PaperCity Magazine

September 2018- Dallas

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134 T hey were alternately t h r e a t e n i n g a n d armed with satire. The Guerrilla Girls — anonymous women in rubbery gorilla masks — raised issues that were unspoken and entrenched among elite power echelons of the art world. These feminist artists pulled back the curtain on the wealthy, white-male-ruled establishment, storming the barricades of prestigious art institutions and career- determining galleries. It was New York, 1985. That moment sustained a movement that storms on unabated, four decades later. Now the fiercely non-commercial Cydonia Gallery in Oak Cliff's historic Texas Theatre rolls out the Guerrilla Girls as its season opener. This rare gallery presentation for the women's-only collective evolved when artists Jennifer Marman and Daniel Borins' Vancouver commission was delayed, pushing their show to November and leaving a hole in the gallery's September lineup. This spring, Cydonia founder/director Hanh Ho reached out to contemporary art's iconic activists, asking them to consider showing in Dallas. Her request was persuasive; the exhibition, entitled "Battle Cry," was hatched. The Cydonia show synergistically follows the acquisition of a complete Guerrilla Girls portfolio at the Dallas Museum of Art (on view through September 9), which Ho did not know was on the DMA roster when her show was planned. For Ho, the exhibition is personal. "The Guerrilla Girls don't just break ground; they split the night sky in two," she says. "They really are masked avengers — and people like myself put them in that status level. They've been promoting equality long before hashtags, social media, and, before our culture could begin to comprehend ideas of consent, what truly defines harassment." While the collective's work will make a physical appearance at the Cydonia exhibit, the Guerrilla Girls themselves will not. These female fighters for parity and populism have always operated anonymously — they've even made a late-night masked appearance on Stephen Colbert. Approximately 20 posters will be presented in the exhibition, spanning 33 years. "The posters are not typical art objects," Ho says. "They are the tools of revolution." The gallery plans to install the posters as protest art should be: outside the white cube, lining the walls of the theater. Merchandise, priced for all, will be available, and the collective's videos will be seen on the big screen. We reached the Guerrilla Girls via email — amid a flurry of international exhibitions including a solo traveling museum show — and queried them about this moment. The reply: "It is a great time for protest and activism! We are extremely encouraged by Black Lives Matter, #MeToo, and the widespread outrage and action." Read our complete interview at "Guerrilla Girls: Battle Cry" at Cydonia Gallery, opening Friday, September 7, 6 to 9 pm (through October 28). Info STORMING THE WHITE CUBE THIRTY-THREE YEARS BEFORE #METOO, THE GUERRILLA GIRLS DONNED APE MASKS, CREATED DEFT PROTEST POSTERS AND BILLBOARDS MORE EFFECTIVE THAN MADISON AVENUE, AND UPENDED THE ART WORLD. NOW, WORKS BY THE BAND OF ARTISTS WHO FIRST FOUGHT FOR GENDER EQUALITY ARE COMING TO DALLAS. IN A PAPERCITY EXCLUSIVE, FIND OUT HOW AND WHY CYDONIA GALLERY LANDED THE GUERRILLA GIRLS SHOW. BY CATHERINE D. ANSPON Guerrilla Girls at the Abrons Art Center, New York, 2015 © GUERRILLA GIRLS AND COURTESY OF GUERRILLAGIRLS.COM. PHOTO © ANDREW HINDERAKER.

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