The exhibition celebrates the wisdom of the menstrual cycle on 100th anniversary of women gaining the legal right to vote, originally opened August 18th, 2020
“What Would The Egg Do?” an online exhibition featuring a vast range of innovative and thought-provoking artworks, opened to the public August 26th. The exhibition celebrates the neglected wisdom of the egg and honors nature’s cycles. The opening date marks the 100th anniversary of Women Equality Day.
On this day in 1920, the 19th Amendment was passed, which guarantees and protects the right to vote regardless of gender. Despite the 19th amendment’s promise, women who showed up to vote in 1920 still faced many difficulties, racism being the most prominent one. This amendment did not address the historical and systematic exclusion of Black women, who were overlooked in the history of women’s suffrage. The 2020 election season is the perfect time to highlight and bring this issue forward. The decision to launch the exhibition on Women’s Equality Day is on one hand an opportunity to celebrate the achievements of women’s rights activists; on the other, it reminds us of the daily struggles that women, and especially Black women, still face today. This date presents the opportunity to reflect on how far we have come as a society and what we still have to fight to achieve.
The concept for the exhibition was developed by curator Rinat Sherzer. Her TED Talk entitled “The Bloody Taboo With The Power To Change The World” has sparked new dialogue in an often-shunned topic. In it, she explains, “Our society today is programmed to achieve like sperm. Being competitive, fast and goal oriented. One that idolizes scale, quantity, and constant doing over patience, discernment, and being.” Sherzer continues to explain, “In order to create life, nature needs both the sperm and the egg, and if sperm on its own cannot create life, then nor can a society that acts like it. The sperm and the egg are equally essential. The goal is to integrate the masculine and feminine qualities we all embody, regardless of our gender identity.” The exhibition has been developed with the intention to give artists the opportunity to connect, practice, and create the wisdom of the egg. The female egg is precious, dynamic, and ever-evolving; it demonstrates life, death and regeneration. Its cyclical essence is aligned with many of nature’s systems, such as the seasons of the year and the phases of the moon. The four phases of the cycle offer a framework that can expand our consciousness from a narrow linear approach into a cyclical one that honors our place as part of nature. #whatwouldtheeggdo
The exhibition is based on an open call asking artists to create a four-part artwork over four consecutive weeks aligned with the egg’s cycle. It is a celebration of our differences, where artists from all backgrounds and identities are encouraged to apply. Over a hundred artists have expressed their interest and eight were chosen for the opening month. The artwork presented showcases an array of mediums, from glass installations, to textiles to video art. The exhibition was planned to be exhibited in a gallery space in New York City; however, due to the pandemic, it has been converted into an online gallery until circumstances allow physical showings. The exhibition can be seen at the “What Would The Egg Do?” website. The online exhibition will run for six months, until February 26, 2021, with the works on view changing each month, giving a variety of artists and diverse perspectives the opportunity to be presented.
Curator Rinat Sherzer says, “The exhibition gives both the artists and the viewers the opportunity to tap into a wisdom that has long been forgotten and holds a framework for a deep social change. It teaches us critical concepts such as rest, release, and the power to receive. It teaches us about the strength in being receptive and discerning instead of constantly running after the next big thing. Our society has been frantically running like sperm for way too long, from the impossible speed of our lifestyle, the endless working days, the obesity of our consumer culture, and the winner-takes-all mindset. The watershed year 2020 has been a clear mark that “business as usual” is no longer working. The cruel way we have been treating the planet and our Black brothers and sisters has reached its expiration date. This year we have the opportunity to relearn, reimagine, and redesign a new future that works for all. To do so, it is time that we stop and ask ourselves, what would the egg do?”
About the Team:
Rinat Sherzer, Curator: Sherzer is a New York-based interdisciplinary ethical designer, biotech engineer, and social entrepreneur tackling some of the world’s most complex issues around equality, diversity, and inclusion. She is an Adjunct Professor at Parsons and has taught at Columbia, NYU and Cornell. She’s the founder of Of Course Global, a social innovation consultancy working with Fortune 500 companies such as Pfizer and Capital One. In her practice, Sherzer combines principles from biomimicry and human-centered-design to create a cultural shift towards an egalitarian society. She was chosen as one of the 40 Top Women Keynote Speakers of 2020.
Victoria Manganiello, Advisor: Mangianello is an award-winning, international textile artist and adjunct professor at Parsons and NYU. She was chosen by Forbes for its “30 under 30” designation.
Rose White, Program Director: Outside of the exhibition, White is an educator and fiber artist.
Emily Arlington, Executive Producer: Arlington is a design strategist & textile artist. She has worked as a consultant in fashion, sports, and the entertainment industry.
Miruna Macri, Creative Director: Macri is an award winning Creative Director. Her work has been recognized at Cannes Lions, New York Festivals, Summit International Awards and many more.