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Petra Collins to curate night at the MoMA “confronting how the female body is represented”


Petra Collins: Not Olympia (2017)

Photographer Petra Collins will curate an evening at New York’s MoMA, titled In Search of Us. The event this Saturday 18 March aims to explore representation of the female body in art history and contemporary contexts, combining live performance, music and digital art. It is the latest in the PopRally series of events at MoMA, an initiative looking to engage younger and more diverse audiences with the museum.

Petra has developed the programme with collaborator Madelyne Beckles, drawing inspiration from Lorraine O’Grady’s 1992 essay Olympia’s Maid: Reclaiming Black Female Subjectivity. The live performance segment of the evening will “confront traditional representations of the female body throughout the art-historical canon,” says MoMA, “which tended to exclude bodies of work by such historical “others” as women, gender nonconforming individuals, and persons of colour.”

Examining this from a contemporary point of view, Petra is presenting “an homage to the odalisque”, which highlights how women’s bodies have been revered and degraded.

For Instagram, Madelyne Beckles, Grace Miceli and Aleia Murawski have created short films exploring the same subject. The evening will also feature live music from rapper Junglepussy and DJ Madeline Poole.

PopRally Presents Petra Collins: In Search of Us takes place from 8pm – 11pm on 18 March 2017.