THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. — When poet and activist Audre Lorde published her book Zami: A New Spelling of My Name, she called it “biomythography,” a blend of memoir, history, and myth. It is this framework that Biomythography: Secret Poetry & Hidden Angers, a group exhibition at the William Rolland Gallery of Fine Art, uses to connect various artists working to transgress traditional narrative, genre, and history.
Zami recounts the author’s coming-of-age by centering on the formative women in her life. It is a story about Lorde’s immigrant mother, high-school classmates, lesbian partners, and other women who lived through a period of segregation and McCarthyism. The lives of these characters, and their struggles, intersect along lines of gender, sexuality, race, and class. The artworks in Secret Poetry & Hidden Angers are similarly interested in the ways different bodies experience history and the institutions that affect it.