Nine Lives takes shape around a set of protagonists, whether real or imagined, past or present, as if this exhibition were a collection of short stories or personal essays. These figures come forward in the artworks on view, which offer intimate but imperfect access to these individual lives. In doing so, Nine Lives tracks different forms of agency, quietly or overtly, as individuals navigate systems of power or move within various social structures. Attuned to the workings of images and narrative—as well as evidence and elision—these artworks gradually develop their own appraisals of history as it is felt here and now and sometimes contested or rewritten. Artists include Marwa Arsanios, Bethany Collins, Tamar Guimarães, Kapwani Kiwanga, Hương Ngô, Aliza Nisenbaum, Elle Perez, Charlotte Prodger, and others.
This exhibition is part of the Feminist Art Coalition, an expansive platform for projects inspired by feminist thought, experience, and action that will unfold at dozens of museums around the country in the fall of 2020. Informed by this backdrop, Nine Lives echoes various feminist legacies from previous decades while embracing how these dialogues continue to evolve and expand to include greater multiplicities, geographies, and gender identities.