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Hayley Barker, Darya Diamond, Ian James, Young Joon Kwak, C. Lavender, Sarah Manuwal, Saewon Oh, Amanda Vincelli, and SoftCells presents: Jules Gimbrone
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How do radical ambitions of “self-care” persist or depart from capitalist society’s preoccupation with wellness and the industry surrounding it, particularly when filtered through technological advances? How can we imagine personal wellness that complicates or diverges from capitalist and consumerist tendencies? Taking its name from the common valediction, which is both an expression of familiarity and an instruction of caution, take care, is a group exhibition that considers the many tensions surrounding the possibilities of self-care.
Long before it was a popular hashtag, self-care emerged from twentieth-century social justice movements. To take care of oneself correlated to the greater health of a community, an urgent issue in the face of widespread inequality and violence. As Audre Lorde famously stated, “Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation, and that is an act of political warfare.” More recently, the term “self-care” has been commercially co-opted to sell products like spa treatments and skin cream. Further, bodies are thoroughly quantified with tracking devices, habits are caught up in cycles of accelerated production, and self-regulation exists in tandem with complex algorithmic processes that profit from individual surveillance. In order to ask what “self-care” means given this current scenario, take care, simultaneously looks back at potent activist histories and forward into speculative futures.