Tuesday Smillie: Aesthetic Strategies in Protest

A fabric sign that reads 'gender is greater than genitals' sewn on a khaki colored banner with fake flowers attached beneath it.
Gender > Genitals (2012), textile, faux flowers, acrylic textile paint, 24" x 91 1/2".
A row of women wearing red robes and white wimples protesting an abortion bill debate in a courtroom.
Protesters in Handmaid's Tale costumes silently oppose a proposed abortion ban at the Ohio Statehouse, 2017. video still / WLWT News
A multi-colored world map banner with the phrase
Chapter One, protest banner, Lending Library organized by Aram Han Sifuente. image / provided
Two protesters wearing dark clothing, one with his fist raised in the air and a woman holding a protest sign with smoke in the air
Untitled (2016), image from Toronto Pride Parade. photo / Angelyn Francis
Woman with her arms crossed.
Tuesday Smillie socializing before her lecture in Abby and Howard Milstein Auditorium. William Staffeld / AAP
Woman gesturing from a lectern.
Tuesday Smillie responding to questions following her lecture. William Staffeld / AAP
Woman behind a microphone wearing a black t-shirt.
Tuesday Smillie is a New York City–based artist whose work looks at recent aesthetic trends in protest. William Staffeld / AAP
Gender > Genitals (2012), textile, faux flowers, acrylic textile paint, 24" x 91 1/2". Protesters in Handmaid's Tale costumes silently oppose a proposed abortion ban at the Ohio Statehouse, 2017. video still / WLWT News Chapter One, protest banner, Lending Library organized by Aram Han Sifuente. image / provided Untitled (2016), image from Toronto Pride Parade. photo / Angelyn Francis Tuesday Smillie socializing before her lecture in Abby and Howard Milstein Auditorium. William Staffeld / AAP Tuesday Smillie responding to questions following her lecture. William Staffeld / AAP Tuesday Smillie is a New York City–based artist whose work looks at recent aesthetic trends in protest. William Staffeld / AAP

Tuesday Smillie is a visual artist, living and working in New York City. At the core of her work is a question about the individual and the group, the binary of inclusion and exclusion. Her work explores the porous membrane between the two. She has shown throughout New York City at the New Museum, the Rubin Museum, Artist Space Books, and Judson Church. In the summer of 2018, she had a solo exhibition at Participant Inc. in Manhattan and she has a solo exhibition opening at the Rose Art Museum in Massachusetts in September. Smillie was inaugurated as the Museum of Transgender Hirstory and Art's first resident artist. She is an Art Matters grantee and has attended numerous residencies. Her work has been featured in ArtForum, New York magazine, Art News, and VISION magazine.

Abstract:

Looking at recent aesthetic trends in protest, "Aesthetic Strategies in Protest" considers the ways in which various aesthetic strategies function, conveying distinct meanings to their audience through their form as well as through textual content. Reading protest signage through the lenses of graphic design, an art historical formal analysis, and a social-historical analysis, this talk will discuss basic formal elements, including font and legibility as well as a consideration of the role of visual generosity, performativity, and spectacle.