Micol Hebron is an interdisciplinary artist whose practice includes studio work, curating, writing, social media, crowd-sourcing, teaching, public-speaking, and both individual and collaborative projects. She has been engaged in individual and collaborative projects in Los Angeles since 1992. Hebron is an Associate Professor of Art at Chapman University; the founder/director of The Situation Room resource space for the creative community; the Gallery Tally Poster Project about gender equity in contemporary galleries; and the Digital Pasty/Gender Equity initiative for the internet. In the past she has been the Chief Curator at the Utah Museum of Contemporary Art; the director of the UCLA Summer Art Institute; an editorial board member at X-Tra magazine; an independent curator; a conservator at LACMA, and the co-founder of Gallery B-12 in Hollywood in the 90s. She has served on advisory boards at Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibtions, Birch Creek Ranch Residency (Utah), Los Angeles County Museum of Art, and UCLA. She is the founder of the LA Art Girls, and the Co-Founder of Fontbron Academy. She employs strategies of consciousness-raising, collaboration, generosity, play, and participation to support and further feminist dialogues in art and life. Hebron has presented exhibitions, performances, and lectures at numerous international institutions. The best way to reach her is through social media.
Current/Upcoming projects include:
Cross-Country road trip to Toronto (where I will attend Naked State residency)
Intersectionality, exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Art in North Miami
Pop up Gallery Tally exhibition and feminist friday at Pike School of Art in McComb Mississippi Artistic Advisor, Art and Technology LAB, Los Angeles County Museum of Art (year three grantees!)
Curatorial advising and writing for two exhibitions about the body, embodiment, and technology (and social media) at the Beall Center at UCI
Hebron has served on the editorial board of X-Tra Magazine since 2004 (as an Editor until 2012, and now as a Contributing Editor), and writes for several international art magazines (Art Forum, Arte Contexto, and Art Pulse). She is a founding member of the LA Art Girls, a 30-member collective of women artists in Los Angeles (since 2004). Curatorial projects include: Transmediation, a Survey of Graduate Student Video Art from 10 east coast colleges, at CAA and Stephan Stoyanov Gallery, New York; Doublespeak: Codes and Entendres by Contemporary Women Artists, at the Utah Museum of Contemporary Art and Forward Thinking: A Curatorial Exchange at the College Art Association 2012 Annual conference in Los Angeles. Recent writing projects include Judy Chicago: Experienced, a catalog essay for her recent exhibition at Jancar Gallery; and Soft Science; or, How Cute Can Save the World, a forward to the Complete Characters of Mr. Winkle, by Lara Jo Regan.
ABOUT MY WORK:
My practice involves many ways of working and includes both individual projects and crowd-sourced, collaborative projects. Very rarely does it include the fabrication of objects (painting, sculpture, drawing, etc.). I strive for my artistic projects to be in the service of consciousness-raising, though each project seems to approach that with different strategies. My work is based in social media, performance, video, digital media, social interaction, happenings, and the construction of platforms that allow for other artists and community members to come together to discuss or create something collaboratively. I am interested in pedagogy, epistemology, evolutionary biology, social media, collectivity, and affect theory. I am also interested in the role of the body in society, and some of the themes that I most frequently explore are: gender equity, freedom of speech, contemporary feminism, data visualization, the integration of art and technology and art and social media, the durational capacities of the body, the relationship between body, mind, and knowledge. I sometimes use humor in my work as a means of disarming the audience and inviting them in to an empathic state of experiencing and receiving the information that is before them. I also frequently use historical imagery or paradigms as reference or source material in projects that seek to visualize alternative histories – and futures – for female creators. I think of myself as a metaphoric paperclip, bringing people, resources, and opportunities together to facilitate the creation of new and positive knowledge and experience.
I have a socially integrative, interdisciplinary practice that includes performance, installation, photography, and video. My body is my medium and site of discourse. I am interested in the social, cultural, and historical constructions of identity, particularly within the role and image of the female body in the wake of modernism and second wave feminism. I use art history, social games, folklore, mythology, everyday actions, memes, and humor to destabilize expectations and stereotypes of gender.
My current bodies of work address how ideas of essentialist feminism and central core imagery might open new dialogues in contemporary art. These ideas have been historically rejected by Post-structuralists as being anti-intellectual. In a post 9-11 world that is still heavily informed by patriarchal and capitalist notions of power, I hope that by returning to these artistic strategies that explore collaboration, empathy, and consciousness-raising, I can offer an alternative conversation about the roles of identity and subjectivity in cultural production.
My own body, history, and socialized identity frequently become the topic of the work, though I hope that there is also the potential for an allegorical association with and for the viewer. My recent photographs have aimed to use art history, humor and intimate body imagery to explore how the female body can create positions and images of empowerment. I have also sought to do performances that encourage greater cultural awareness, increased empathy and generosity, and the valuing of an experience rather than an object or relic. My performances and videos often involve participants as they address how social interactions contribute to our sense of self and subjectivity. I am interested in the ways in which art can facilitate interpersonal relationships, community building, gender equity, and curiosity about how and why we are the way we are.
THINGS THAT HAPPENED EARLIER THIS YEAR AND LAST YEAR:
Looking Forward, Looking Back, exhibition at the New Mexico Museum of Art, Sept, 2015
Gallery Tally, 1-Image 1-Minute, and a Video Program at Matucana100 Cultural Center, Santiago, Chile, October 2015
Righting the Balance, Symposium on Gender Equity at the National Museum of Women in the Art, Washington DC, 2015
Toggle, online artist fellowship, August 2014
Earlier in 2016:
I have a LOT going on this week/month/year/life. Here's a list of the latest: The Cixous Reading group meets at LACE on Sunday, March 20th. The LA Transfeminist Potluck will be hosting a conversation about Transfeminism and TERFs at LACE (in conjunction with the Gallery Tally exhibition) on Thurs., March 24th.
I'm working on finishing curating the second annual Femmes' Video Art Festival! (so many awesome submissions from around the world! I can't wait to share them with you!)
I'm also curating and organizing a Feminist Residency program at Birch Creek Ranch in Utah for May, 2016
Working on more grant applications, taxes, writing, and research...as always.
Feminist Friday is happening at LACE this month - on the 18th, from 7-10pm!
LATE 2015/EARLY 2016:
On Tuesday, March 15th, in conjunction with the Gallery Tally exhibition at LACE, I hosted a discussion about feminism with teenage boys from Hollywood High! we also had young woman present the feminist rock anthem that she wrote, and we'll be screening two short documentaries on feminism made by Hollywood High students. grin emoticon I'm so proud of these young men and women!
MY DIGITAL PASTY HAS A CAMEO IN THE NYT!!
Check out the New York Times' story on Free the Nipple in the Video section (January 26, 2016) The article also features a little video that I posted on Instagram a few months ago
I'm working on a new series of images that I would put on Instagram and Facebook if I could - but due to 'community guidelines', I can't. They are re-stagings of the images that have been banned from my accts. Some of the images are of historic and contemporary artworks that feature women's breasts. I am re-doing them with myself as the subject, and the content/context filled in using stock imagery from the internet. The first is a re-do of a Lisa Yuskavage painting that I posted on Instagram in December, which lead to me being banned from FB for 30 days. (many thanks to Alex Aristei for taking the photos of me!). Other images are self-portrait collages in response to current events. See right (three images posted so far) ----->
As usual, I can't keep up! Social media is the best way for the latest news, but here's a round up of current activities:
I'm on a panel with Angela Ellsworth and Ligia Bouton at the New Mexico Museum of Art, for the closing of the reception of "Looking Forward, Looking Back", which features works by women artists in the NMMOA collection, and by contemporary women artists who continue the feminist legacy of these great women artists! There are 14 posters from Gallery Tally featured in this exhibition.
Gallery Tally posters are also on view at the Center for Contemporary Art in Santa Fe (thank you, Angie Rizzo, and Merry Scully, for your support and advocacy!), until January 17th
I am going to be in residence at Bemis Art Center in Omaha, NE, for the month of February (I can't wait!! I have so much to do! I'm going to work on Gallery Tally, 1 Image 1 Minute, and a commissioned project for BOFFO NYC on Instagram). If you're in NE, come visit me!
My digital pasty is making the rounds again (esp as I was banned from FB for 30 days from Dec-Jan), and Chris Thomas mentions it in this recent article about online censorship for Milk.
The Gallery Tally posters are ALL going to be in a giant exhibition at Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions, starting March 9th! If you're in Hollywood, or the LA Area, please come check it out!
The Situation Room is slowing down a tad while I'm on sabbatical, but we're still doing awesome stuff! There's a Feminist Friday later in January, and some exciting feminist stuff in March. Check out the FB page for updates!
EARLIER THIS SUMMER/FALL:
Gallery Tally is in "Looking Forward, Looking Back" at the New Mexico Museum of Art
I am giving a guest lecture at USC on September 23
I am participating in the "Righting the Balance" Symposium at the National Museum of Women in the Arts in DC on October 18th
The Situation Room is as busy as ever - Elizabeth Tremante has a beautiful exhibition up until October 3rd, and on October 2nd, I'm hosting another Feminist Friday.
August: Me, being banned.
I have been banned from facebook three times in the month of July - once for 24 hours, once for 3 days, and then again fro 7 days. I'm still in the ban now. :(
Here's an article about it, by Matt Stromberg, for Glasstire.
MALE NIPPLES WILL SET US FREE:
The internet acceptable digital male nipple template' has gone viral and I'm pretty excited about it. Hopefully this means we can take a step closer to gender equity, and stop objectifying women's bodies so much!
(just google "Micol Hebron nipple" and you'll see the stories!) Here are a few of the stories and interviews about the project that I liked the most:
Interview with Luke Malone for Vocativ
Playboy, interview with Zaron Burnett
Milk Made, interview with Chris Thomas
An early article in Hyperallergic (from June 2014) about my Digital Pasties.
IN RESIDENCE AT THE WOMEN HAVE WINGS ORGANIZATION IN BOULDER, CO:
I'm honored to have been selected to be the artist in residence to work at this incredible organization and collaborate with Filipina human rights activist Malaya Pinas. I'm here until June 12th, and it has already been a life-changing experience.
Check out Malaya's writing on women's social justice issues.
GALLERY TALLY IN ARTNEWS MAGAZINE, JUNE 2015:
I was delighted that my Gallery Tally project was featured in Maura Reilly's article on gender inequity in the art world in her feminist issue of Art News in June 2014!
THE SITUATION ROOM:
MY LA-Based project space, The Situation Room, has an exciting calendar of exhibitions, events, performances and more - through the end of the year. I am really excited at how many amazing projects and incredible people are involved!
Grannycart Productions made an awesome little documentary for MSNBC about the Situation Room. View it here.
In September a selection of Gallery Tally posters will be on view at the New Mexico Museum of Art as part of an exhibition titled "Looking Forward, Looking Back".
In October a selection of Gallery Tally posters, and a small video program that I curated will be on view at Matucana 100 Cultural Center in Santiago, Chile
I will be participating in a symposium titled "Righting the Balance" at the National Museum for Women in the Arts in Washington DC in October.
EARLIER in 2015:
FEBRUARY 21ST: A new project space, and many videos!
I launched my new project space, The Situation Room. For the grand opening, there will be a screening of over 50 videos by female-identified artists.
The Gallery Tally project is featured in Chapman Magazine, pages 10-11, Winter Issue, 2015
FEBRUARY 2 - MARCH 14:Then and now artwork from the feminist collective XX
Posters from the Gallery Tally project are on view at the Guggenheim Gallery at Chapman University as part of XX Redux: Revisiting a Feminist Collective, curated by Nancy Buchanan
FEBRUARY 11-14TH: Discussing Art and Parenthood at CAA
I was in New York for the College Art Association Annual Conference where I co-chaired a panel discussion about art, parenthood and areers, titled “Balancing Act: Art, Family, and Other Distractions. My co-chair was Niku Kashef, and panelists were Ellina Kevorkian, seth Kaufman, Meryl Chernick, and Rachel Epp Buller.
JANUARY 31ST: The 8th iteration of 1 Image 1 Minute!
In conjunction with X-Tra magazine, I co-presented another version of my live event “1 Image 1 Minute” in which 50-60 participants speak for one minute only about a photograph that is significant to them. The 2015 version of 1 Image 1 minute took place at the LA Art Book Fair on January 31st
JANUARY 29TH: Installation at Three Days Awake
I presented an installation in the exhibition Amazonite, curated by Suzanne Wright at Three Days Awake, on January 29th
JANUARY 17TH: Chats About Change at Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions
I participated on a panel at Chats About Change, and talked about notions of dissidence and oppositionality, particularly with regard to my strategies and efforts to raise awareness about gender inequity in the art world through the Gallery Tally project.
DECEMBER 2014: Andrea Bowers cites Micol Hebron as feminist muse:
The incomparable artist and activist Andrea Bowers lists me as one of her inspirations and muses in Art in America, December, 2014
DECEMBER 2014 - APRIL 2015: Micol has a photograph in an exhibition in Fairview, Utah.
I currently have a photograph included in a group exhibition titled “The Museum of Love and Devotion”, curated by Jason Metcalf at the Fairview Museum of History and Art in Fairview, UT. The exhibition is housed in and amongst the permanent collection on view at the Fairview Museum of History and Art in Fairview, Utah, and is one of my favorite places in Utah. This museum is the type of museum that inspired the inception of the Museum of Jurassic Technology. I also love the context that Jason has created - intermingling contemporary works with historic artifacts that may or may not be art.
DECEMBER 2014: Gallery Tally goes to Puerto Rico
I went to Puerto Rico to present a version of Gallery Tally at a contemporary project space titled “AREA: Lugar de Proyectos”. The exhibition of Gallery Tally posters included 16 new posters from Puerto Rican artists, and 41 posters from other artists, representing galleries from Los Angeles, New York, Berlin, Paris, Chicago, London, and Vancouver.
Several Chapman students, alumni, and instructors were included in this exhibition (including alumna Madline Stone, Sydney Snyder, Hannah Karsen, Julie Russo, students Nimah Gobir, Madeline Lucas, instructor Xtine Burrough)
DECEMBER 2014: Micol performs in Miami In the beginning of December, I presented a performance in Miami at an exhibition titled “Auto Body”. Auto Body was organized by Anthony Spinello, and featured 33 contemporary women artists working in video and performance. I was curated into the exhibition by Jane Hart and Cara Despain. Here is a beautiful archive of the exhibition: http://us9.campaign-archive2.com/?u=d546863b8f8b72c791f94919d&id=2ac937a1a1&e=f64f430e8a
I presented a performance titled “Roll Call”, modeled after Carolee Schneeman’s 1975 performance titled Interior Scroll. For Roll Call, I used the data from Gallery Tally, and read off a list of statistics about gender representation in contemporary art galleries. The data was written on a long scroll that I pulled out of my vagina.
Part I. of Roll Call: Inspired by Carolee Schneemann’s historic 1973 feminist performance, Interior Scroll. The text on her scroll, removed from her vagina, advised women on what kind of treatment and attitudes to expect from a patriarchal world. She referred to the vagina as a space of “interior knowledge.” This canonic performance served as an inspiration to challenge inequities in the systems of the art world. Hebron found that Schneemann’s writings on vulvic space were totally appropriate to her agenda to find a space for women in the art world, and thus for Roll Call she used the very space that makes her biologically feminine, as the place from which she pulled the scroll of data regarding gender bias.
As with many of Hebron’s performances, she uses her own body as a conduit for information. For Auto Body she performed Roll Call in two parts, using information about gender bias in the art world. She read out loud the text that was printed on the paper (scroll), which included a list of gender statistics – the ratio of male and female artists represented – of West Coast, East Coast, and international galleries, and booths within Art Basel Miami Beach.
Symbolizing the act of birthing new information and new realities from the vagina, Roll Call addressed the idea that this information once hidden is now out in the open and no longer ‘’private.’’