The Rubin Foundation Presents: Political Drag: A Retrospective – Martha Wilson in Conversation with Sara Reisman

Visual Arts

Political Drag: A Retrospective
Martha Wilson in Conversation with Sara Reisman

Thursday, October 29, 2020
6 to 7:30pm EST

This event will be held on Zoom

As part of our Performance-in-Place series, this video screening and public conversation features performance artist Martha Wilson, who will present a selection of her seminal works addressing political personae from the last forty years. The artist’s embodiment of characters such as Nancy Reagan, Tipper Gore, Barbara Bush, and Donald Trump serve as time capsules for the contentious issues prevalent at the time of their original staging. A throughline in Wilson’s practice is her use of film and documentation as political mediums to record the temporal and often seismic moments occurring in the public realm. This evening will be moderated by Rubin Foundation Executive and Artistic Director Sara Reisman, with audience participation encouraged.

Access Information: This event includes live ASL interpretation and captioning.


Martha Wilson (b. 1947) is a pioneering feminist artist and gallery director, who over the past four decades has created innovative photographic and video works that explore her female subjectivity through role-playing, costume transformations, and “invasions” of other people’s personae. She began making these videos and photo/text works in the early 1970s while in Halifax in Nova Scotia, and further developed her performative and video-based practice after moving in 1974 to New York City.  In 1976 she founded and continues to direct Franklin Furnace Archive, Inc, an artist-run space that champions the exploration, promotion and preservation of artists’ books, installation art, video, online and performance art, further challenging institutional norms, the roles artists play within society, and expectations about what constitutes acceptable art mediums.

Martha Wilson joined PPOW Gallery, New York, and mounted a solo exhibition, I have become my own worst fear, in September 2011.  In 2013, Wilson received an Honorary Doctor of Fine Arts degree from Nova Scotia College of Art and Design University. In 2015, she received the Audrey Irmas Award for Curatorial Excellence, administered by the Center for Curatorial Studies, Bard College; the College Art Association’s Women’s Caucus for Art Lifetime Achievement Award; and mounted her second solo exhibition at PPOW Gallery.