Lida Abdul, Pilar Albarracín, Alice
Anderson, Txaro Arrazola, Andrea Bowers, Kathe Burkhart, Loulou
Cherinet, Dorothy Cross, Lara Favaretto, Coco Fusco, Chitra Ganesh,
Caron Geary, Cristina Lucas, Tracey Moffatt, Yurie Nagashima, Itziar
Okariz, Mireia Sallarès, Charlotte Schleiffert, A.L. Steiner, Sophie
Curated by Xabier Arakistain and Maura Reilly
The exhibition The Furious Gaze proposes considering feminism as a source of knowledge that is vital for understanding the world we live in, and as an essential framework for investigating visual works that deal with situations of inequality experienced by women, and women artists in particular, at the beginning of this 21st century.
This international group exhibition presents a collection of works by 20 artists, from different cultural backgrounds, who express their views on the fallacy of sexual equality and on a fury that has no possibility of being displayed. This exhibition connects with the different artistic events which were held in 2007 on both sides of the Atlantic and which explored the relationships between art and feminism, all directed at incorporating feminist avant-garde works into the history of art and at furthering those objectives that are still pending in the feminist political agenda. On this matter, although it is something that is difficult to believe at the beginning of this 21st century, these objectives still include achieving true equality between men and women.
The exhibition title refers to a question raised in 1996 by the philosopher Amelia Valcárcel in La Política de las mujeres – The Politics of Women. For her, the irate expression was the reaction shown by those women who, having reached the age of thirty and having interiorised “the mirage of equality”, then undergo the disagreeable experience of discovering that the equality they thought they enjoyed is actually being shattered into smithereens as it impacts against an unexpected “glass ceiling”, preventing them from climbing higher up the professional ladder; a “glass ceiling” that also covers the field of art, a barrier which women artists come up against throughout their professional careers.
In the past, sexual and gender-based social inequality was interpreted by resorting to a hypothetical “natural inferiority” of women, an interpretation which successive waves of the feminist movement, and in particular the one in the late sixties and seventies in the last century, demonstrated to be politically and theoretically invalid. From that time onwards, and in line with the large-scale incorporation of more women into fields of activity, such as art, which women had hitherto been materially and symbolically prohibited from entering, the notion of the “mirage of equality” was coined.
A mirage which consists in assuming that inequality between men and women is a “thing” of the past. However, this assumption is in stark contrast to all the information available and which clearly demonstrates that this inequality still persists even today in each and every field of activity. For example, in the field of art, the persistence of this “mirage of equality” is threatening the feminist agenda still pending and which specifically concerns it. An agenda which is often labelled as being out of fashion, putting human rights on the same level as mere questions of “fashion”.
In order to disseminate and promote an understanding of feminist art and thought, the exhibition will be accompanied by a congress / course in which a number of theorists, artists and cultural and political actors will analyse the issues outlined above.
X.A. + M.R.