I am uter-you

November 05, 2022  •  Leave a Comment

You say that I amYou say that I amYou Say That I Am II
B75A0408 (10-12-2020)
03-15-2019
Lior Allay
Freeway Park, Seattle, Washington

2021-11-30 Photo Fest Bitola (Bitola, Macedonia) (Open Monochrome PIDM): Accepted
Warning: Minor rant ahead.

It's frustrating when an exhibition does not make their requirements clear from the outset.

Case in point: "It's Uter-us, Not Uter-you!" by Womenswork.art. I suppose I should have guessed from the name of the gallery that entries to their exhibition would be limited to "Women, Femme or non-binary artists," but the call for entry did not say that anywhere. What it said was that the show "will be a special online exhibition to fundraise and raise awareness for reproductive rights in the United States as a response to the recent overturning of Roe V Wade by the U.S. Supreme Court and the state of reproductive rights and body autonomy in American society." That's a topic I support passionately, and for which I actually have (I think) some pretty relevant art.

Don't get me wrong: I am absolutely OK with an exhibition being limited to a certain subset of artists who can speak to their own issues. The whole point of this one is, as it turns out, for women to speak for themselves. I've seen similar limits on exhibitions that speak to the experience of people of color, or members of the LGBTQ community. Those of us who are allies have important things to say... but there is a time and place for stepping back and deferring to those whose literal skin is in the game.

ExclusiveExclusive What frustrates me is when this isn't made clear in the announcement. In this case, it's only after you click "Apply" that you get the message saying don't go any further unless... Which, if it had been said sooner, means I would have respectfully moved on, rather than spending time to sort through my image collection looking for art to submit, only to find out when I was ready to enter that I wasn't actually qualified.

Oh well. I'll get over it, and there's probably a good metaphor here about the experience of women in our society. In fact, one of the images I was going to submit literally depicts a woman being locked out of a space labeled for men only.

Role ReversalRole ReversalRole Reversal
B75A5311 (01-10-2021)
04-23-2019
Melancholic and Despondent
Discovery Park, Seattle, Washington

2021-06-30 Marika Magazine (published in Toronto, Canada) (Summer 2021): Published
2021-07-30 3 Square Art Gallery (Fort Collins, Colorado), "Figure That!": Exhibited, Finalist
2021-08-11 Vidin Spring Circuit (Pazardzhik and Paracin, Bulgaria) (Nude Color PIDC): Accepted
2021-11-12 Knox Contemporary Art Gallery (online exhibition based in Calgary, Alberta), "XPOSED: Naked and Not Afraid": Exhibited online
And again, it's not being unable to submit that bothers me--only that the exhibition wasn't clearly labeled as such.

So here are the three photos I would have submitted, if I had been able. I'm a uter-you, not a uter-us; but I support with all my being the right to agency and self-determination in all matters, including healthcare, by those who do possess a uterus.

Which makes this a good time to remind you that whether you possess one or not, please, VOTE.

Pictured (from the top): "You Say That I am," with Lior Allay, a non-binary artist and model, in Seattle's Freeway Park, March 2019; "Exclusive," with Marzipanned, in Seattle's Frink Park, January 2019; and "Role Reversal," with Melancholic and Despondent in Seattle's Discovery Park in April 2019.


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