An auction of my Dissent Collars, in honor of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. All proceeds to go to the ACLU.
In 2016, Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg saved me from despair. The election of Donald Trump made me feel powerless and afraid, too stunned to move forward. Then I read a short news item about Justice Ginsburg's immediate gesture of resistance and dissent: the day after the election, she wore her "dissent collar"(a necklace she would wear with her robes when reading a dissenting opinion.) With her characteristic style, courage, and recognition of how women are seen, she inspired me. I began making my own Dissent Collars, and posting them on social media. My work was part of a wave of activism by makers and artists and my dissent collars have been shown in many different exhibitions, including "The Notorious RBG: The Life and Times of Ruth Bader Ginsburg Exhibit" which originally opened at the Skirball Center in Los Angeles and is currently showing at the National Museum of American Jewish History in Philadelphia, PA, and the Museum of Design Atlanta's "Making Change: The Art and Craft of Activism," which was up from June-September, 2018. You can read more about this work at my website, roxanaalgergeffen.com and in a recent article in Elle Magazine here.
Yesterday, when I heard the crushing news of her death, I was again strengthened by her example. Justice Ginsburg never stopped working for justice for all Americans, and so I decided to raise money for the ACLU, an organization that has long done the same. Read more about their mission here.
Notes About the Work
Collars, Photographs, Necklaces and the Book
Collars: The collars can all be worn (though some are more comfortable to wear than others) but I have always exhibited them hung directly on the wall; they seem to exist in a gray area between jewelry and sculpture. I've included images of each collar in both settings. I do recommend framing the collars so that they will be better preserved, and if you have questions about that I'm happy to advise.
Photographs: Since the beginning, the project has had multiple parts: the collars and the images of me (and sometimes other people too) wearing the collars. At first, I took all the pictures with my phone, off the cuff, but for the first exhibition I took a series of more formal self-portraits. I am including a number of these photographs in the auction, in both large and small size prints. Most of these will be printed to order, and so will take a couple of weeks post-auction to ship. The larger prints will be framed with simple black wood frames, UV plexiglass and backed by archival mats. If you prefer an unframed print, email me and we can arrange that. The small prints are being sold unframed.
Necklaces: For the first show of the collars I made several necklaces that I called the "No No No Necklaces." These were vintage necklaces that I added to with beads, leather thongs, cord and gold-plated discs and pendants I had stamped with text, often "No No No."
The Book: Also for the first show, I put together a small, limited-edition, soft-cover book that included a short essay I had written about the work, and all of the Instagram images and dates.