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Riot Grrrl

I think I was largely introduced to the whole Riot Grrrl movement through friends in high school. That was a funny period. I didn't care for grunge, so I basically ignored it and most other popular music from the time, concentrating on classical music instead. But some feminist elements leaked through; I can remember going to hear Ani DiFranco (and Utah Phillips!) at the Vancouver Folk Music Festival, and encountering Riot Grrrl elements while there, and shortly thereafter annikusrex got really into Sleater-Kinney and Miranda July, so I got into all of it by proxy. Empowering stuff for teenage girls in high school and the beginnings of college.

That said - the Alien She exhibit of artefacts from the Riot Grrrl movement made me aware of additional things about the movement that have affected my view of the world, from the feminist perspective on boy band culture to the ways that women have taken ownership in the DIY movement. This is my cultural heritage, in ways that I can never quite articulate to people when I live in places like Boston, Arizona, Texas, and Nebraska.

I wasn't in the right space to fully take in the show, but I suspect few people have been in that kind of space, because aspects of the movement were prolific. There's a huge collection of zines, for instance, many of which can be taken down off a shelf and read. There was a panel collage of someone's mixed tape collection covers, and there were multiple short films running on loops that would take an hour or more to view. I can only say, try and watch some of Miranda July's other films to get some idea as to the distinct approaches she has taken to the medium that challenge conventional ways of doing things (although Me and You and Everyone We Know will give you a taste, at least).

But here - have a few pictures. I don't even necessarily want to put a lot of words around the photos because a lot of these things just want to interact directly with YOU. Maybe you'll get something of a sense of who these people are and what they're trying to say to you.

I suspect if I ever return to the Portland Museum of Contemporary Craft, I'll have a completely different experience. Most likely another good one.

Pieces created for The Counterfeit Crochet Project, started by Stephanie Syjuco (read more here):
Alien She

Work by Allyson Mitchell and others:
Alien She

These figures seek to challenge your assumptions about beauty and the feminine.
Alien She

Alien She



( 4 remarks — Remark )
Jan. 12th, 2016 03:04 am (UTC)
Oh, man, that looks fantastic. Next time I get to Portland...
I was only exposed to the music, and suddenly feel like that was merely a sample of the whole.
isidorenabi was in school in Portland at the height of the riot grrl movement, I just realized.
Jan. 12th, 2016 05:24 am (UTC)
Yuuuup. Good thing too or I might have missed it. I was pretty oblivious to music that wasn't on the radio or shoved in my face by caring friends. Bless that shy gay boy who told me I'd like Sleater-Kinney. He wasn't wrong.
Jan. 12th, 2016 03:09 pm (UTC)
You and Wendy introduced me to S-K. Thanks, btw.
Jan. 17th, 2016 04:19 pm (UTC)
Unfortunately this was the last day of the show! On the other hand, it was a good size for a museum (small) and I think no matter what you'd find appealing stuff there.

Most of my interactions were with the music, but now I can see how the movement has affected general cultural attitudes in the region. Oh, and AKW and I did go to some Miranda July art shows, which tend to take the world and show it back to you in new and different ways.
( 4 remarks — Remark )

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