Open Call at Smack Mellon / Deadline: February 26, 2018


In Summer 2018, Smack Mellon will present Laugh Back, a group exhibition examining the transgressive potential of women’s laughter to threaten authority.

In an increasingly authoritarian environment, laughing is an everyday gesture capable of unsettling norms, subverting power, and challenging dominant systems. This exhibition probes laughter as a symbolic space for transformation in which structures of power and repression are recognized and confronted. Focusing specifically on the practices of self-identifying women, this exhibition reframes the trope of humorless feminist resistance by focusing on everyday deployments of the absurd that disrupt presumed stable discourses.

Laugh Back will be organized by guest curator Lindsey O’Connor, whose proposal was selected through the Emerging Curator open call. To help elevate the profile of and bring greater exposure to emerging artists, this exhibition will include emerging artists alongside selected established artists. This open call is only for emerging artists, and at least half of the artists in the exhibition will be selected from this pool of applicants. An emerging artist is considered to be an artist without commercial representation who has a dedicated art practice but few opportunities to show at gallery or non-profit spaces.

Submissions will be reviewed by the guest curator and Smack Mellon staff.

Self-identifying women artists whose practice engages the defiant possibilities of humor, satire, irony, and the absurd as subversive tools for cultural change are encouraged to apply. Transdisciplinary artists and cultural producers exploring the connections between comedy, art, and activism are also of interest.

The exhibition will run from July 14 through August 19, 2018.

Smack Mellon welcomes submissions of existing works and proposals for new projects. All media will be considered, including but not limited to 2D, 3D, sound, performance, installations, time-based, research-based, speculative projects, and public programs. All submissions will be reviewed in the order they are received.

For more information please visit their website: