Michele Pred was selected along with nineteen other artists for a special exhibition organized by Arts Westchester called, Give Us The Vote. The inspiration was the centennial anniversary for the women’s right to vote in NYS. State of the Arts NYC wanted to spotlight one of the artists in this show and learn more about her practice.
Michele Pred is a Swedish-American conceptual artist whose practice includes, sculpture, assemblage and performance. Her work uncovers the cultural and political meaning behind everyday objects with a particular focus on themes like equal pay, reproductive rights and personal security. In 2016 she received a Pro-Choice Leadership Award from Personal PAC in Chicago. She is a founding member of the artist run For Freedoms Super PAC. Recent group exhibitions include For Freedoms at Jack Shainman Gallery in New York and The Future is Female at the 21C Museum. Her work is part of the permanent collection at The Berkeley Art Museum, The 21st Century Museum, The Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) New York, The Contemporary Museum in Honolulu, The 9/11 Memorial Museum in New York, and is held in numerous corporate and private collections. Michele received her BFA from California College of the Arts, Oakland, CA.
Her work has been reviewed and featured by The New York Times, The New York Observer, The International Herald Tribune, ARTnews, Art in America, WIRED, American Craft Magazine, Huffington Post, Rachel Maddow, ReadyMade Magazine, TimeOut New York, Travel and Leisure Magazine, Associated Press Television, CBS Evening news with Katie Couric, PBS, CNN, MSNBC, FOX, NBC, ABC, The San Francisco Chronicle, Corriere della Sera (Italy), TV4 and Dagens Nyheter (Sweden). Michele Pred received her BFA from California College of the Arts, Oakland, CA.
ARTIST STATEMENT BY MICHELE PRED
“Promote the General Welfare”
The title of this series is borrowed from the first line in the US Constitution.
Recent violence aimed at women’s health care providers and actions by politicians, leave no doubt that a woman’s right to choose is still under assault and that negative attitudes toward basic health care, like birth control, stubbornly persist. I feel a renewed urgency to defend Pro-Choice and Access to women’s services.
In 1989 I made my first art piece about reproductive rights. Back then, I never would have believed that 25 years later women would have less access to abortion and other critical health services.
I have created several limited edition series of Pred-à-Porter purses. Each unique piece is made using a vintage handbag from the 1950’s or 60’s. I chose purses as my canvas as a way to marry the politically-charged messages of the Pro-Choice movement with representations of women’s modern economic power and the possibilities for change that come with it. For me, the use of purses from the mid-twentieth century also calls back to that critical era and reminds us how much has changed and, more importantly, how much has not.
The text on each purse is created using Electroluminescent wire that is lit up using batteries and a small electronic driver that can be set to constant or flash mode. The purses are meant to be carried and serve as small-scale political billboards.
Finally, this body of work is rooted in my formative years growing up in Berkeley, California during the 70’s, where I was exposed to the women’s movement. It is also a continued homage to my father, Allan Pred who inspired the feminist in me at an early age.