Josephine Sacabo: Tagged
October 4, 2018 – January 12, 2019
Opening & Book Signing: Thursday, Oct 4, 5-8pm
PhotoNOLA Reception: Saturday, Dec 15, 6-8pm
TAGGED, a new series of twenty photogravures by Josephine Sacabo, continues the artist’s recent exploration of graffiti. Whereas her last portfolio, 2017’s Barking at God: Retablos Mundanos, combined Mexican Catholic iconography with graffiti from the streets of New Orleans, TAGGED addresses the blatant misogyny expressed in this graffiti. In this portfolio, these “tags” are emblazoned across the faces and bodies of women, forcing us to confront their violent and obscene messages head-on. The resulting images are at once beautiful, disturbing and unsettling – juxtaposing who we are with how we are being described.
TAGGED gains added power within the context of Sacabo’s previous work, which has long sought to provide refuge from the injustices suffered by women. In this disheartening present, it appears that Sacabo is no longer willing to look the other way. In this series she adamantly declares “I AM NOT THAT WOMAN”.
Walking the graffiti gauntlet from my house to my studio, I am confronted by a lexicon of rampant misogyny, violence, and sexual insults. The messages may be verbal but their effects are visceral. We are being ‘tagged’ – as hos, bitches, and worse. But I am not that woman.
Why have women become the targets of the rage and frustration expressed? Why are women bearing the consequences for injustices they have not committed? Where are the graffiti messages by women meant for men?
I do not have the answers to these questions, all I have are these images of what it feels like to be a woman walking these streets.
And in this I know I am not alone. – Josephine Sacabo
Josephine Sacabo divides her time between New Orleans and Mexico. Both places inform her work, resulting in imagery that is as dreamlike, surreal, and romantic as the places that she calls home.
Born in Laredo, Texas, in 1944, she was educated at Bard College in New York. Prior to coming to New Orleans, Sacabo lived and worked extensively in France and England. Her earlier work was in the photo-journalistic tradition and influenced by Robert Frank, Josef Koudelka, and Henri Cartier-Bresson. She now works in a very subjective, introspective style, using poetry as the genesis for her work. Her many portfolios are visual manifestations of the written word, and she lists poets as her most important influences, including Rilke, Baudelaire, Pedro Salinas, Vincente Huiobro, and Juan Rulfo, Mallarmé, and Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz. Her images transfer the viewer into a world of constructed beauty.
During her 36 year career her work has been featured in over 40 gallery and museum exhibitions in the U.S., Europe and Mexico. She has been the recipient of multiple awards and is included in the permanent collections of the George Eastman House, the International Center of Photography, the Metropolitan Museum of Art and la Bibliothéque Nationale, Paris, France.
Image: “Lewd” from the series “Tagged,” @ 2018 Josephine Sacabo. 20 x 25” photogravure, printed on Sekishu Tsuru tissue, Chine-collé on Somerset paper.