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Mónica Mayer: Translocal Translations, 1978-2018

Cascade Paragon Arts Gallery

Monica Mayer showcard

Image Credit: Mónica Mayer, THE CLOTHESLINE, 1979. Photo: Mónica Mayer.

Update in 2019 – exhibition catalogue published and available for download: Christine Weber, editor; Alberto McKelligan Hernández, curatorial essayist, Mónica Mayer: Translocal Translations, 1978-2018, Portland Women in Art Lecture Series, 2019.

Paragon Arts Gallery is proud to present Mónica Mayer: Translocal Translations, 1978-2018

  • Dates: November 7 – December 15, 2018
  • Opening reception and gallery walk-through with Mónica Mayer: Thursday, November 8, 2018, 5:30pm
  • Gallery hours:
    • Wednesday – Friday, 12-7pm
    • Saturday, 12-5pm

Paragon Arts Gallery at PCC Cascade and Portland Women in Art Lecture Series presents Mónica Mayer: Translocal Translations, 1978-2018, curated by Alberto McKelligan Hernandez. This retrospective will feature selections of Mayer’s work from the past four decades including video, photography, and ephemera archiving her performance art and social practice. Visitors will be able to engage in cultural critique through interactive activities in the gallery. Join us for a walk-through of the exhibition lead by Mayer on Thursday, November 8, at 5:30pm Gallery materials will be in English and in Spanish, and a bilingual catalogue will be produced documenting the exhibition and artist events. All events are free and open to the public.

For decades, Mónica Mayer’s work in performance, drawing, photography, and social practice has been engaged with feminist issues. She says, I’m very excited to be in Portland for the first time, working with some of my favorite art audiences: college students and young kids.”

Internationally acclaimed feminist artist Mónica Mayer (b. Mexico City, 1954) has exhibited in over 100 group and solo exhibitions in Mexico, the U.S. and Europe. Mayer is known for pioneering feminist projects such as El Tendedero (The Clothesline), recreated repeatedly since its first iteration in Mexico City in 1978 and proving the continued relevance of the social issues she engages. Her work has been shown internationally for decades, notably in historic survey exhibitions such as “WACK! Art and the Feminist Revolution” and “Radical Women: Latin American Art, 1960-1985.” Mónica Mayer’s first visit to Portland will introduce audiences to her work, which has not previously been exhibited in the Pacific Northwest.

In El Tendedero (The Clothesline), a participatory project originally developed in 1978, Mónica Mayer distributes paper postcards with questions focusing on women’s subjective experiences and challenges in everyday life. In its first occurrence, Mayer asked women in Mexico City to complete the phrase, "As a woman, what I most hate about the city is," eliciting numerous responses focused on issues of sexual harassment and violence that were then displayed hanging from a pink-colored frame and clothesline. In subsequent versions of the project, Mayer created new clotheslines in cities such as Los Angeles, Washington, D.C., and Buenos Aires, developing new questions that highlighted the specific conditions faced by women in different social and geographic contexts. El Tendedero (The Clothesline) will be created at various locations across the PCC District, including Cascade, Sylvania, and Rock Creek campuses.

Mónica Mayer’s visit is the seventh in the Portland Women in Art Lecture Series (PWALS), founded in 2010 with the goal of presenting important women in the visual arts to the students and faculty of PCC and PSU and to a larger Portland audience. PWALS focuses on pioneering feminist artists as well as younger women significant in the fields of art and art history. In 2011, Carolee Schneemann inaugurated the series with her performative lecture “Mysteries of the Iconographies.” In 2012, Charlotta Kotik, Curator Emerita of the Brooklyn Museum, addressed the work of Louise Bourgeois. Subsequently, Jaune Quick-to-See Smith spoke about her paintings and prints and about the work of other contemporary Native American artists. In 2015, Dr. Leslie King-Hammond shared how she has leveraged research, writing, and curatorial endeavors to bring historical and contemporary African-American artists into the canon of American art. Ellen Lesperance spoke about how she uses her paintings and knitted garments to pay tribute to feminist activism and direct action campaigns. In 2017, PWALS organizers presented in a symposium format on contributions of women in art and design historically and in the present day, all tied to current debates around gender rights and roles of women in society.

At Portland Community College, PWALS is funded by Professional And Organizational Development, Offices of the Campus Presidents, Internationalization Steering Committee, Women’s Resource Centers, and Associated Students of PCC.

At Portland State University, PWALS is funded by College of the Arts; Art History; School of Art and Design; Speakers Board; International Affairs; Visiting Artist Lecture Series; Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies; Women’s Resource Centers; and King School Museum of Contemporary Art.

PWALS also receives funding from Regional Arts and Culture Council.

About the artist

Mónica Mayer (Mexico City, 1954), studied visual arts at the Escuela Nacional de Artes Plásticas in Mexico City and in 1980 obtained a masters degree in sociology of art at Goddard College while participating at the Feminist Studio Workshop in Los Angeles, California.

Her work has been exhibited in over 100 group exhibitions in Mexico, the U.S. and Europe and has had solo exhibitions among others at: Casa del Lago (1977), en el Museo Carrillo Gil (1987), Lourdes Chumacero gallery (1990), Pino Suárez subway station (1990), Auditorio subway station (1993), The National Gallery in Kingston,

Jamaica (1996), Centro Cultural Candido Mendes in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (1997), El Colegio de Arquitectos in Pichinche, Ecuador (1997), the artists run gallery Pinto mi Raya (1989, 1992), the Trotsky Museum (1999), the Centro Cultural San Angel (1999) in México D.F., La Masmédula Galería (1999), Jardín de las Esculturas, Xalapa, Ver (1993).

About Portland Women in the Arts Lecture Series

The Portland Women in Art Lecture Series (PWALS) was founded in 2010 at Portland Community College with the purpose of bringing feminist artists, curators, and scholars to our city for public lectures, for student art critiques, and for faculty development. The PWALS Committee includes art faculty and students from each campus at Portland Community College and art faculty from Portland State University.