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SMFA / Boston
Fall 2021

With work by Judy Chicago, Young Joon Kwak, MPA, Lynn Hershman Leeson, Ellen Lesprance, Joiri Minaya, Cauleen Smith, Faith Wilding, Paula Wilson, and Carmen Winant

Staying With the Trouble is a group exhibition that proposes strategies and coping mechanisms for navigating the current political and socio-economic climate -a climate that seems to be simultaneously slipping backwards into the archaic and forwards into the apocalyptic. Each of the artists in Staying With the Trouble, occupy practices that are web-like in their references and positioned to challenge histories, past and projected, to engage with the immediate. Often drawing on world-building strategies and from the landscape they dwell in, the works that make up the exhibition embrace concepts of science fiction, intersectionality and utopia through humor, performance, mythology and re-presentations of femininity and sexuality. Staying With the Trouble considers taking the hard road of learning to ‘stay with the trouble,’ of engaging with a new paradigm of the present. The exhibition title is a direct reference to ecofeminist Donna Haraway’s 2016 book, Staying with the Trouble: Making Kin in the Chthulucene, in which she calls for new ways of non-linear thinking in a day and age when old ones are clearly failing. The act of staying with the trouble asks a people to put forth new stories, and redefine family and economies in the immediate, rather than dwell on the fate of the Future.

Organized by guest curator Kate McNamara.