Anetta Mona Chisa
The first comprehensive exhibition featuring art from Eastern Europe since the 1960s based on the theme of gender roles. 20 years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, the curator Bojana Pejic, along with a team of experts from 24 different countries, has put together a selection of over 400 works including paintings, sculpture, installations, photography, posters, films and videos. With over 200 artists, the exhibition paints an exceptionally diverse picture of a chapter in art history that until recently had been largely unknown and that could also act as an important addition to contemporary gender discourse.
Femininity and Masculinity in the Art of Eastern Europe
Curated by Bojana Pejić
“Gender Check” is the first comprehensive exhibition featuring art from Eastern Europe since the 1960s based on the theme of gender roles. 20 years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, the curator Bojana Pejić, along with a team of experts from 24 different countries, has put together a selection of over 400 works including paintings, sculpture, installations, photography, posters, films and videos. With over 200 artists, the exhibition paints an exceptionally diverse picture of a chapter in art history that until recently had been largely unknown and that could also act as an important addition to contemporary gender discourse.
“Gender Check” follows the changes in the representation of male and female role models in art — especially as they develop under different socio-political conditions. The exhibition, initiated and supported by the ERSTE Foundation, shows the interrelationship between art and history following both a chronological and thematic approach: Up into the 1960s, heroic male and female workers were the dominant figures in the socialist realist tradition of art.
The intended reality- transforming program of a “sexless society” propagated by the state was met with irony and unmasked by unofficial art at the time. Following the period of collective state utopian aesthetics, different individual and more open tendencies could be found on a local level — periodically provoking a hostile response — that created independent spaces for nonconformist art. Beginning in the 1970s, ideals of femininity and masculinity were reexamined beyond the propagandist clichés of the past: Self-portraits and representations of the body and subjectivity began to hint at a newfound self-confidence also reflected in openly displayed sexuality that called heterosexual standards and heroic ideals of masculinity into question. Even many of the abstract pieces worked with anthropomorphic forms and the relationship between the sexes within society.
The emancipation from role models went along with an emancipation from traditional means of expression, as new media and art forms like photography, film, video and performance became increasingly important. At the same time, more and more female artists began to gain in prominence.
With the fall of the wall in 1989 and the end of socialist regimes, new challenges became evident in the face of rising nationalism and neoliberal influences from the west. The newly won freedoms came hand in hand with neoconservative role constraints that soon also became the topic of artworks. A critique of chauvinist, militaristic, misogynist and xenophobic ideologies were expressed in the context of feminist theory. Homosexuality began to be brought up. Clichés about motherhood and traditional religious-inspired ideals of femininity and patriarchal power structures came under critique. To underline the political and public significance of female identity, allusions came to be made to historical allegories of femininity.
A Short List of the Artists:
Anri Sala, Anita Arakelyan, Anna Koushar, Ismet Mujezinović, Šejla Kamerić, Alla Georgieva, Sanja Iveković, Tomislav Gotovac, Běla Kolářová, Veronika Bromová, Mare Tralla, Cornelia Schleime, Fritz Skade, Emese Benczúr, Orshi Drozdik, Tibor Hajas, Erzen Shkololli, Aija Zari a, Zenta Dzividzinska, Egle Rakauskaite, Sofija Veiveryté, Zaneta Vangeli, Valentina Rusu-Ciobanu, Jelena Tomašević, Wojciech Fangor, Katarzyna Kobro, Katarzyna Kozyra, Alexandra Croitoru, Ion Grigorescu, Lia Perjovschi, Anna Alchuck, Oleg Kulik, Vladislav Mamyshev-Monroe, Marina Abramović , Tanja Ostojić, Anetta Mona Chisa/Lucia Tkacova, Jana Želibská, Tadej Pogačar, Duba Sambolec, Arsen Savadov & Oleksandr Kharchenko, Boris Mikhailov and many more.
List of Countries and Researchers:
Albania (Edi Muka), Armenia (Eva Khachatryan), Bosnia und Herzegovina (Dunja Blažević), Bulgaria (Maria Vassileva), Estonia (Katrin Kivimaa), Germany (Angelika Richter), Georgia (Lali Pertenava / Nino Tchogoshvili), Kosovo (Erzen Shkololli), Croatia (Ivana Bago), Latvia (Mara Traumane), Lithuania (Laima Kreivyte), Macedonia (Suzana Milevska), Moldova (Lilia Dragneva), Montenegro (Bojana Pejić), Poland (Izabela Kowalczyk), Rumania (Alina Serban), Russia (Keti Chukrov), Serbia (Branislav Dimitrijević), Slovakia (Zora Rusinova), Slovenia (Urška Jurman), Czech Republic (Martina Pachmanová), Ukraine (Hedwig Saxenhuber), Hungary (Edit András), Belarus (Almira Ousmanova).
The symposium “Reading Gender. Art, Power and Politics of Representation in Eastern Europe” will take place November 13 and 14 in the auditorium of the MUMOK. International experts have been invited to speak about the role of feminist theories in Eastern Europe with respect to a western context, about the significance of transgender positions as well as the new definition and revision of canonic ideals of gender.
Further Information: http://www.gender-check.at
Gender Check was initiated and supported by the ERSTE Foundation
MUMOK partners: Air France, Dorotheum, Uniqa, Wirtschaftskammer Wien, Wittmann
Media partners: Der Standard, Ö1, Compliment and Wienerin.
Press Contact: Eva Engelberger
T +43 1 52500-1400,14500 F+43 1 52500-1300 firstname.lastname@example.org
Opening November 12, 2009, h19
Museumsplatz 1, A 1070 Vienna
Levels 4, 5, 6, 8
Opening HoursThurs. 10-21
Entrance Fee Standard € 9, Reduced € 7.20 or € 6.50