Fourteen contemporary artists envision new realities in the exhibition Born in Flames: Feminist Futures, currently on view at the Bronx Museum of the Arts. Named after Lizzie Borden’s 1983 film of the same title, the show presents works that explore an array of multi-positional, intersectional, and intergenerational vantage points in response to current and past struggles for social justice and equality.
Read about the exhibition's curation.
In its exploration of more just realities, Born in Flames: Feminist Futures upends time as we know it. The past flows seamlessly into the present, swirling around dizzying conceptions of justice, morale, and hope. If time is liquid, elapsing like some fluid creature, our futures require channeling against oppressive currents. To be born aflame, as the featured artists suggest, is to blaze towards radical futures.
Curated by Jasmine Wahi, the museum’s Holly Block Social Justice Curator, the group exhibition at the Bronx Museum of the Arts convenes fourteen femme-identified and non-binary artists — including Lizzie Borden, Caitlin Cherry, Chitra Ganesh, Firelei Báez, María Berrío, Sin Wai Kin, Tourmaline, and Wangechi Mutu — to envision alternative feminist realities unified by a shared desire for justice. This impulse flows through all the works in the show, conjuring entire worlds that respond to wounds inflicted by both capitalism and patriarchy. Facing the entrance of the exhibition, a projection of Borden’s 1983 documentary-style, feminist cult classic, Born in Flames, foregrounds a vast feminist and futurist lineage of artwork. The film, after which the exhibition is named, is eerily relevant to present-day struggles for social justice with its depiction of police brutality, sexism, and transphobia set in a fictionalized New York City; simultaneously a time capsule and a vision of an unjust present and future.