DC CHEER! is an a community-building art project by Kristina Bilonick.
Derived from an open call DC Cheer! is a squad made up of a rotating lineup of artists , curators, and art enthusiasts. We are working together to create cheers that boost the morale of the DC art scene – celebrating artists, galleries, collectors and arts organizations that choose to make DC their home. With nearby draws such as affordable studio spaces in Baltimore and Philadelphia, or the allure of New York City, it is important to nurture the connection that exists amongst the artists, curators, gallery owners and collectors here, and let them know their presence is appreciated.
DC Cheer has peformed at the (e)merge art fair, Washington Project for the Arts, and the Howard Homecoming Parade. Documentary photographs by collaborator, E. Brady Robinson and ephemera from performances were a part of the group exhibition ‘She Got Game’ curated by Jeffry Cudlin at Arlington Arts Center in 2012.
Curator, Jeffry Cudlin on DC Cheer!:
DC artist Kristina Bilonick’s “DC Cheer!” project debuted this September at the (e)merge art fair in Washington DC. For the performance, Bilonick and a crew of male and female artists donned uniforms and performed cheers in the rooms of various galleries and in support of various events–literally cheering on the still-developing DC region art scene. “DC Cheer” seems to follow in the footsteps of a number of other “radical cheerleading” projects–including the “Art School Cheerleaders” formed in the 1990s at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, or Judy Chicago’s “C**t Cheer” project in 1970-1. Such projects have typically relied on the ironic appropriation of the conventions of a sport–or sport-related phenomenon–historically viewed as marginalizing or demeaning to women in order to advocate for leftist political action. Bilonick’s project is less straightforward and perhaps more subtle: “DC Cheer” is more rooted in the social exchanges between participants and their efforts to create opportunities for genuinely non-competitive fellowship within a traditionally uber-competitive field: contemporary gallery culture. -Jeffry Cudlin