Power of the Purse

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Power of the Purse


Michele Pred


Michele Pred is a Swedish American conceptual artist whose practice includes sculpture, assemblage, and performance. Her work uncovers the cultural and political meaning behind everyday objects, with a concentration on feminist themes such as equal pay, reproductive rights, and personal security. Pred’s projects also contain social components that drive the conversation into public spaces. Examples include her exploration of the intersection of personal space and security by using airport-confiscated items after 9/11, the cultural background of the fight for reproductive rights, using thousands of expired birth control pills, and the continuing economic and political struggle for women’s rights, represented by her modified vintage handbag editions.

Bio courtesy of the Artist's website: michelepred.com


Created 2015 - Present


All images courtesy of the Artist's website: michelepred.com


This body of work by the Artist Michele Pred consists of individually-sourced vintage purses, each altered to feature politically-charged text. The text is created using an Electroluminescent wire that is lit up using batteries and a small electronic driver that can be set to constant or flash mode. The Artist intent is for the purses to be carried and serve as small-scale political billboards.


Abbreviated Artist Statement:

[...] I chose purses as my canvas as a way to marry the powerful, politically-charged language of today's resistance with representations of women's modern economic power and the possibilities for change that come with it. For me, the use of purses from the mid-twentieth century also calls back to that critical era in the women's movement and reminds us how much power we have to effect meaningful change.

The Power of the Purse title is inspired by the 2017 passage of Republican tax reform and its far-reaching negative implications for women’s rights. It is also a call to action for women, and men, to redouble their efforts to fight the growth of moneyed privileged and show up at the polls.

[...] This body of work is rooted in my formative years growing up in Berkeley, California, during the 70's, where I was exposed to the women’s movement. It is also a continued homage to my father, Allan Pred, who inspired the feminist in me at an early age.

Courtesy of Michele Pred 2019; michelepred.com


Reproductive Rights and Health Justice






Artist: Michele Pred, michelepred.com