Artists Space

Reframing the Family

January 17 – March 2, 1991

A group exhibition and video program investigating the mythology of the American family and the machinations of the nuclear family, co-organized by Cornelia Butler and Micki McGee.

A close up image of hands holding a film camera in black and white on a white background.  Below the hands, a small, black silhouette of a figure walking.
Vanalyne Green, Still from A Spy in the House That Ruth Built, 1989. 29 minutes. [A close up image of hands holding a film camera in black and white on a white background. Below the hands, a small, black silhouette of a figure walking.]

Ester Bubley, Deborah Coito, Daniel Canogar, Lou Draper, Hanh Thi Pham, Richard Hill, Doug Ischar, Zoya Kocur, Vince Leo, Kathleen MacQueen, Celia Alvarez Munoz, Allan Sekula, Linn Underhill, Carrie Mae Weems.

Video Program: Vanalyne Green, Cara DeVito, Mary Ellen Strom, Richard Fung, Beth B and Ida Applebroog, Mako Idemitsu, Sherry Millner, Cara Mertes, Jan Matthew, Martha Rosler.

Reframing the Family explores the myth of the American family and the the focus, in the last decade, on abstract concepts such as "family values" and "nuclear family" as part of a construct which inhibits and erodes personal freedoms. The imagery in the show ranges from both abstractly conceptual work, addressing socio-political issues that affect the family at every level of society, and more personal approaches who often use the artifacts of their own family life as the materials of their work. The exhibition will focus on conceptual photography, works combining images and text, and video--areas in which the theme has been most extensively explored.

In conjunction with the exhibition and video programs, Artists Space will host two evenings of readings by prominent and emerging writers organized by Deborah Artman and two evenings of films organized by Cara Mertes and Micki McGee at Anthology Film Archives.

Reframing the Family will be accompanied by a catalogue featuring essays by Cornelia Butler and Micki McGee as well as an introductory essay entitled "Family Values" by Barbara Ehrenreich from her new book The Worst Years of Our Lives.

February 1, 1991

Film: Reframing the Family
Film Screening

February 8, 1991

Film: Reframing the Family
Film Screening

February 15, 1991

Readings: Reframing the Family
Reading Series

Artists Space programs are made possible by: the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency, New York State Council on the Arts, and New York City Department of Cultural Affairs; AT&T Foundation, Inc., The David Bermant Foundation: Color, Light, Motion, The Bohen Foundation, The Cowles Charitable Trust, Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, Foundation for Contemporary Performance Arts, Inc., Horace w. Goldsmith Foundation, The Greenwall Foundation, Jerome Foundation, The J.M. Kaplan Fund, The Dorothea L. Leonhardt Foundation, Inc., The Joe and Emily Lowe Foundation, Inc., The Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation, The Menemsha Fund, Joyce Mertz-Gilmore Foundation, Betty Parsons Foundation, The Reed Foundation, Inc., The Rockefeller Foundation, The Mark Rothko Foundation, Inc., and The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc.; American Express Company, The Chase Manhattan Bank, N.A., Consolidated Edison Company of New York, Inc., Equitable Real Estate Group, Inc., General Atlantic Corporation, R.H. Macy and Company, Inc., Morgan Guaranty Trust Company of New York, Philip Morris Companies Inc., and U.S. Trust Company of New York; as well as Artwatch, Galleries in Support of Artists Space, Members and numerous Friends.

Artists Space is a member of the National Association of Artists Organizations (NAAO) and the National Alliance of Media Arts Centers (NAMAC).