Category Archives: disabilty

My Photograph in Ryan Gander’s Osaka Museum Exhibition

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Laurie says:

Bob Guter

I am especially delighted that my portrait of Bob Guter from Familiar Men is included in the “Ryan Gander -These wings aren’t for flying’’ exhibition opening today at the National Museum of Art, Osaka. I admire the complexity and uniqueness and diversity of Gander’s work and the way disability consciousness is woven and not woven into it.

His work is so diverse that there is no way that only four choices give a sense of his scope

This solo exhibition will present approximately 60 important and new works by Gander, who is now regarded as a standard-bearer of new conceptual art. As the mysterious title suggests, the exhibition promises to escort us to an unknown world.

At the same time, Gander will curate an exhibit made up of works from the museum collection. Using the instinctive human ability to think in terms of comparisons as a premise, Gander will present the works in numerous pairs. Though based on a physical resemblance, the fact that the pieces are derived from different genres and eras will inspire a host of fresh perspectives. And the exhibition, held throughout the entire museum, will allow us to experience the limitless potential of the visual arts. – from the Museum description

He describes this: “It is a self-portrait in the worst possible position”.

His work is formally diverse and has included, “a chess set, a new word, a children’s book, jewellery, customised sportswear, glass orb paperweights and maps,” as well as photography, films, and drawings. Considering Gander’s work, “Appendix”, art critic Mark Beasley said: “It’s an unwieldy yet fascinatingly open account, somewhat like lucid dreaming, which shows the artist at his most arch, open and revealing … an attempt to discuss practice in a form sympathetic to the work in discussion.”
… most of Gander’s art is completely removed from the hand of the artist and carried out by a team of technical specialists. He is often physically incapable of carrying out the making of the work himself. Wikipedia

I’m fascinated and impatient to see what art work my portrait will be paired with. I’ll be writing more about this after the exhibition is up. Meanwhile I’m excited.

Sue Hodges: Powerful Disability Activist

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Laurie and Debbie say:

Sue Hodges (1942-2017) was a powerful disability activist. It was an honor to have her as one of the models for Women en Large. She died in March.

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The East Bay Times says:

As a child, she contracted polio and although she survived the initial paralyzing effects of the disease, later in life, that illness came back to inflict much pain and disability on her. Susan was active in the Berkeley Free Clinic and devoted much of her life to social causes. For 5 years, she worked as a classroom assistant at Language Associates, a school for special needs children. Her most notable contribution was in the field of disability rights — especially for people in wheelchairs. The effect of her childhood polio and a bad car accident forced her into a wheelchair when she was in her early 40’s. From that time on, Susan worked tirelessly for the cause of the disabled, with emphasis on securing adequate pay for their caregivers. Susan was a co-author of the 1990 Americans With Disabilities Act, for which she was personally honored by President Clinton at the White House in 1994. She earned Woman of the Year for the State of California in 1999 and also for the City of Oakland in 1999. Gradually, her physical condition declined to the point where she spent much of her time in a hospital bed at her home…

I remember vividly photographing her in her home.  She was one of the people whose thoughts really contributed to the book. (Many of the women in the book have made important contributions to groundbreaking social justice work.)

Her work helped give millions of people access that was desperately needed and deserved. And her work for decent pay for care givers was profoundly important to people who important service is usually ignored.