Programming Statement: This Spring at MAD
January 19, 2018

The Personal Is the Political

This spring at the Museum of Arts and Design (MAD), we examine how The Personal Is the Political in the art, craft, and design practices of several artists whose work focuses on social justice and identity politics. The concept of the personal as political was central to second-wave feminism, among other social justice movements of the twentieth century, which recognized that issues traditionally perceived as private and individual are in fact social and systemic. 

In the US, craft as a discipline has been viewed as peripheral to the larger cultural sphere because of its functionality, its relationship to the amateur, and the marginalized identities of many of its practitioners, whether owing to gender, race, or socioeconomic status. As such, it has emerged as a powerful medium for addressing political issues, especially those that stem from personal experiences.

The exhibitions at MAD this season emerge from materials and methodologies that were considered “craft” at a time when to be considered “craft” was a demotion. Today, these applications have become potent forms of expression for urgent themes from the sociopolitical realm, particularly in regard to social justice.

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