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Howardena Pindell: On the Performance of Autobiography
Over the course of nearly six decades, groundbreaking multidisciplinary artist Howardena Pindell has radically expanded the medium of painting and transformed the language of abstraction. The first of only three videos in the artist’s body of work, Pindell’s Free, White and 21 (12:15 min, 1980) marks a turn toward more overt autobiographical content in her practice. During the video, Pindell faces the camera and methodically walks viewers through different points in her life when she was subjected to racism and misogyny, confessional moments intercut with the artist in whiteface playing the titular role of a patronizing white woman.

Join the artist in a conversation with NPG curator Charlotte Ickes and Valerie Cassel Oliver, Sydney and Frances Lewis Family Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts and co-curator of the 2018 exhibition Howardena Pindell: What Remains to be Seen, the first major survey of Pindell’s work.

This program is part of Viewfinder: Women’s Film and Video from the Smithsonian, a monthly virtual film screening and conversation series sponsored by the Smithsonian American Women’s History Initiative, Because of Her Story. This second half of the series showcases creative responses to the external forces that shape the way we move through and experience the world. Visit WomensHistory.si.edu for more information about upcoming events in this screening series.

Oct 7, 2021 05:30 PM in Eastern Time (US and Canada)

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