The Shelley & Donald Rubin Foundation Announces Fall and Winter Programming

Visual Arts
The Shelley & Donald Rubin Foundation is pleased to announce its Fall and Winter events season presented by The 8th Floor, an interdisciplinary space established in 2010 by the Rubin family, dedicated to exploring the intersection of art, culture, and philanthropy through public engagement. In conjunction with our current exhibition To Cast Too Bold A Shadow, programming will feature discussions between artists, cultural producers, and activists whose practices are engaged with feminism, political critique, and the advancement of racial justice. All events are free, open to the public, and, where applicable, will be held virtually due to ongoing public health considerations.
Featuring artists Baseera Khan, Mierle Laderman Ukeles, Maria D. Rapicavoli, Betty Tompkins, and Martha Wilson, among others, a number of events will be co-presented in partnership with organizations including Independent Curators International, Queens Museum, and Asian American Arts Alliance.
Through January 23, 2021
The 8th Floor, 17 West 17th Street, NYC
Current Exhibition: To Cast Too Bold A Shadow, featuring Anetta Mona Chisa & Lucia Tkáčová, Furen Dai, Tracey Emin, Hackney Flashers, Rajkamal Kahlon, Joiri Minaya, Yoko Ono, Maria D. Rapicavoli, Aliza Shvarts, Betty Tompkins, and Mierle Laderman Ukeles
Beginning Thursday, October 15th through Saturday, January 23rd, 2021, The 8th Floor’s new exhibition To Cast Too Bold A Shadow is open by appointment from Wednesday to Saturday, 11am to 6pm. To Cast Too Bold A Shadow is a thematic exhibition that examines culturally entrenched forms of misogyny as a means to understand the dynamics between sexism, gender, and feminism.
Tuesday, October 27, 6 to 7:30pm EST
Performance-in-Place: Waste of a Nation by Baseera Khan
Reflecting on months spent in the confines of her own home and studio, Khan will present multiple performance personae, actively “code switching” between personalities. The artist’s performance will be followed by a discussion led by Rubin Foundation Executive and Artistic Director Sara Reisman.
Thursday, October 29, 6 to 7:30pm EST
Political Drag: A Retrospective – Martha Wilson in Conversation with Sara Reisman
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.
Thursday, November 12, 1 to 2:30pm EST
From “Touch Sanitation” (1979-1980) to “For → forever…” (2020): Two Works by Mierle Laderman Ukeles Respond to a City in Crisis
Artist Mierle Laderman Ukeles, Queens Museum Executive Director Sally Tallant, and Rubin Foundation Executive and Artistic Director Sara Reisman will discuss the eerie connection between two NYC crises—the fiscal crisis of the 1970’s and the Covid-19 crisis of 2020—that binds and fuels Ukeles’ Touch Sanitation (1979-1980); her current three-part public art installation For → forever… with the Queens Museum, Times Square Arts, and MTA Arts & Design; as well as her participation in the Foundation’s current exhibition To Cast Too Bold A Shadow.
RSVP Link Forthcoming
Thursday, November 19, 6 to 7:30pm EST
What Does Racial Diversity Look Like in a Race-Specific Organization?
A Conversation with Sade Lythcott, Jafreen Uddin, and Natalia Viera, Moderated by Rebecca Kelly Golfman
Co-presented by the Shelley & Donald Rubin Foundation and Asian American Arts Alliance
In this moment of Covid-19 and renewed public awareness of racial injustice, accounts of racism have proliferated, from targeting Asian American communities in the name of Covid-19 to the long history of police brutality against Black communities. As a race-specific organization, the Asian American Arts Alliance reflects on their efforts and practices toward not only allyship, but also representation. In order to find a way forward, the panel will pose questions including: What does diversity and racial equity look like in a race and/or ethnically specific organization? And how can race–or ethnicity–specific organizations and communities work together? This conversation brings together Sade Lythcott (National Black Theatre), Jafreen Uddin (Asian American Writers Workshop), and Natalia Viera (Se habla español), moderated by Rebecca Kelly Golfman (equity and justice consultant) as the first of a three part series co-presented by the Shelley & Donald Rubin Foundation and the Asian American Arts Alliance.
Tuesday, December 1, 6 to 7:30pm EST
The Shelley & Donald Rubin Foundation and Independent Curators International Co-present A Discussion on Maria Rapicavoli’s New Film The Other: a familiar story
This event will center on a screening of Maria D. Rapicavoli’s newly commissioned film The Other: a familiar story, followed by a conversation between Rapicavoli and activist Maria Canela, moderated by Srimoyee Mitra, Director of Stamps Gallery. Commissioned with support from the Italian Council for the Rubin Foundation’s exhibition To Cast Too Bold A Shadow, Rapicavoli’s two-channel film installation premiers in this thematic group show examining entrenched forms of misogyny. The film is a haunting story of an Italian woman forced into marriage, who leaves her family in Italy behind for the United States. Loosely based on a true story, it raises questions about the ethics of artmaking and curatorial practice that draw on lived experiences, specifically in the context of immigration. Together, Rapicavoli, Canela, and Mitra will discuss ways in which trauma informs artistic practice, and the tensions between ethical representation and artistic license, especially during times of political instability.
Thursday, December 10, 6 to 7:30pm EST
Racial Capitalism: Who Benefits from Cultural Appropriation?
Co-presented by the Shelley & Donald Rubin Foundation and Asian American Arts Alliance
In today’s globalized world, parts of our individual, sociocultural identities are often shaped by cultures other than our own. How do we make sense of this in our own creative practices, and what is the difference between appropriation and influence? Who owns what culture? Who has the right to tell the story of a culture? And who has the right to profit from cultural elements? This program will examine the power dynamics and value structures inherent in capitalism. Cultural appropriation without proper understanding and respect for its original significance, often exoticizes cultural elements and creates a dominant impression of specific ethnic groups, depicting particular identification as “other.” This program is the second of a three part series co-presented by the Shelley & Donald Rubin Foundation and the Asian American Arts Alliance.
Thursday, January 14, 6 to 7:30pm EST
Who Is Diversity For?
Co-presented by the Shelley & Donald Rubin Foundation and Asian American Arts Alliance
Looking at current philanthropic practices, this panel questions who diversity is for and how diversity in the arts can truly be achieved at a time when culturally-specific organizations are becoming resegregated and positioned to compete against their own communities. As the cultural sector has not successfully represented and served communities from all socio-cultural backgrounds, many race- and ethnicity-specific organizations, like the Asian American Arts Alliance, were founded and have worked towards equal representation and opportunities in the arts. However, in the grant-seeking process, they are often positioned to compete against other Asian American-centered organizations, and the larger pool of BIPOC organizations, to prove their culture is the most relevant, and therefore worthy of continued funding. This panel will explore how organizations are achieving the premise of equal representation and opportunities, and is co-presented within a three part series by the Shelley & Donald Rubin Foundation and the Asian American Arts Alliance.
Tuesday, January 19, 1 to 2:30pm EST
Figures: Rajkamal Kahlon, Joiri Minaya, and Betty Tompkins
Figures brings together Rajkamal Kahlon, Joiri Minaya, and Betty Tompkins in conversation about their works currently featured in our exhibition To Cast Too Bold A Shadow. Each artist uses appropriated historical source materials with particular intent: Kahlon’s paintings are based on 19th Century anthropological illustrations of women in colonized countries; Minaya draws from art historical paintings and images of exploitation on the internet; and Tompkins calls out misogyny, gender disparity and predatory behavior through her repurposing of old master paintings. The conversation will be moderated by Rubin Foundation Executive and Artistic Director Sara Reisman.
About The Shelley & Donald Rubin Foundation
The Rubin Foundation believes in art as a cornerstone of cohesive, sustainable communities and greater participation in civic life. In its mission to make art available to the broader public, in particular to underserved communities, the Foundation provides direct support to, and facilitates partnerships between, cultural organizations and advocates of social justice across the public and private sectors. Through grantmaking, the Foundation supports cross-disciplinary work connecting art with social justice via experimental collaborations, as well as extending cultural resources to organizations and areas of New York City in need.
About The 8th Floor
The 8th Floor is an exhibition and events space established in 2010 by Shelley and Donald Rubin, dedicated to promoting cultural and philanthropic initiatives, and to expanding artistic and cultural accessibility in New York City.
Contact: Abby Addams