Connected \\ February 14, 2018
2018 exhibitions examine women and power
Angela Washko, Nature, from The Council on Gender Sensitivity and Behavioral Awareness in World of Warcraft, 2012–13, video (1 minute). On loan from the artist.
Opening February 10, PlayTime examines the shifting role of play in contemporary art and culture. Featuring over 30 works by 17 national and international artists, PlayTime includes several projects that investigate the influence of the internet and gaming on artistic practice.
For her installation, Pittsburgh-based artist Angela Washko makes her work within the highest-grossing online multiplayer game space of World of Warcraft. An avid gamer herself, Washko documented a series of performances in the game during which she spoke with other players about issues of identity and gender, particularly focusing on how women are treated in the game space. Often leading to surprising conversations, Performing in Public: Ephemeral Actions in World of Warcraft investigates the opportunities and limitations female, gender-non conforming players and players of color face when participating in this networked social space. Washko’s performative interventions inside World of Warcraft importantly poke at player exchanges within this fantasy landscape and how they work to reflect and reinforce the stereotypical politics of everyday life, instead of perhaps liberating us from them.
Katharine Carl, The Empress Dowager Tze Hsi, of China, oil on canvas with camphor wood frame, 1903. Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C.: Transfer from the Smithsonian American Art Museum, S2011.16.1-2a-ap.
Organized by PEM, the Smithsonian's Freer|Sackler, Washington, D.C., and the Palace Museum, Beijing and opening mid August, in a timely celebration marking the 40th anniversary of US-China diplomatic relations, Empresses of China's Forbidden City (working title) explores the role of the Qing Empresses (1644-1912) and tells the little-known stories of how imperial women influenced court politics, art and religion.