A circle of women around a table with a large circular light fixture above, and the words What if Women Ruled the World on the wall

Witch Hunt

Oct 10, 2021–Jan 9, 2022
Sixteen critically acclaimed artists employ feminist, queer, and decolonial strategies to explore gender, power, and the global impacts of patriarchy.

Witch Hunt presents the work of 16 midcareer women artists from 13 countries, who use feminist, queer, and decolonial strategies to investigate current and historical political events, social conditions, and overlooked or suppressed artistic legacies. The artists have demonstrated decades-long commitments to feminist creative practice as a subversive, expansive, and oftentimes collaborative methodology. Together their works provide an opportunity to examine ideas, expand awareness, and encourage dialogue about urgent contemporary issues, such as the body and its vulnerabilities; women’s rights and representation; the erasure of women’s contributions to critical movements and histories; the impact of technologies of surveillance; environmental justice; the queering of political discourse; the imperative for feminist practice to be inclusive and intersectional; and the power of collective action. 

The 15 projects in Witch Hunt employ a variety of mediums—painting, sculpture, video, photography, sound, and performance—and consistently argue for the value of a critical feminist perspective within the subject matter, production, and presentation of contemporary art. Witch Hunt asks how artistic practices informed by feminist ideologies can meaningfully amplify debates within contemporary culture and politics. The projects in the exhibition constitute an art of resistance, disrupting cultural discourse and proposing new ways of thinking and enacting change at a moment of unprecedented suffering and upheaval across the globe. 

Witch Hunt offers an incisive survey of complex and impactful practices by some of the most influential artists working today and includes newly commissioned works as well as major projects that have yet to be shown on the West Coast or in the United States. Witch Hunt marks the Los Angeles museum debut of Leonor Antunes, Shu Lea Cheang, Minerva Cuevas, Bouchra Khalili, Laura Lima, Otobong Nkanga, and Okwui Okpokwasili. 

Artists
Leonor Antunes (Portuguese, b. 1972)
Yael Bartana (Israeli, b. 1970)
Pauline Boudry (Swiss, b. 1972)
& Renate Lorenz (German, b. 1972)
Candice Breitz (South African, b. 1972)
Shu Lea Cheang (American, b. 1954)
Minerva Cuevas (Mexican, b. 1975)
Vaginal Davis (American, b. 1969)
Every Ocean Hughes (formerly Emily Roysdon) (American, b. 1977)
Bouchra Khalili (Moroccan, b. 1975)
Laura Lima (Brazilian, b. 1971)
Teresa Margolles (Mexican, b. 1963)
Otobong Nkanga (Nigerian, b. 1974)
Okwui Okpokwasili (Nigerian American, b. 1972)
Lara Schnitger (Dutch, b. 1969)
Beverly Semmes (American, b. 1958)

The exhibition is a collaboration between the Hammer Museum and the Institute of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (ICA LA), and works are on view at both sites.

Witch Hunt is organized by Connie Butler, Hammer Chief Curator and Anne Ellegood, ICA LA Good Works Executive Director, with Nika Chilewich, Hammer Curatorial Assistant. The exhibition is organized by the Hammer Museum and the Institute of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (ICA LA).

Witch Hunt is made possible by lead funding from The Kaleta A. Doolin Foundation. Major support is provided by Kelsey Lee Offield, with generous funding from Darren Star, Jill and Peter Kraus, and from Hope Warschaw and John Law. The exhibition is also supported by Bill Hair, Emily and Teddy Greenspan, and by Etant donnés Contemporary Art, a program developed by FACE Foundation and the Cultural Services of the French Embassy in the United States, with lead funding from the French Ministry of Culture and Institut Français-Paris, the Florence Gould Foundation, The Ford Foundation, the Helen Frankenthaler Foundation, Chanel USA, the ADAGP, and the CPGA. Additional support is provided by Artis and Betty Duker, the Swiss Arts Council Pro Helvetia, and Taiwan Academy of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Los Angeles.
 
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Media sponsorship is provided by KCRW 89.9.