Nobody Promised You Tomorrow: Art 50 Years After Stonewall Catalog
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Nobody Promised You Tomorrow: Art 50 Years After Stonewall presents a constellation of twenty-eight LGBTQ+ artists born after the 1969 Stonewall Uprising and working, five decades later, in New York, the hometown of the revolt. Commemorating the fiftieth anniversary of the six-day rebellion—ignited by a routine police raid on the Stonewall Inn, a gay bar in Greenwich Village—the exhibition explores the profound legacy of the Uprising within art and visual culture today. At once looking into history and facing the future, the artists on view pay tribute to activist fore parents while asking how we will care for tomorrow’s generations.
Drawing its title form the rallying words of Black trans artists and activist Marsha P. Johnson, the exhibition underscores both the precariousness and the vitality of LGBTQ+ communities through the interconnected themes of revolt, heritage, desire, and care. A leader in the Stonewall Uprising, Johnson remains a touchstone for many of the artists whose work engages radical antecedents of the LGBTQ+ organizing. Honoring figures who have been excluded from mainstream storytelling, these artists challenge us to recount history from the perspectives of those surviving at its margins.
In this spirit, Nobody Promised You Tomorrow aims to expand our collective imagination of the Stonewall Uprising, beyond protestors in the street, to consider the everyday acts of care between friends and lovers that sustain communities and public activism. White supremacy and persistent state vio- lence, gender-based oppression, and the increasing pressures of gentrifica- tion form the social and political backdrop of this exhibition. The artists pre- sented here grapple with these conditions to question how moments in his- tory become contested monuments.