MUMOK Museum of Modern Art Ludwig Foundation Vienna
“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 shows the interrelationship between art and history following both a chronological and thematic approach: During the 1960s, Socialist Realism portrayed both male and female workers as heroic figures symbolizing the officially propagated ideal of a “genderless society,” while at the same time behind the scenes, this image was unmasked by unofficial art. Beginning in the 1970s and as part of a general trend towards liberalization, masculinity and femininity began to be reassessed outside of the propagandistic clichés of the past. New representations of the body displayed an increasing self-confidence and an open sexuality that called the heterosexual norms and heroic ideals of masculinity into question. With the fall of the wall in 1989, and the growing influence of consumerism from the West, new freedoms were found that however were also accompanied by new neo-conservative role constraints. And with this, a critique of chauvinist, militaristic, misogynist and xenophobic ideologies came to become an important topic in art.
List of the Artists (selection)
Press Conference: 12 November 2009, 10:00 am
13/14 November 2009, 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.
Friday, 13 November
Saturday, 14 November