The title of Michele Pred’s latest solo show is as simple and clear as the artist could make it. Vote Feminist is a call to resist, with everything we have, the hateful, fear-based and blatantly misogynistic policies of the current American government administration. It is a call to vote in November, to elect officials who will represent the true majority in this country while protecting and empowering the disenfranchised.
The clear call to electoral action is best represented by a series of authentic, but manipulated, full-size voting booths. This is where our voices can truly be heard, but only if we speak up and take seriously the obligations of being part of a civil society. Other work in this new show draws attention to the violence and inequities of our culture and seeks to inspire civil action to change our world for the better. Pieces like Blue Rain, a suspended umbrella dropping handgun parts, are part of Pred’s most recent work focusing on the violence perpetrated by the very Police forces that are tasked with protecting us. Violence and power are also represented in riot shields and bullet-proof vests. But, emblazoned with feminist slogans and/or covered with soft tapestry, their meaning is subverted and employed by the resistance.
Michele Pred continues to explore the inequities in the valuation of women and the imbalance of power it reflects and supports. Wage Gaps , a series of precisely cut dollar bills, depict the spectrum of wage inequality across racial groups to further the discourse around intersectional feminism and the rampant gender-based racism that still exists today. Vintage purses glowing with feminist messages are designed to take the fight out of the gallery and into the streets.
While these issues have always been important, and even urgent for many Americans, they are nothing less than dire emergencies now that we face a decades-long period of reversals engineered by the Trump administration and supported by its Supreme Court picks. Resist now!
Michele Pred is a Swedish-American conceptual artist whose practice includes sculpture, assemblage, and performance. Her work uncovers the cultural and political meaning behind everyday objects, with a concentration on feminist themes such as equal pay, reproductive rights, and personal security. Pred’s projects also contain social components that drive the conversation into public spaces. Pred has been represented by the Nancy Hoffman Gallery in New York since 2004. Her work is part of the permanent collection at the Berkeley Art Museum, the 21st C Museum, the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) in New York, and the 9/11 Memorial Museum in New York. Pred received a Pro-Choice Leadership Award from Personal PAC, Chicago, and has shown at Jack Shainman Gallery as an original member of the first artist-run super PAC, For Freedoms. Pred was recently included in For Freedoms 50 State Billboard Initiative founded by artists Hank Willis Thomas and Eric Gottesman.
Pred received her BFA from California College of the Arts, Oakland, California. Her work has been reviewed and featured by The New York Times, The New York Observer, The LA Times, The International Herald Tribune, ARTnews, Art in America, WIRED, Huffington Post, Rachel Maddow, TimeOut New York, and The San Francisco Chronicle.