February 8 – April 1, 2022


Works by Khairani Barokka, Ezra Benus, Sky Cubacub, Alexei Dymdymarchenko, Shannon Finnegan, Fran Flaherty, Stefana Fratila, Alex Haagaard, Danielle Hyde, Yo-Yo Lin, Leena Raudvee, R.A Walden & Sara Prisma Williston
Curated by Critical Design Lab (Aimi Hamraie, Cassandra Hartblay and Jarah Moesch)

Co-presented with Tangled Art + Disability

Please note that the opening date for #CripRitual at the Doris McCarthy Gallery has been changed from January 21, 2022 to February 8, 2022 as a result of public health measures related to COVID-19. Please see our Visiting page for up-to-date information on the gallery's public hours.

Rituals are transformative: they change us and the world around us, whether through incantation or ceremony, private practice or public protest. Academic theories of ritual hold that rituals are embedded in cultural worlds, and that all cultures have rituals of world-building. With the phrase “crip ritual,” this exhibition puts these theories in conversation with disability culture, as understood by disability justice movements and disability studies. Artworks in the exhibition use ritual to foreground understandings of disabled, crip, d/Deaf, Mad, and Sick people’s experiences. #CripRitual highlights strategies for building crip power: the ceremonies, habits, celebrations, design practices, social scripts, and community agreements, grounded in disabled knowledge and experience, that undergird disability culture.

Classically, anthropologists define rituals as prescribed action that bring people together to recognize a change in social status through references to shared cultural symbols and an appeal to a higher power (the higher power in this sociological definition may be spiritual, performative, political, or administrative). Feminist activists use the word “ritual” in a different but related way, to recognize processes that harness intentional transformative potential. This exhibition seeks to make apparent the shared cultural meanings circulating in crip communities. It recognizes crip rituals as processes and events geared toward building power, strategies for surviving ableism that may be secular, spiritual, or in-between.

We invite visitors to the exhibition — at two galleries and online — to consider what kinds of crip rituals are represented in these works and resonate in their own lives. In these works we find rituals of activism, rituals of care, rituals for managing the way that others perceive you, and rituals of joy and celebration. What’s your #CripRitual? 

#CripRitual is presented concurrently at the Doris McCarthy Gallery and Tangled Art + Disability. Works at Tangled Art + Disability by Cassidy Bankson, Faye Harnest, Earl LeBlanc, Dawn McLeod, Malcolm and Maria Corley, Margeaux Feldman, Maryam Hafizirad, Logan Quinn, Hanna Sheehan, and Jessica Watkin.