The Museum of Contemporary Art's latest exhibition, "Laurie Simmons: Big Camera/Little Camera," opens on Saturday, February 23, but you may not have to pay full price if you're interested in seeing it. To honor Simmons' tireless work as an activist against societal inequalities, the MCA is offering $12 admission to anyone who has been affected by the gender pay gap. Roughly 81 percent of the museum's regular $15 fee, the discounted rate is meant to represent the average pay gap between men and women in the U.S.
MCA director Madeleine Grynsztejn came up with the idea, drawing inspiration from Simmons’ “activism to expose inequality across the lines of gender, sexuality and race," as she puts it. Curated by Andrea Karnes for the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, the exhibit explores Simmons' career and includes examples of her photography, a sculpture installation and three films, including one that stars Meryl Streep.
"No one has a sharper understanding of how contemporary U.S. culture is dominated by the commodities and images we consume, and that consumption, in turn, creates and perpetuates real and imagined identities in our society," says MCA senior curator Naomi Beckwith. "Laurie has used fictional scenes to mirror and unsettle the American dream of prosperity and domesticity. Today, her work is just as poignant as when she first developed her mature style using props and dolls as stand-ins for people and places."
Reduced admission for anyone affected by the gender pay gap is available during the entire run of “Big Camera/Little Camera,” which will be on display at the MCA through May 5. The institution also offers free admission to children 18 and under, as well as free museum days for Illinois residents every Tuesday.