Artist Michele Pred’s New Solo Exhibition ‘Vote Feminist’ Is A Call To Resist Ahead Of Mid-Terms

There’s a lot to pay attention to right now amidst our political turmoil. With elections constantly happening, laws being introduced, protested against and passed, you’d be forgiven for feeling #resistance exhaustion. We’re taking solace in art and entertainment, as well as thought-provoking media that allows us to process the troubling times we’re living in when it comes to equal rights and the reversal of so much progress around bodily autonomy.

One artist who we can’t recommend highly enough to help you make sense of our political landscape right now is Swedish/American Michele Pred, known for her politically motivated, feminist art practice. You may have seen her neon-sign handbags with slogans like “Vote Feminist” , “Me Too” and “Times Up” famously worn by Hillary Clinton, Amy Shumer, and Nancy Pelosi. Her work has also been praised by none other than Supreme Court Associate Justice Sonia Sotomayor, who said, “Ms. Pred’s work is an important offering for its relevance to the times.”

Michele has just launched an exciting new solo show titled ‘Vote Feminist’, on display at the Nancy Hoffman Gallery in NYC from Oct 18 – November 24th. Not only will the artist be showcasing her iconic purse pieces, she has also arranged a partnership with Kickstarter, Gun by Gun, For Freedoms and the National Institute of Reproductive Health, inviting the public to join her and a group of activist-artists to march through the streets of Manhattan in Nevertheless We Vote: An Artist’s Call to the Polls, on November 3rd, right before the mid-term elections.

Both the march and her show are pretty clear in their messaging  – voting matters! With this year’s mid-terms said to usher in a massive Democratic wave in Congress as well as across the country in opposition to what Trump and his administration have been doing the past 2 years, ‘Vote Feminist’ is just the type of cathartic creative outlet we need right now.

“Vote Feminist​ is a call to resist, with everything we have, the hateful, fear-based and blatantly misogynistic policies of the current American government administration. It is a call to vote in November, to elect officials who will represent the true majority in this country while protecting and empowering the disenfranchised,” says a press release description about the show.

The clear call to electoral action is best represented by a series of authentic, but manipulated, full-size voting booths. This is where our voices can truly be heard, but only if we speak up and take seriously the obligations of being part of a civil society. Other work in this new show draws attention to the violence and inequities of our culture and seeks to inspire civil action to change our world for the better.

Pieces like ​Blue Rain,​ a suspended umbrella dropping handgun parts, are part of Pred’s most recent work focusing on the violence perpetrated by the very police forces that are tasked with protecting us. Violence and power are also represented in riot shields and bullet-proof vests. But, emblazoned with feminist slogans and/or covered with soft tapestry, their meaning is subverted and employed by the resistance.

Michele Pred continues to explore the inequities in the valuation of women and the imbalance of power it reflects and supports. ​Wage Gaps​, a series of precisely cut dollar bills, depict the spectrum of wage inequality across racial groups to further the discourse around intersectional feminism and the rampant gender-based racism that still exists today. Vintage purses glowing with feminist messages are designed to take the fight out of the gallery and into the streets.

While these issues have always been important, and even urgent for many Americans, they are nothing less than dire emergencies now that we face a decades-long period of reversals engineered by the Trump administration and supported by its Supreme Court picks.

As for the March happening on November 3rd, this isn’t Michele’s first foray in terms of bringing her feminist messaging and actions to the streets. Nevertheless We Vote is the latest in a string of overtly political art actions that she has produced over the last several years; both individually and in collaboration with other artists. In December 2017 Pred curated the Parade Against Patriarchy in Miami during Miami Art Week.

For that iteration she invited women artists to participate. For the New York parade, the scope will be expanded to include male artists and their art. Designed to bring politically motivated art out of galleries and on to the streets, Pred’s parade is made up of artists that combine performance and activism with their portable projects.

​Participants will gather in ​Washington Square Park​ in ​New York City.​ The parade will march through the streets, on route to ​Nancy Hoffman Gallery​, ​520 W 27th St, New York​,​ the site of the artist’s VOTE FEMINIST exhibition. Participants will gather at 12:45PM, have a group photo taken at 1:15PM, and start the parade at 1:30PM.

We’re thankful for the work of artists like Michele Pred who give us the strength and inspiration to keep going despite difficult times. If you are in NYC during the month of October and November, be sure to get yourselves down to the Nancy Hoffman Gallery to check out ‘Vote Feminist’, participate in the Nevertheless We Vote parade on November 3rd, and no matter where you are in America, remember to VOTE on November 6th in the mid-terms!

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