Articles with tag: feminist curating

05/05/2023 _Perspective

How to Curate a Sexist yet Canonized Artwork?

A Model for Feminist Curating of Collections

Exhibition View (body, self-portrait, vagina (pussy) Exhibition View body Exhibition view vagina (pussy) rape Vagina (Pussy) Section. Photo Credit: Taya Hanauer. rape section exhibition view old woman (cat lady) section self-portrait 1_Introduction P is for Pussy [1] was an exhibition and research project curated by myself in the project space of the artist community The Bookstore in Amsterdam West, in April 2017. It displayed select artworks from the collection of Het Kattenkabinet (The Cat Cabinet) juxtaposed with prints of famous artworks from the canonized, Western history of art as well as textual narrations, and intertwined academic, curatorial, and artistic approaches. Its aim was to re-read the institutionalized art historical narrative of the artistic turn to Modernism as an oppressive turn through representations of women and cats. The combination of these three approaches was curatorially unconventional and uniquely tailored to deal with the subject of sexist [2] representations in the history and tradition of Western art. This _Perspective reflects upon the curatorial methodology employed in the exhibition and how it can be used beyond the particular subject dealt with as a way of working with problematic [3] histories and content as they are manifested in archives, collections, and art histories. The proposed strategy is conceptual rather than a prescriptive step-by-step method. It entails a double perspective in the curatorial approach to artworks as both cultural artefacts of specific histories and subject positions, as well as sensorially provoking objects, which therefore can be analyzed in terms of underlying patterns of cultural values [4] rather than only as unique particularities. The contribution of this methodology is in rendering visible oppressive meanings and power structures naturalized in art in a way which contextualizes them rather than either censors or furthers their representational meanings. In particular, this is accomplished through redirecting the viewer’s attention to frameworks of seeing that influence artistic creation and interpretation. The act of visibilizing in this framework is not equal to a simple revealing of sorts but is rather a constructive act which holds the potential to re-narrate curated histories. The contribution of this _Perspective lies also in positioning authorial curating and determinate arguments as a feminist strategy which is co-existent with aspects of indeterminacy and ambiguity characterizing many other feminist curatorial stances. This proposed curatorial method allows for the coexistence, and furthermore, co-dependence of both determinate arguments and the indeterminate or ambiguous for effective social critique in visual art. As…