FEMINISMS! Avant-Garde of the 1970s
FEMINISMS! brings together the exhibition “The Feminist Avant-Garde of the 1970s. Works from the VERBUND COLLECTION, Vienna” and “Choreographies of Gender” with an extensive programme of activities to highlight the dialogue, continuities and divergences between the radical feminism of the seventies and today’s various forms of feminism.
The seventies marked a turning point in the feminist movement. A new generation took the public stage, turning the world around and shaking up the established symbolic order by means of multiple practices and cultural representations. The resulting art was ground-breaking, both for its use of languages and forms, and for its defiance of gender constructs, the exercise of women’s right to decide about their bodies and the condemnation of gender violence, and the crucial discovery that the personal is also political.
The explosion of freedom and creativity of feminism in the seventies has been a constant source of inspiration for feminisms today that erupted in unprecedented richness and diversity that also affected many other collective emancipation movements. In the present-day context of the rise of conservatism and the cutting back of rights, the FEMINISMS! project sets out to highlight the crucial contributions of the fight for equality and diversity of feminisms that have definitively changed the way we see the world.
The Feminist Avant-Garde of the 1970s. Works from the VERBUND COLLECTION, Vienna
The exhibition highlights the milestones of the avant-garde feminism which, in the seventies, rewrote the canon of the history of art. It presents over 200 works by 73 women artists such as Cindy Sherman, Helena Almeida, Ana Mendieta, Judy Chicago, VALIE EXPORT, Birgit Jürgenssen, Ketty La Rocca, ORLAN, Gina Pane, Martha Rosler and Martha Wilson.
By means of languages and techniques such as photography, cinema, video, performance and happenings, these artists deconstructed the repressive cultural and social constraints of the time, as well as the mechanisms and automatisms of oppression of women. For the first time in the history of art, women artists began, as a group, to take the initiative in the “representation of women” by creating a plurality of feminine identities that they determined.
The CCCB has incorporated eight local artists: Pilar Aymerich, Eugènia Balcells, Mari Chordà, Marisa González, Eulàlia Grau, Fina Miralles, Àngels Ribé and Dorothée Selz.
Choreographies of Gender
Today’s feminisms are too plural to fit into a single narrative. In the almost fifty years that have gone by since the seventies, the subject of feminism has been opened up and the term “gender” introduced to indicate that sexual difference (men/women, masculine/feminine) is not natural but conditioned by culture, and that possible manifestations go beyond these opposing poles. The feminist movement has also increasingly joined forces with other fights against inequality: sexism cannot be taken apart from other forms of domination such as racism, homophobia and transphobia, speciesism, and disrespect for poor people or people who are considered disabled or foreign.
“Choreographies of Gender” aims to reflect some of the many possible figures and movements in the dance of genders. It is based on thematic focuses that complement and enrich the view of the seventies, from a Catalan and Spanish perspective, with the voice of artists who were not yet present on the artistic scene of the time.
The show presents the work of the artists Cabello/Carceller, Lúa Coderch, Lucía Egaña, Nuria Güell, ideadestroyingmuros, María Llopis, Jesús Martínez Oliva, Julia Montilla, O.R.G.I.A, Daniela Ortiz, Linda Porn, María Ruido, Anna Irina Russell iTxe Roimeser, Mireia Sallarès, Toxic Lesbian and Eulàlia Valldosera.
A space of documentación
The route ends with a space dedicated to historical documentation and a section on comics and feminism, “The body as a conflict”, curated by Marika Vila, with original works by Montse Clavé, Laura Pérez Vernetti Núria Pompeia, Mariel Soria and Marika Vila.
Curators/ Gabriele Schor, Marta Segarra