“Indicios de una revuelta artística feminista” [“Signs of a feminist artistic revolt”] A transhistorical dialogue

22 February 2022 - no responses

In recent years, feminist proposals, initiatives, and themes have been increasingly included in the cultural agenda of different spaces and public and private institutions in Mexico and Latin America in general. It seems to ordinary people that it is a manifestation of recent interest in these issues, especially if at the same time we take into account the protests, demands, expressions, and achievements of the feminist movement in Latin America in the last three years. Examples of this include: the graffitiing of the “Angel of Independence” during a march against gender violence on August 16, 2019, in Mexico City; the song and performance of the collective LASTESIS “Un violador en tu camino” [“A rapist in your way”] during the social upheaval in Chile that had a massive global reach; the approval of the decriminalization of abortion in a historic ruling on December 30, 2020, in Argentina; the decriminalization of abortion for rape in Ecuador on April 28, 2021.

Although it is true that lately we can identify a feminist cultural and political boom and increased visibility, it is important to recognize and claim, first of all, that the boom we see today is the consequence of a historical and collective struggle in which many women have been involved. Secondly, the function that social networks have had in the visibility they have achieved and their consequent discussion in the public sphere gives the mobilization and political demands of the feminist movement and its different aspects a different quality to rethink their repertoires, discourses, consequent circulation, reception, and scope. And lastly, it is important to understand that there is still a long way to go to achieve a real feminist structural transformation.

The prelude is useful to me to point out the relevance of the exhibition “Indicios de una revuelta artística feminista” [“Signs of a feminist artistic revolt”], opened on December 14, 2021, curated by Fernanda Ramos at the Museum of Modern Art in Mexico City. The exhibition consisted of an intergenerational dialogue with pioneering artists in Mexican feminist art from the seventies and eighties, with contemporary artists from the same country such as Pola Weiss, Lourdes Grobet, Magali Lara, Sofía Echeverri, Mónica Mayer, Maris Bustamante, Magali Lara, Herminia Dosal, Karen Cordero Reiman, Tlacuilas and Retrateras, and Polvo of Gallina Negra who, through different media, questioned gender stereotypes and the different forms of violence that plagued them in their experience as Latin American women. Artists such as Liz Misterio, Lía García, Nina Hoechtl y Súper Disidencias (Naomi Rincón Gallardo, Jessy Bulbo, Leika Mochán and Alonso Alarcón), Grita Grieta Mía, Gabriela Zubillaga, Yolanda Benalba, Lorena Wolffer, Cerrucha, Dora Bartilotti and Invasorix, have updated these concerns and questions for the 21st century. In the same sense, the works in the exhibition dialogue include items from the archive of the activist and photographer Ana Victoria Jiménez and from the newspaper La Revuelta (Lucero Gonzáles, Eli Bartra, María Brumm, Dominique Guillemet, Graziella Cervantes, Bea Faith, Berta Hiriart, Ángeles Necoechea and Indra Olavarrieta). This meeting of artists and their work contributes to the understanding of feminist art as a form of resistance and personal and collective political practice that transcends stylistic typecasting.

In this way, the exhibition does not intend to create an exhaustive chronological follow-up; rather, it allows us to relate and appreciate, from a transhistorical interest, two moments of Mexican feminist art to detect continuities, resonances and change. Thus, the exhibition puts into practice what we can understand as a feminist political exercise within the museum space, by making political and affective lineages visible, pointing out that feminist work and positioning in the history of art becomes collective, even when we identify practices and specific authors. Feminist art is about the practices, feelings, and thoughts that arise and are nurtured through dialogue and mobilize interest broader than the world of art, confronting traditional narratives of art history in museums that emphasize individual authors and biographies.


By: Unx Pardo Ibarra

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