No Human Involved: The Fifth Annual Sex Workers’ Art Show

Northeast Portland
Nov. 8–Dec. 14, 2019
Days vary, Times vary
Portland Institute for Contemporary Art (PICA)
15 NE Hancock St
Portland, OR 97212

The following description was submitted by the event organizer.

No Human Involved: The Fifth Annual Sex Workers’ Art Show
November 8 – December 14, 2019

The phrase “no human involved” (“NHI”) is a slang term that has been commonly used by police to refer to crimes involving the murder or injury of sex workers, drug users, gang members, immigrant and transient folks, with Black and Brown populations disproportionately affected. Use of the term spiked significantly in 1980s Los Angeles, its increased popularity a reminder of how the dehumanization and criminalization of sex workers and other marginalized populations is consistently enforced, normalized and upheld by the interlocking injustices and oppressions of capitalism, racism, White supremacy, imperialism, settler-colonialism, nationalism, borders, carceral and police states, patriarchy, xenophobia, transphobia, homophobia and gender-based violence. The phrase has since been used by numerous artists, activists, filmmakers, scholars and writers across media, literature and research to illuminate and bring awareness to targeted forms of violence.

No Human Involved: The Fifth Annual Sex Workers’ Art Show speaks to dehumanizing socio-political systems and cultural conditions through the artistic voices and viewpoints of sex workers themselves. Far from just a show “about” sex work and intentionally subverting or rejecting clichéd romanticized or pitiable representations, No Human Involved seeks to complicate narratives of sex work by showcasing artists’ projects that critically examine and engage–and deconstruct and reconstruct–dynamics of emotion, labor, landscape, language, humor, family, identity and community. Curated through a competitive, international open call, multiple works by 15 artists span installation, video, photography, new media, sculpture, drawing, painting, printmaking and performance. In proximity and in conversation, these artists’ conceptually and politically aware uses of material and form combine to question and destabilize our most socially ingrained perceptions and assumptions about gender, power, desire, economy, sexuality, feminism, labor and love.

No Human Involved: The Fifth Annual Sex Workers’ Art Show is co-curated by Kat Salas and Matilda Bickers of STROLL PDX, a harm reduction, education and outreach group run by and for sex workers, in collaboration with Roya Amirsoleymani, Artistic Director & Curator, Portland Institute for Contemporary Art (PICA). It honors the history, spirit and tradition of STROLL PDX’s annual sex workers’ art show and other grassroots exhibitions of, by and for sex workers and their communities, while expanding the Portland project’s platform and possibilities through PICA’s space, visibility and resources.

Brittany Marie Chavez, Dee Lyrium, Ev Echovia and Bane Belladonna, Evie Snax, Pxssycontrol, Julia Arredondo, Amanda Lee, Juicebox, Kathleen Boudwin, Mona Superhero, Pallace de la Garza, Philip Edward King, Sathya, sean chamberlain, The Stripper Project.

Public Opening: Friday, November 8, 2019
6-9 p.m. – Reception with hosted bar
6:30 p.m. – Curators’ and Artists Remarks
7:15 p.m. – Performance by Dee Lyrium (Portland)
8 p.m. – Performance by Juicebox (New Orleans)
9 p.m.-midnight – Celebration with cash bar, dance party, and DJ

Gallery Hours:
Thursdays & Fridays, noon – 6 p.m.
Saturdays, noon – 4 p.m.

Age Advisory: 18+

Art, Activism & Publishing in Sex Work, a free public symposium on November 6-9, will run in conjunction with the exhibition and will explore the intersection of art, activism and publishing, with a particular focus on sex workers and their communities. Featuring a lecture by writer, activist and rogue intellectual Emi Koyamapanel discussions and a special edition of STROLL PDX’s zine publication, Working It, featuring critical and creative writing by sex workers, and designed and printed at the IPRC in collaboration with visiting artist Rose Nordin (London, U.K.). 

Upcoming Dates & Times

Nov. 14
Nov. 15
Nov. 16
Nov. 21
Nov. 22
Nov. 23
Nov. 28
Nov. 29
Nov. 30
Dec. 5
Dec. 6
Dec. 7
Dec. 12
Dec. 13
Dec. 14
More dates & times