Ends in 3 days

Emerging Artists Open Call

Application Deadline: February 26, 11:59pm

Laugh Back
Curated by 
Lindsey O’Connor
July 14–August 19, 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.

We welcome 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.

February 26: Submission Deadline. Artists are encouraged to submit early.

April 13: Selected artists will be notified. If selected, artwork must be received at Smack Mellon between 10am and 6pm on July 9th. We recommend hand-delivering the work. Artwork can be shipped to the gallery, but Smack Mellon is unable to cover shipping or return costs. Under most circumstances artists will be expected to install their own work. Artists must pick up their work on either August 20th or 21st between 10am and 6pm.


Lindsey O’Connor
is an exhibition organizer and arts writer living in New York City. She is currently the Biennial Co-Coordinator at the Whitney Museum of American Art and has held past positions at the Guggenheim Museum, American Federation of Arts, and Biennial of the Americas. She has curated and co-curated exhibitions with Greatmore Studios in Cape Town, South Africa, and the NLE Curatorial Lab in New York. Her writing has been published in Hyperallergic, CAA.Reviews, Art Papers, and Ada: Journal of Gender, New Media, and Technology.


Thank you for your interest in exhibiting at Smack Mellon!


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