Black Women Artists for Black Lives Matter
Thursday, September 1st, 2016
The New Museum, New York City
At 6pm there was a line coming out of The New Museum that went down Bowery and Stanton nearly meeting Chrystie. We were here to see the one-night pop-up event Black Women Artists for Black Lives Matter (BWAforBLM). As part of her residency, artist Simone Leigh invited BWAforBLM, a collective she organized this past July, for an evening of solidarity.
We are overwhelmed with joy that so many of you came from far and wide to @newmuseum for #bwaforblm for all of the inquires we've received on footage, how to grab a shirt or button in support of donations, or future programming we will share an update soon. Give us a bit to rest up and stay connected with us as we shine a light on all of our collective artists via this platform and Twitter (@bwaforblm), Facebook #blackwomenartistsforblacklivesmatter and Tumblr. #blacklivesmatter and please find out more about how you can support @blmnyc by visiting their site as well.
We were all in line waiting to see Black women artists. We were essentially waiting for them.
Through September 18th, Leigh is exhibiting The Waiting Room, a statement and response to what institutions do to the female Black body. She honors Esmin Elizabeth Green who died after lingering for 24 hours in a hospital waiting room.
“Obedience is one of the main threats to black women’s health; it was a survival mechanism that Green waited 24 hours before collapsing,” says Leigh. “What happened to Green is an example of the lack of empathy people have towards the pain of black women.”
For her exhibit, Leigh centralizes the care of the body, and asserts disobedience as a form of self-determination. There are stations for healing and time for healers.
Waiting or not waiting is a form of privilege choosing. I saw the waiting of us, the diverse formation of folks standing in line, as a kind of belated honor to Black women artists. As I stood with friends, young people of color who work in museums, there was a patience in the statement our collective waiting body said to institutions of art that evening, We value Black women, the bodies and spaces they inhabit, and the art they create. Give them your time, space, and attention. Continue reading