Track 16 presents a group show with members from the Los Angeles-based women’s art collective, Binder of Women. Opening reception is Saturday, February 8 from 7–10pm, and the show runs through March 21st.
The name of the collective references the 2012 U.S. presidential debate between Mitt Romney and Barack Obama. Mitt Romney was asked how he intended to deal with the pay disparity between men and women, and Romney explained that he went to women’s groups asking to find qualified female candidates and they brought him “binders full of women.” The phrase quickly became a meme, mocking the patriarchal world of politics and a politician who so lacked contact with professional women that he had to resort to binders. It seems the art world is no different, as the lack of representation of female artists has been a long-standing issue that has given rise to feminist activist groups such as the Guerilla Girls. Playing off of this meme, Binder of Women launched in 2017 with the idea of releasing folios (a “binder”) of works on paper to expand their collector base. This joining of forces was an effort to correct the historical imbalance in both representing and appreciating art made by women and underrepresented groups. The collective is an independent platform for contemporary artists to empower female artists, expand their reach, broach the topic of equality and consent in the art world, and take action to grow the number of works by female-identifying artists in contemporary art collections. Someday, gender-specific groupings may be extinct, but as we continue to grapple with the unresolved issues of pay inequity and disparate opportunity—problems that the patriarchy remains willingly blind to—these collectives remain necessary.
Our exhibition “If Everything is an Outrage: The Binder of Women” includes works by eleven “Binder” artists: Michelle Blade, Yasmine Diaz, Rema Ghuloum, Janna Ireland, Kysa Johnson, Galia Linn, Bruna Massadas, Sarana Mehra, Erin Morrison, Julia Schwartz, and Ginger Wolfe-Suarez. The recent, second “Binder of Women” edition, which includes 16 artists in an edition of 10 sets will also be on exhibit. The small-scale, signed works range from representational paintings to abstract and gestural forms with pressed paper.