Curated by Andrea Ancira and DUE alumna Gabriela López Dena

March 14 – April 15 @ Aronson Gallery, 66 Fifth Ave New York, NY

Is planning for a feminist city possible? What would that process look like? What skills and knowledge would it require? How could interactions between bodies configure new forms of inhabiting a city? Mainstream narratives discussing the built environment through a feminist lens often focus on infrastructure that considers “women’s needs” (breastfeeding rooms, child-friendly public restrooms, street lighting) and call for the inclusion of women in positions of power. However, the conversation rarely addresses embodied strategies that instead modify the way in which the city is lived and experienced. Rather than offering superficial fixes that only patch up structural problems, this exhibition explores a series of bodily dwelling points to diverge from hegemonic understandings of the so-called feminist production of space. Just as desire paths—alternative walkways that contradict urban planning—result from unexpected everyday comings and goings, these bodily dwelling points suggest counterintuitive routes to collectively shape space.

disorienting plans questions the cruel optimism embedded in the straight line that seems to determine the hetero-normative, capitalist, racist, and patriarchal production of space today. As Sara Ahmed points out, this straightness is enforced by social points of alignment that define what a good life (or space) is, preventing the emergence of new possible futures that involve getting lost or going astray. Far from merely pinkwashing urban space and supporting equal opportunity domination—where all genders have the option to become oppressors—the works in this exhibition go beyond cosmetic changes to the city.

disorienting plans is articulated through five bodily dwelling points: refusal, appropriation, friction, tension, and occupation. Simultaneously disorienting and guiding us, these strategies interrogate power relations, social interactions, and spatial politics. Presented as a work-in-process, the exhibition will grow through spatial interventions and performative actions, taking place over five weeks.

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