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Conversations · Exhibition-Related

In Bed With…Heather McGhee

Cover Image:

“Gerard & Kelly: P.O.L.E. (People, Objects, Language, Exchange),” 2014. Exhibition view: New Museum. Photo: Lauren Bakst

“In Bed With…” is a series of intimate two-on-one encounters between the artist duo Gerard & Kelly and others taking place on mattresses dispersed throughout the research presentation for “P.O.L.E. (People, Objects, Language, Exchange)” in the Fifth Floor gallery. Each encounter will explore questions of precarity, work, choreography, objects, poetry, and the transmission of performance scores.

October 29, 2014: In Bed With…Chris Kraus
November 1, 2014: In Bed With…Andrea Fraser
December 13, 2014: In Bed With…Heather McGhee
January 10, 2015: In Bed With…Tere O’Connor

Gerard & Kelly work within an interdisciplinary framework to create project-based installations and performances that use choreography, writing, and a range of other mediums to address questions of sexuality, collective memory, and the formation of queer consciousness. This fall, they are developing a new project—“P.O.L.E. (People, Objects, Language, Exchange)”—that continues their investigations of the choreography of relationships and the movement of cultural transmission via the vernacular of pole dancing. Their research utilizes multiple spaces throughout the Museum, includes public programs and workshops, and will culminate with a solo exhibition on view in the Museum’s Lobby Gallery from February 4 to 15, 2015.

Heather C. McGhee is President of Demos, a public policy organization working for an America where we all have an equal say in our democracy and an equal chance in our economy. Previously, as Vice President of Policy and Outreach, McGhee led the substantive development of all of Demos’s issue areas, in addition to overseeing advocacy and communications strategies. In 2012, she helped spearhead Demos’s strategic planning process, resulting in a new organizational structure, rebranding, and mission realignment. This process created a novel communications framework and sharpened the organization’s focus on four areas of work that examine the connections between political, economic, and racial inequality. McGhee is also an influential voice in the media and a frequent contributor to MSNBC. Her opinions, writing, and research have appeared in numerous outlets, including the Wall Street Journal, USA Today, National Public Radio, the Washington Post, and the New York Times. She is the coauthor of a chapter on retirement insecurity in the book Inequality Matters: The Growing Economic Divide in America and Its Poisonous Consequences (New Press, 2005). In 2009, she cochaired a task force within Americans for Financial Reform that helped shape key provisions of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. In 2008, she served as the Deputy Policy Director in charge of Domestic and Economic Policy with the John Edwards for President Campaign, where she crafted a domestic policy platform that was widely praised for being the most ambitious and detailed in that election cycle. She holds a BA in American Studies from Yale University and a JD from the University of California, Berkeley, School of Law. She serves on the boards of Public Campaign, the Center for Working Families, and Consumer Reports.


This program is made possible, in part, through the support of the New York State Council on the Arts and the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs.

Additional support for artist residencies is made possible by Laurie Wolfert.

Generous endowment support is provided by the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, the Skadden, Arps Education Programs Fund, and the William Randolph Hearst Endowed Fund for Education Programs at the New Museum. 

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