Marisa Morán Jahn | Abortion is Normal: Part 2

Judith Bernstein, Abortion is Normal, 2019. Part of Abortion is Normal: Part 2, 2020.
ACT at MIT

EXHIBITION + PERFORMANCE | NYC 
Abortion is Normal: Part 2

PART 1: JAN 9 – JAN 18, 2020
Opening Reception: JAN 9, 6 – 8pm
Eva Presenhuber, 39 Great Jones St., New York, NY 10012

PART: 2 JAN 21 – FEB 1, 2020
Opening Reception: JAN 21, 6 – 8pm
Arsenal Contemporary, 214 Bowery, New York, NY 10012

  • Exhibition: Tues, Jan 21 – Feb 1, 2020
  • Opening Reception: Tues Jan 21, (6-8 pm) 
  • Closing Reception + Performance: Sat,  Feb 1 (between 6-8 pm) featuring ACT Lecturer Marisa Morán Jahn (SMVisS ’07) (as Aphrodite, goddess of love and copper), and others.    

Abortion is Normal: Part 2 is a two-part urgent call-to-action exhibition curated by Jasmine Wahi and Rebecca Pauline Jampol and co-organized by Marilyn Minter, Gina Nanni, Laurie Simmons, and Sandy Tait.

Abortion Is Normal is an exhibition organized by a collective of cultural practitioners as an urgent call-to-action exhibition to raise both awareness and funding in support of accessible, safe, and legal abortion. This show comes at a time when legal abortion is under acute attack throughout the United States.

Simultaneously, the 1973 landmark ruling, Roe vs. Wade, which federally sanction the right to choose, is in jeopardy of being reversed.

The exhibition brings together a heterogeneous array of artists countering with their personal response to abortion and abortion access in order to create an inclusive and empathetic entry point to this conversation. Not all of these artists have necessarily personally had an abortion; however, the underlying thread of this exhibition is that abortion and reproductive health affect everyone.

Abortion Is Normal is about access, open conversations, acknowledgment of intersectionality, inclusivity, and visibility within the context of a conversation on reproductive rights. It strives to be multi-centered in its approach; acknowledging both the nuance of who is affected by legal abortion as well as who is affected by the potentiality of relinquishing safe and legal access to care.

About the Exhibition Title:
Part of the strategy in the fight against reproductive rights is creating an atmosphere or fear, shame, and stigma. The choice to terminate a pregnancy is an important one, and can be both physically or emotionally traumatic for the person making that choice. The title of this exhibition is not trying to mitigate the gravity of that decision- nor is it trying to make light of it. It is also not trying to erase the historical phenomenon of forced sterilization and abortion-a legacy which taints our history. Rather, it is seeking to create an acknowledgment for those who may be further traumatized by the strategic agenda of those who continue to police and restrict choice.

This title is meant intended as a statement of camaraderie and caring that in short says: What you choose to do with your body is OK-  it is normal. Can it be difficult? Yes. Is it your right? Yes. The idea of ‘normal’ is one that can be fraught, and even interpreted as ableist or homogeneous- that is something this group acknowledges. But our language is limited- we are restricted to the words of our lexicon that have the widest reach. ‘Normal’ in this instance is equated with ‘OK’- in the same way that a basic human right should be seen as ‘Normal’- Freedom is Normal, Safety is Normal- Abortion Is Normal.

Finally this statement can be seen as “[It’s OK], Abortion Is Normal.”

Participating Artists Include: Allison Janae Hamilton, Ameya Marie Okamoto, Amy Khoshbin, Andrea Chung, Arlene Shechet, Barbara Kruger, Betty Tompkins, Cajsa von Zeipel, Carrie Mae Weems, Carroll Dunham, Catherine Opie, Cecily Brown, Chloe Wise, Christopher Myers, Christen Clifford, Cindy Sherman, Delano Dunn, Derrick Adams, Dominique Duroseau, Elektra KB, Fin Simonetti, Grace Graupe Pillard, Hank Willis Thomas, hayv kahraman, Jaishri Abichandani, Jack Pierson, Jane Kaplowitz, Jon Kessler, Jonathan Horowitz, Jonathan Lyndon Chase, Judith Bernstein, Judith Hudson, Katrina Majkut, Laurie Simmons, Louise Lawler, Lyle Ashton Harris, Marilyn Minter, Marisa Morán Jahn, Michele Pred, Miguel Luciano, Mika Rottenberg, Nadine Faraj, Nan Goldin, Narcissister, Natalie Frank, Rob Pruitt, Robert Longo, Ryan McGinley, Sahana Ramakrishnan, Sarah Sze, Shirin Neshat, Shoshanna Weinberger, Shout Your Abortion, Sojourner Truth Parsons, Suzy Lake, Tatyana Fazlalizadeh, Viva Ruiz/Thank God for Abortion, Walter Robinson, Wanda Coop, Wangechi Mutu, Xaviera Simmons, Yvette Molina, Zoe Buckman and more.