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WE DISSENT... Gallery talk with Mary Patten of Madame Binh Graphics Collective

Tuesday, November 27, 2018, 6:30 - 8pm

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Silkscreen Class for Women!, flier version 2 (n.d.), courtesy of Mary Patten

Silkscreen Class for Women!, flier version 2 (n.d.), courtesy of Mary Patten

The Madame Binh Graphics Collective (MBGC) was an anti-imperialist women’s poster, printmaking, and street art collective based in New York City between 1975 and 1983. For a brief, intense period of time, the MBGC collaborated on projects against racism and in solidarity with national liberation movements, producing numerous multicolored silkscreened prints, note cards, banners, posters, fliers, and other print ephemera before withdrawing into the isolation of a sectarian and militaristic political line. By 1982 its core members were in prison or underground. 

Mary Patten is a visual artist, video-maker, writer, educator, occasional curator, and a long-time community and political activist. In 2012, she published Revolution as an Eternal Dream: the Exemplary Failure of the Madame Binh Graphics Collective, a book-length visual essay on the political practice and visual propaganda of the MBGC. A short but intense portrait of 1970s–1980s "new left" radical political activism in the U.S., the book explores the perpetual desire for revolution, as well as the frailty of such dreams. Stéphanie Jeanjean, adjunct assistant professor of art history in the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences and co-curator of the exhibition WE DISSENT… Design of the Women’s Movement in New York, joins Patten in a gallery talk about work by MBGC.

Located in the 41 Cooper Gallery, located in 41 Cooper Square, on Third Avenue between 6th and 7th Streets.

  • Founded by inventor, industrialist and philanthropist Peter Cooper in 1859, The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art offers education in art, architecture and engineering, as well as courses in the humanities and social sciences.

  • “My feelings, my desires, my hopes, embrace humanity throughout the world,” Peter Cooper proclaimed in a speech in 1853. He looked forward to a time when, “knowledge shall cover the earth as waters cover the great deep.”

  • From its beginnings, Cooper Union was a unique institution, dedicated to founder Peter Cooper's proposition that education is the key not only to personal prosperity but to civic virtue and harmony.

  • Peter Cooper wanted his graduates to acquire the technical mastery and entrepreneurial skills, enrich their intellects and spark their creativity, and develop a sense of social justice that would translate into action.