often shifting cadre of members. Four of the original core members—Nancy Brooks Brody, Joy Episalla, Zoe Leonard, and Carrie Yamaoka — continue to work together.

fierce pussy projects included wheat pasting posters on the street, renaming New York City streets after prominent lesbian heroines, re-designing the restroom at the LGBT community center, printing and distributing stickers and t-shirts, a greeting card campaign, a video PSA and more recently, various installations and exhibitions in galleries and museums. fierce pussy had been included in group exhibitions at Greater New York, MoMA PS1, New York (2015), Harvard Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts (2009), and has had a solo project at Printed Matter, New York (2008). Forthcoming in June 2018, they will have a project for Queer Power, a facade installation at the Leslie Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art, New York. More info on fierce pussy can be found on: fiercepussy.org

Nancy Brooks Brody was born in New York, where she lives and works. She has exhibited two solo shows at Virgil de Voldere Gallery, New York. Selected groups exhibitions include Brooklyn Museum, New York; La Mama La Galleria, New York; FRAC Haute-Normandie, France; White Columns, New York; Slingshot Project, Brussels; Artists Space, New York; Vera List Center for Arts and Politics, New York and The Drawing Center, New York. Nancy Brooks Brody has been a member of the queer women’s collective, fierce pussy, since 1991.

Joy Episalla is a multi-disciplinary artist working in the interstices of photography, video and sculpture. Her work re-positions the dynamics of photography and video into the realm of sculptural abstraction, while engaging a queer/feminist perspective. She is interested in the mutability of still and moving images as they play out through time and the manipulation of spatial volume, to create open-ended situations that prompt the viewer to slow down and take in the moment and the record — in all its complexity and seeming contradictions. She lives and works in NYC.

Zoe Leonard’s survey exhibitions takes place at The Whitney Museum of American Art from March 2 – June 10, 2018, and travels to Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles late 2018. Group exhibitions include National Gallery of Art (2018), S.M.A.K, Ghent (2017), La Triennale di Milano (2017), Columbus Museum of Art (2016), The Met Breuer (2016), Punta Della Dogana, Venice (2015), the Whitney Biennial (2014), Musée d’Orsay, Paris (2013), Whitechapel Gallery (2012), and Villa Arson, Nice (2007).

Carrie Yamaoka is a New York-based artist who has shown her work both nationally and internationally since the 80s. Her most recent solo exhibition took place at Lucien Terras in New York in September/October 2015. Her work is featured in Greater New York 2015 at MoMA PS1, October 2015 -March 2016. Yamaoka’s work has been reviewed in The New York Times, Art in America, L’Express, Time Out, Bomb and The New Yorker, among other publications. Her work can be found in the public collections of The Victoria & Albert Museum, London and The Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo.