»Vigilance, Struggle, Pride: Through Her Eyes«
Ahlam Shibli, Amak Mahmoodian, April Gertler, Hannah Starkey, Laia Abril, Lua Ribeira, Nina Berman, Nina Mangalanayagam, Nydia Blas, Sandra Vitaljić, Tasneem Alsultan, Tomoko Sawada, Zanele Muholi
Curated by Marina Paulenka
VIGILANCE, STRUGGLE, PRIDE: THROUGH HER EYES presents thirteen women artists whose carefully selected works reflect, question and problematize different cultural expressions and issues related to identity, family and home, sexuality and gender-sex roles, representation of women and politics of the female gaze. Their experiences and research pose questions that enable different intellectual and emotional responses to the existing challenges and issues of today’s society. Different in approach, the works reflect the representation of different cultural expressions, tackling issues such as the construction of identity, family and home, sexuality and gender-sex roles, representation of women, politics of the female gaze and self-perception, labor and social rights as well as victimization of women and children, accepting the inability to fully understand and engage with a given situation, but also inspiring change and creating alternative spaces that welcome equal opportunities, narratives and outcomes. The artists Nina Mangalanayagam, Ahlam Shibli und April Gertler will be present during opening.
Aware of the lack of documentation of her community, Zanele Muholi started working on a series of portraits, aiming, in a way, to rewrite the black queer and trans visual history of South Africa. Brave Beauties represents transwomen and gender non-binary individuals with a celebratory view on the body and politics of expression. Ahlam Shibli has always been intrigued by the topic of home. Her work Death demonstrates the limited ways of making meaning from the representation of those that are absent, namely, people who lost their lives as a result of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. In her video installation We call Her Pulle, Nina Mangalanayagam portrays her intimate relationship with her aunt Pulle. They are two women of two different generations who do not share the language, culture or experience, and she wants to show how difficult it is to understand someone else’s trauma after they had experienced war.
Hannah Starkey’s photographs explore the physical and psychic connections of the individual and her everyday urban surroundings to voyeuristic intrusion. Through her collection of found photographs, collages and drawings. April Gertler examines the juxtapositions and abstractions of various feminist perspectives, which, when combined, give rise to new visions. Embracing the impossibility of fully understanding cultural expressions different from her own, Lua Ribeira seemingly dissolves the idea of femininity and sexuality by recreating scenes of performances, rituals and self-expression of Jamaican dancers. Through myths and delusions, Laia Abril’s research work shows that menstruation is one of the most suppressed issues in the context of human rights, which encompasses education, the economy, the environment, and public health.
Amak Mahmoodian wonders about the real identity and image of the Iranian woman as she collects photographs and fingerprints from birth certificates in order to reveal even the smallest part that makes them special and tells a story about them. Identity and equality are also central to the work of Tomoko Sawada, who through 300 portraits transforms herself into what she could or could not be: various Asian nationalities. Tasneem Alsultan thematises the disconnection between religion and local customs. Following the stories of widows, happy marriages and personal experience, she reveals the fates of Saudi Arabian women, which she inscribes in her diary.
Sandra Vitaljić discusses the victimization of women and the female body, showing us fatal bodily injuries. A sad and incredible story from Nina Berman’s recently published book An Autobiography of Miss Wish introduces us to a 25 years old story of a woman’s turbulent and tortured life. Lacking the space for expressing needs and experiences, Nydia Blas thematises the ways in which society ignores, marginalizes and evaluates individuals beyond the existing, well-defined borders. The artist resorts to creating a physical and allegorical space, exposing the constructs of sexuality, sex and gender.
Opening programme on Thursday May 3rd from 6 pm:
+ Artist Talk with Nina Mangalanayagam, 6 pm (held in English)
+ Guided Curator’s Tour with Marina Paulenka, 8 pm (held in English)
Panel discussion: Thursday, May 17, 7 pm (held in English)
»Your body is a battleground!? Feminist positions in art: Body, Sex, Gender and heteronormativity from 1968 to the digital age«
With Laura Méritt, Katharina Bosse, Francesca Schmidt, and Caroline Würfel.
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