press release

The figure of women depicted as victims of violence, disseminated by the media and visual industries, does not reveal the structural and historical violence of patriarchal and archaic societies whose violent models and practices are nowadays perpetuated and carried out in many forms. Therefore, violence that explodes when women are separated from the hierarchy and the order imposed, both in democratic societies and in authoritarian regimes, raises specific problems that cannot be tackled from identity positions, but rather by criticising the power structures with their mechanisms, technologies and systems to produce, control and distribute violence (including a female imaginary of body ideals, affinities, desires and emotional relationships). The policies and laws against gender violence often act on "the facts" and avoid the symbolic, visual and narrative dimension of what is represented and transmitted. The management of violence by the media and the visual industries disseminate and convert it into a show, by avoiding its relationship with poverty and corruption. Indifference, silence and invisibility are the dimensions the enable and reproduce violence.

In the 1960s, feminists used aesthetics and artistic practices to claim their identity, sexuality and bodies. By 1990s, the emphasis had shifted to denouncing violence and to the social and political struggle, where a woman's body was seen as the crossroads of economic, military, religious, cultural and social practices. The artistic issued has moved from the idea of the "private" body to that of the "state" body, by configuring imaginary technologies and the social, political, symbolic and geographical maps of violence.

AGAINST VIOLENCE. Art practices to combat the aggression against women tackles, in an interrelation of attitudes, media and formats, a diversity of trans/politics and artistic perspectives that, either using or challenging the fictions of violence, or by countering memory, affinities and a non-fragmented experience of time and space with the objectivity and disconnection of the ideological depictions, produces the subversion of the meaning and of the narratives and shows the complicity of the issuer/enforcer/consumer with violence. The realism of the visual industries is denied by an artistic approach that goes beyond mere appearances and shows another way of living, by revealing that images and techniques that have invested in women, the political silence that has ignored them, the invisibility to which they have been condemned, the pain inflicted, the threat that has coerced them to which society has consented or looked on with indifference. Art questions the symbolic and imaginary image of women as victims and challenges the meaning - submission, impotence, suffering - which is socially assigned to them, but challenging violence by means of trans/political actions that subvert the meaning and block their images and depictions.

Artists such as Alicia Framis, Regina José Galindo and Beth Moysés put on urban performances as public actions that bring together women who have been victims of domestic violence and social aggression and highlight the game between the hidden and the public, or of the ilk of Coco Fusco, denounce the violence that they face at work, poverty and emigration, that is symbolically and legally agreed and silenced by the media and public opinion. In their videos and performances, Cristina Lucas, Nazan Azeri and Sükran Moral reveal the historical, cultural and religious violence of hypermasculinity against women, while Shoja Azari and Stephan Constantinescu show the silence, indifference, fear and possibility of society. Alexandra Ranner, Maya Bayevic and Paula Rego denounce its privacy in the domestic setting and the hidden social structures that it causes, while Teresa Serrano shows the circularity of the affective and symbolic structure of gender relations and sexual abuse, and Sükran Moral questions the very role of women in the traditional transmission of violence. The drawings of Louise Bourgeois and Azucena Vieites demand fragmentation and subjectivity instead of a total vision and the determinism of historical and cultural constructs. The comics of Phoebe Gloekner, Debbie Dreschler, Roberta Gregory, Mary Fleener and Claire Bretécher, among others, demand transgression, sexuality and freedom instead of family abuse and traumatic memory, while Jorge de Juan & Luis Iglesias, Isabel Franc & Susana Martín, Carlos Giménez, Jean-Marc Reiser, Jessica Abel, Marjane Satrapi, Ange Feuchtenberger and Y. Tatsumi consider the difficulties faced by women and the strength that they develop not to be victims of the stereotypes of power and male violence - present, as a counterpoint, in the Colección Gasca comics.

Piedad Solans was awarded the V Carmen de Burgos Prize for Feminist Dissemination, from the Institute of Historical Studies of Women (University of Malaga), 1997, for her Feminism and Power article.

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AGAINST VIOLENCE. Art practices to combat the violence against women
Kurator: Piedad Solans

Künstler: Shoja Azari, Nazan Azeri, Maja Bajevic, Louise Bourgeois, Stefan Constantinescu, Alicia Framis, Coco Fusco, Regina Jose Galindo, Cristina Lucas, Sükran Moral, Beth Moyses, Alexandra Ranner, Paula Rego, Teresa Serrano, Azucena Vieites