Guerrilla Girls Twin Cities Takeover

Guerrilla Girls Twin Cities Takeover

A movement for equality in the art world led by fearless, anonymous women makes an impact in MSP

What does it take to become a superhero? Extraordinary powers aren’t necessary—just look at Batman. What you need is true dedication to a mission, and a willingness to put your own personal identity aside in the name of the greater good. That’s how “feminist masked avengers” the Guerrilla Girls have been operating for over 30 years, and this month they are bringing their fight against sexism, racism and corruption right here to our own Twin Cities.

Image courtesy of The Guerrilla Girls

Founded in 1985, the Guerrilla Girls aim to “reinvent the f-word—feminism.” The group sees feminism as, put simply, “a fundamental way of looking at the world and recognizing that half of us are female and all of us should be equal.” No strangers to intersectionality, they “think there are many feminisms, and [they] support most of them."

Their initial call to action was an exhibit held at New York’s Museum of Modern Art, which featured only 17 women out of 165 artists total. They use billboards, posters, stickers, workshops, street projects, collaborative events, museum exhibitions, books, and media appearances to “expose discrimination and corruption in politics, art, film, and pop culture.” They’ve worked all over the world (think Hollywood, Shanghai, Mexico City, Paris, Istanbul, Athens, London, New York, Reykjavik, Madrid and more).

Each Guerrilla Girl uses the name of a deceased female artist such as Frida Kahlo and Kathe Kollwitz (these two Guerrilla Girls are founding members). There have been over 50 Guerrilla Girls over the course of the collective’s existence, and each has remained anonymous. Some operate for days or weeks at a time, others for years. What each member has in common is a gorilla mask, a sense of humor, a passion for justice, and a wish to have the world focus on the issues rather than on the identities of the women themselves.

Image courtesy of The Guerrilla Girls

From January 21st through March 2016, these furry undercover activists will be artists in residence among us, holding events and exhibitions at over 20 locations in the Minneapolis/St. Paul metro area and beyond. This will be their “largest collaboration with a community to date,” so be sure to get involved and find out what this anonymous artist/activist/truth-telling collective is all about.

Kickoff events run January 21st through 24th, and Takeover Week is February 29th through March 5th. This Thursday’s Kickoff events include an opening party at the Walker, the opening reception for Stepping Back, Looking Forward: Honoring Feminist Vision at MCAD, a public reception for Material Mythologies at the Minnesota Museum of American Art, and Third Thursday: Art of Rebellion at Mia.

Image courtesy of The Guerrilla Girls

Check out the official website for the Guerrilla Girls Twin Cities Takeover. And visit their official site, for more information. If you are looking to go a step further, you could always take their advice and come up with your own activist persona.

"First, we would love you to download our stickers and posters and put them up in your city. Second, we ask that you use us as a model: think up your own name and your own outrageous identity and put up a couple of posters about an issue that is important to you. If it works, do it again. If it doesn't, do it again anyway."

Use #ggtakeover to follow what’s happening and add to the conversation on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.

Wahida Omar


Select Kickoff Events (January 21st - 23th)

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