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Committee on Women in the Arts Picks for May 2014

posted by CAA — May 10, 2014

Each month, CAA’s Committee on Women in the Arts selects the best in feminist art and scholarship. The following exhibitions and events should not be missed. Check the archive of CWA Picks at the bottom of the page, as several museum and gallery shows listed in previous months may still be on view or touring.

May 2014

Regina José Galindo, PIEDRA, 2013, San Paolo, Brasile, Foto di Julio Pantoja / Marlene Ramirez-Cancio, Commissionato e prodotto da Octavo Encuentro Hemisférico del Centro de Estudios de Arte y Política, Courtesy dell’Artista e PrometeoGallery (artwork © Regina José Galindo)

Regina José Galindo: Estoy Viva
Pac/Padiglione d’Arte Contemporanea
Via Palestro, 14, Milan, Italy
March 25–June 8, 2014

Curated by Diego Sileo and Eugenio Viola, this is the first survey of the work of the acclaimed Guatemalan performance artist and poet Regina Jose Galindo (b. 1974). Galindo became first known for political performances in Guatemala in the late 1990s, including her bloody walk from the Congress of Guatemala building to the National Palace in protest against the presidential candidacy of Guatemala’s former dictator, Jose Efrain Rios Montt. In 2005 she received the Golden Lion award at the Venice Biennale, in the category of “artists under 30,” for her video Himenoplastia, a controversial feminist work featuring the artist undergoing surgical reconstruction of her hymen. Although Galindo has organized performances in which she does not take part, her work is distinguished for the political use of her own body in order to tackle a variety of social issues, including cultural traumas, and to denounce the ethical implications of social and cultural injustices, discriminations of race and sex, and, more in general, all kinds of abuses stemming from power. A postidentarian turning of her body into a symbolic evocation of the “social body differentiates the use of her self as the tool of her critique from the autobiographic one of several of her performance art progenitors.”

The exhibition Estoy Viva is divided in five sections that, conceived as permeable categories, illustrate the focus of her critique and poetics: politics, woman, violence, organic, and death. It is titled after the eponymous performance conceived and performed for the opening of the exhibition and featuring the artist naked in a white chilly room on a sort of tombstone, her life proved only by her invisible breath’s imprint on a mirror held by each visitor in front of her nose. The exhibition is accompanied by a film by Cosimo Alemà, a cinematographic reading of her work produced in collaboration with the artist as an emotional key to her work.

Sara VanDerBeek
Museum of Contemporary Art Cleveland
11400 Euclid Avenue, Cleveland, OH
March 7–June 8, 2014

The New York–based photographer Sara VanDerBeek (b. Baltimore, 1976) is known for her formally striking employment of photography, sculpture, and performative gestures that contemplate the construction of images, their relation to objects, and the passage of time. For her solo exhibition at MOCA Cleveland, organized by David Norr, VanDerBeek responded to the city of Cleveland in line with her recent work. She began by testing the relation of photograph to object by photographing architectural objects made in her studio that were in turn turned into photographic objects, but her most recent work explores photographically cities central to American history, such as Baltimore, New Orleans, and Detroit, their personal, historical, and political connotations, as well as their distinct urban features. Engaging the city as a physical site and a system undergoing continuous change, the displayed photographs are combined results of VanDerBeek’s experience of Cleveland’s landscape and cultural monuments within a range of material and cultural shifts.

Hito Steyerl: Junktime (artwork © Hito Steyerl)

Hito Steyerl: Junktime
Home Workspace Program
Ashkal Alwan, Building 110, First Floor, Jisr al Wati, Street 90, Beirut 2066-8421 Lebanon
April 16–May 31, 2014

Ashkal Alwan Home Workspace Program 2013–14 presents Hito Steyerl: Junktime, a series of video installations, screenings, and conversations as part of Creating and Dispersing Universes That Work without Working, led by the resident professors Jalal Toufic and Anton Vidokle. The screening series includes twelve films and video installations developed by Steyerl between 2004 and 2014. Between them is presented How Not to be Seen: A Fucking Didactic Educational .MOV File, launched in the Venice Biennale exhibition Il Palazzo Enciclopedico in 2013.

Born in Munich in 1966, Steyerl has produced a variety of work as a filmmaker and an author in the field of essayist documentary video. With the global circulation of images as her principal topic of interest, she focuses on the intersection of media technology, political violence, and desire. Departing from the digital image and using humor and charm as political means of expression, her films and essays envision a world in which war, genocide, capital flows, class conflicts, and digital detritus seem to take place only partially within images, thus reminding us we are no longer dealing with the virtual but with a “confusing concreteness.”

Eva Koťátková
Art en Valise
April 3–June 28, 2014


In collaboration with the scrap metal gallery in Dublin and the Unit E in Toronto, Art en Valise presents, as its inaugural project, the first solo exhibition of the multimedia Czech artist Eva Koťátková in Canada. Born in Prague (in 1982), where she lives and works today, Koťátková studied at the Academy of Fine Arts and the Academy of Applied Arts in Prague, as well as at the San Francisco Art Institute and the Akademie der Bildenden Künste in Vienna. The youngest-ever winner of the prestigious Jindrich Chalupecky Award for Czech artists, she has widely exhibited internationally, both in solo and group exhibitions, and her work was distinguished as one of the highlights of the exhibition The Encyclopedic Palace in the fifty-fifth Venice Biennale (2013).

Underpinned by her generation’s trauma—the contrast of her freedom to do what she wants as opposed to the suppression that haunted the dreams and desires of her parents generation—Koťátková creates work in various media, including collage, film collage, and “mad” sculptures, that seem to explore the often-failed attempts of people to both conform to and break free of the rules and codes of contemporary societal institutions, including family and school. Kotátková undermines and recontextualizes the values and mechanisms used to regulate our perception of the world, and, in turn, the way we perceive ourselves.

Bringing together drawing, collage, installation, sculpture, and performance, the exhibition investigates Kotátková’s process of deconstructing traditional behavioral systems to produce fragmented models that invite alternative ways of communication, while offering a unique opportunity to explore the idiosyncratic surrealist sensibility that underpins her multimedia practice, signature themes such as the cage, and her use of the body.

Dorothy Iannone, The Next Great Moment In History Is Ours, 1970. Courtesy die Künstlerin, Air de Paris, Paris, und Peres Projects, Berlin, Foto: Joachim Littkemann (artwork © Dorothy Iannone)

Dorothy Iannone: This Sweetness Outside of Time; Paintings, Objects, Books 1959–2014
Berlinische Galerie
Alte Jakobstraße 124–128, 10969 Berlin, Germany
February 20–June 2, 2014

The Berlinische Galerie presents This Sweetness Outside of Time, a major solo exhibition of the Berlin-based American artist Dorothy Iannone. This will be the first extensive retrospective to address the humorous and erotic oeuvre of one of the most unusual women artists of the twentieth and twenty-first century. This Sweetness Outside of Time includes paintings, objects, and books created by the self-taught artist between 1959 and 2014. The aim of this retrospective is to illustrate the radical subjectivity of this unique artist to a wider audience.

A pioneering spirit against censorship and for free love and autonomous female sexuality, Iannone (b. Boston, 1933) occupies a distinct place as an artist in the second half of the twentieth century. Her oeuvre spans more than fifty years and includes painting and visual narrative, autobiographical texts and films. Since the 1960s Iannone continues to go her own way without compromise, artistically and conceptually. She is a pioneer of women’s sexual and intellectual emancipation that draws uncompromisingly on her own life.

Iannone’s art frequently depicts the sexual union between man and woman with an unmistakably mystical dimension rooted in the spiritual and physical union of opposites. Through graphic paintings, object, and books, her visual universe portrays partly clothed and naked figures on bright psychedelic backgrounds of flora, mandalas, and biomorphic patterns in which male and female sexuality celebrate the joy of intimate relationships while subverting traditional gender stereotypes of control an dominance. This Sweetness Outside of Time presents a personal narrative of a passionate pursuit of “ecstatic unity” through transcendence and spirituality.

Tauba Auerbach, The New Ambidextrous Universe I, 2013, plywood, .75 x 96 x 48 inches. Photo: Vegard Kleven courtesy Standard (Oslo) (artwork © Tauba Auerbach)

Tauba Auerbach: The New Ambidextrous Universe
Institute of Contemporary Arts
The Mall, London
SW1Y 5AH, United Kingdom
April 16–June 15, 2014

The Institute of Contemporary Art, London, presents The New Ambidextrous Universe, the first solo exhibition in the United Kingdom of Tauba Auerbach (b. San Francisco, 1981), a New York–based artist who works in sculpture, photography, painting, weaving, prints, artist’s books, and performance. In her early career she created graphic sign paintings, producing abstract renderings of calligraphy and typography. In recent work she has developed a signature practice of ironing creases into her canvases and using industrial paint guns or hand-painted Ben Day dots to create the illusion of three-dimensional folded fabric that Auerbach describes as “Fold” paintings that occupy “a liminal state between two and three dimensions.” The artist plays with perceptions of space, taking a highly innovative approach to mechanical processes and color. For The New Ambidextrous Universe, Auerbach presents newly created sculptures and photographs that translate the scientific principles of symmetry and reflection in pallid plywood as a means “to hint at an alternate, mirror universe.”

2014 Open Engagement Conference

Open Engagement Conference 2014
Queens Museum of Art
New York City Building, Flushing Meadows, Corona Park, Queens, NY 11368
May 16–18, 2014

Open Engagement is a free international conference that sets out to explore various perspectives on art and social practice with the aim to expand the dialogue around socially engaged art making. The conference will examine how economic and social conditions connect to life values and philosophies, situating the everyday in relation to a larger political and social issues that includes labor, economics, food production, ways of being, and education.

Directed and founded by Jen Delos Reyes, the 2014 Open Engagement Conference is copresented by the Queens Museum of Art and A Blade of Grass and takes place in the Hall of Science, the Queens Theater, Immigrant Movement International, and various locations throughout New York. As in previous conferences, Open Engagement will include a partnership with graduate programs featuring art and social engagement. This year this partnership will include a number of New York–based programs led by Social Practice Queens at Queens College, City University of New York. The event also features two keynote presenters, Mierle Laderman Ukeles and J. Morgan Puett, and focuses on the theme of “life/work.” The legacies of these two seminal figures have through their practices defined and redefined how life and work can be the foundation for artistic exploration.

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