Reactions

Anti-SisterSerpents Flyer

Heritage Foundation Anti-SisterSerpents Flier

Through their controversial and explicit art, SisterSerpents achieved their goal to "shock and frighten anyone who never bothered to care" about women's issues. Unsurprisingly, they often elicited critical backlash from the public. In one such case, the Heritage Foundation got wind of a SisterSerpents exhibit that depicted male genital mutilation. The exhibit was held at Chicago Filmmakers Gallery. The Heritage Foundation published these fliers decrying the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) for funding such an offensive exhibit. In actuality, the NEA grant was for the Chicago Filmmakers Gallery where SisterSerpents rented the space for the exhibit, but no NEA money was used towards the exhibit itself.

During this same exhibit, a vandal smashed the front window of Chicago Filmmakers Gallery. Due to the controversy, Chicago Filmmakers required SisterSerpents to hang a sheet over the "Fetus Wall" (described in the Heritage Foundation flier), ultimately forcing self-censorship. SisterSerpents obliged in order to maintain the gallery space to exhibit their artwork.

Exhibit Review- Chicago Sun-Times

Exhibit Review, Chicago Sun-Times.

SisterSerpents received a fair amount of media coverage. The tone that journalists used when writing about the group varied greatly from admiring to admonishing. This Chicago Sun-Times review compliments SisterSerpents' sense of humor and their funky nature.

Exhibit Review- Westword (Denver, CO)

Exhibit Review- Westword (Denver, CO).

 

 

 

Another exhibition review.

Correspondence: Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum

Correspondence with Cooper-Hewitt National Museum Design.

SisterSerpents' work gained national recognition, to the extent that four of their posters have been accepted into the Cooper-Hewitt National Museum of design.

The group disbanded in 1998 but their legacy of using art as a political weapon and a form of feminist activism remains evident in the materials they generated.