New Girls Network

There are a few important codes of ethics in the contemporary art world. They tend to go unspoken, but everyone knows them. Among these are the edicts that you shouldn't curate your own work, and you should be very careful about curating the work of close friends and partners, past or present. Shared Women, a major group exhibition opening this Wednesday at LACE (Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions), kicks those rules to the curb. There is certainly a tongue-in-cheek element to this organizing principle, as manifest in curators A.L. Steiner, Emily Roysdon, and Eve Fowler's description of Shared Women as 'an exhibition that is dependent on cronyism, feminism, and nepotism.' While this type of insider trading has gone a long way in establishing the members of many an 'old boys network,' the practice's recontextualization from a feminist perspective formulates what the organizers call a 'dirty commerce' which is truly predicated on collaboration, support, and the constructive critique necessary for growth in the art world. Needless to say, the esteemed curators included themselves in this show, along with several strongly emerging artists, including Amy Adler, Chicks On Speed, Ginger Brooks Takahashi, JD Samson, K8 Hardy, Kathe Burkhart, Leidy Churchman, Stanya Kahn & Harry Dodge, Tara Mateik, Ulrike Mueller, and others--many of whom take up extant tools, ideologies, and objects in new, media-specific ways. The show opens with a series of performances and 'interactive opportunities,' and stays up through April 8. - Marisa Olson