Andrea Bowers

Open Secret, 2018

Installation
Archival pigment prints
Basel 2019
Unlimited | Hall 1.1 | U62

Andrea Bowers is an artist and activist whose work foregrounds struggles for justice and human rights. Her research-based, labor-intensive work in a variety of media amplifies these voices to create a relationship between the labor of the artist and the labor of activists. Open Secret documents the development of #MeToo and Time’s Up, the international movements against sexual harassment and assault that spread virally following public revelations of sexual misconduct allegations against film producer Harvey Weinstein in 2017. This iteration of Bowser’s archival project includes approximately 200 photographic prints on red backgrounds, each of which lists the name and occupation of an accused person, their public response to the accusations leveled against them, details of the accusations, and legal action or any other resulting action. In some cases these text-based prints also include contextual images. Some of the public responses are apologetic, others are denials – resisting the fact that sexual harassment is violence. Bowers feels that the spirit of the project is best articulated by feminist writer Jessica Valenti’s tweet, ‘[P]art of what women are saying right now is that what the culture considers “normal” sexual encounters are not working for us, and oftentimes harmful.’

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