12.06.23 – 04.07.24
Our world is overwhelmingly centered around non-disabled humans. Rather than this singular overruling perspective, what if unity was co-built across species and disability status? Emilie L. Gossiaux constructs such a world, bringing to life an image from her imagination of her guide dog London dancing around a white cane maypole. Borrowing the phrase “other-worlding” from feminist scholar Donna Haraway in conceiving a just society that operates outside of hierarchies, Gossiaux proposes an alternative to the intertwined systems of capitalism and ableism that oppress humans and animals. In opposition to repressive structures, the artist’s fantastical installation and three related drawings render scenes of joy, liberation, and love.
Central to this exhibition is the white cane. A tool used by blind and low-vision individuals, the white cane is also a symbol of freedom. Here, Gossiaux transforms the white cane into a glistening maypole towering at 15 feet tall, three times the size of her own. Paying homage to the white cane, the artist plays with scale to emphasize its importance in providing agency and independence, bestowing it with a much-deserved larger presence and societal awareness.
The artist also creates a space of independence for London, her guide dog, who is transformed here into a woman-sized dog. Melding human and dog together, Gossiaux expands upon their interspecies relationship that is at once interdependent and liberating. The three Londons are unconstrained by the leashes that normally restrict them. Instead, they hold the leash handles in their hands, empowered to move at their own pace.
Across this exhibition, elements of fantasy – dog-women, concurrently shining moon and sun, and a giant white cane – work together to amplify disability joy, autonomy, and a love that transcends boundaries. By immersing us in a dreamlike terrain, Gossiaux invites us to “other-world” with her.
Emilie L. Gossiaux: Other-Worlding is organized by Sarah Cho, Assistant Curator.
About the Artist
Emilie L. Gossiaux (b. New Orleans, LA, 1989) lives and works in New York City. Gossiaux earned a BFA from the Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art in 2014, and an MFA from Yale School of Art in 2019. Her solo shows include Memory of a Body (2020) and Significant Otherness (2022) at Mother Gallery, among others. Select group exhibitions include Crip Time, Museum für Moderne Kunst Frankfurt (2021); Greater New York, MoMA PS1 (2021); and 52 Artists, A Feminist Milestone, The Aldrich Contemporary (2022); among others. Gossiaux was awarded a John F. Kennedy Center’s VSA Prize (2013), the Wynn Newhouse Award (2019), a NYFA Barbara and Carl Zydney Grant (2021), the Colene Brown Art Prize (2022), and The Pébéo Production Prize (2023). Her work has been featured in publications such as The Brooklyn Rail, The New Yorker, Art in America, and Topical Cream Magazine.
Emilie L. Gossiaux: Other-Worlding is made possible in part by lead support from the Jerome Foundation, Ford Foundation, Rockefeller Brothers Fund, Untitled Art x Pébéo Production Prize, and Queens Museum Exhibitions Circle.
The Queens Museum is housed in the New York City Building, which is owned by the City of New York.
The Museum is supported, in part, by public funds from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Institute of Museum and Library Services, the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Kathy Hochul and the New York State Legislature, and the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, in partnership with Mayor Eric Adams, the Queens Borough President Donovan Richards, and the New York City Council under the leadership of Speaker Adrienne E. Adams.
Major funding is generously provided by Bloomberg Philanthropies, Ford Foundation, Hearst Foundations, Jerome Foundation, MacMillan Family Foundation, Mellon Foundation, E.A. Michelson Philanthropy, New York Community Trust, Lambent Foundation, and Rockefeller Brothers Fund.
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