(Un)Silent Sentinels, 2017
Shown Feb - April 2017 in the exhibition "Women Now," commemorating the centennial anniversary of the incarceration of suffragettes at the original site of the prison, now the Workhouse Arts Center. An exhibition of 11 women artists, "Women Now" also featured Mickalene Thomas, Jenny Holzer, and Jennifer Bartlett.
The work was featured again in "Home + Discordance = US" at NYU, Washington DC in Sept/Oct, 2017.
In 1913, the suffragettes staged their first march on the eve of President Woodrow Wilson's election. From that point and through their arrests in 1917, the use of banners as material objects was at the heart of their campaigns and picketing of the White House. It was as much their texts that promulgated their arrests. Noting the parallels of their use of banners, Devine filmed a group of artists making banners on Martin Luther King Day, days before the 2017 Women's March that would take place the day after President Donald Trump's inauguration.
Additional video was taken of the march itself, and the edited footage revealed specific chants of protest. Anchored between a dual projection, one of scenes from the Women's March and one of the hands of artists making banners, are over 70 banners, many taken from the White House and Trump Hotel on the night of January 21.
Devine explores the roots of protest, and a demand for voices to be heard. Excerpts from speeches by Martin Luther King provides the sound for one video, while the chants of the marching crowd fill the other. The banners of the Suffragettes and the many signs by the protestors, which became an indelible image of the Women's March, provide a parallel for considering the use of text in the advocation for women's rights over the last century.
Women Now at the Workhouse Arts Center
Home + Discordance = US at NYU-DC