The Center for Art, Research and Alliance’s spring 2024 exhibition presents an intergenerational, feminist dialogue between artists Paloma Contreras Lomas (b. Mexico, 1991) and Ines Doujak (b. Austria, 1959). The show opens March 2 and will remain on view through May 12, 2024.


In the spirit of do-it-yourself activist movements and political satire, Contretras Lomas and Doujak mobilize grotesque, subculture aesthetics and intimate storytelling to critique patriarchal systems and its intersections with capital. The artists’s work upends hierarchies of race, class and gender and complicates the notion of “woman” as a social category and set of prescribed roles. Contreras Lomas and Doujak mobilize empathy and fiction as vehicles for a deeper understanding of the human experience and activate wit and humor to offer historical insights into the long-standing nature of oppression and the systemic forces that have maintained it. They claim everyone’s right to everything, using horizontality and abundance as strategies for resistance.


The artists use baroque, eccentric, and seductive imagery, including cartoons, anatomy books, mass media, and haute couture designs, to make play an irresistible part of our political commitments. The exhibition exposes exploitative structures, and counters them with cacophony—the layering of voices speaking, singing, and shouting in community. In spite of gendered violence and the failures of an increasingly globalized world, both Contreras Lomas and Doujak locate hope in shared speech. Their work leans into complexity and interconnection, contaminating beauty with a spirit of mischief and joy.

Spanning sculpture, film, and illustration, Mexico City-based artist Paloma Contreras Lomas combines colorful aesthetics and fetishized, pop culture representations of Mexico to entice the viewer. But beyond the fuzzy sculptures, smiling cartoon characters, feathers, and sombreros lie the violent realities of border relations, machismo, and ongoing US imperial intervention into Mexican life and politics. In her practice, geopolitical histories are interwoven with film noir fantasies and family narratives, creating speculative spaces where fear and imagination are equally present. Harnessing the child-like effect of simultaneous horror and glee, Contreras Lomas’s work invites ghosts out to play.


Ines Doujak’s irreverent practice, which spans decades of performance, collage, sculpture, and public interventions, interrogates human impact on land, ecology, and microbiology through aesthetic strategies of shock and humor. Like Contreras Lomas, Doujak uses hyperbole as a tool for critique as she considers the violent impacts of global trade, trafficking, and exploitation, and explores possibilities of class rebellion. She thinks about contamination in the broadest sense, addressing everything from pandemics to ongoing environmental crises and the possibilities of letting yourself be exposed to and affected by the lives and stories of others.

The exhibition will culminate on May 4, 2024 with a public parade convened by Ines Doujak and co-presented with New York City AIDS Memorial. Honoring intergenerational histories of coalition-building and resistance, Doujak’s parade celebrates the legacies of movement elders whose presence informs the collective, ongoing work toward envisioning and realizing better worlds. Collaborating with the Black-led, all-women’s percussion troupe Batalá New York and artists and health justice organizations to be announced soon, the parade memorializes and celebrates shared histories of rebellion. It offers space for the coexistence of grief and levity, specifically memorializing the lives lost to AIDS and ongoing struggles for liberation from patriarchal oppression. The parade and other programming weave together pasts and presents of hope.

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