The Cool Out

Renata Poljak, The View, 2005

"Cooling Out, The Paradox of Feminism" is up now at Kunsthaus Basel 8.13.2006-10.01.2006

quote: from the Kunsthaus Show Announcement

"According to Peggy Phelan, feminism is based on the conviction that gender constitutes a fundamental category in our social systems. The latter are predicated on hierarchical patterns that normally put men first and women second, giving preference to the male segment of the population in a variety of fields. Even though many demands made by the feminist movement have clearly been met, the cultural image of women still leaves a lot to be desired. There is a certain backlash regarding the image of women: In a time of crisis in employment markets outdated concepts on the division of labor continue to hold sway, as demands for autonomy and full equality are not given the weight they deserve. To what an extent do our societies, men and women alike, still consider the female body the basis of women’s identity?"
"After all, critical feminist artists such as Hannah Wilke or Nancy Spero have triggered a “mainstreaming” of sexuality in art. The exhibition revolves around these questions. It looks into approaches currently taken by young female “post-feminist” artists to this issue, and it explores whether or not ambivalence or rejection of feminism can also be found in them. How is feminism connoted? Are distinctions made between “difference-based feminism” and its constructivist embodiments, i.e. between essentialist interpretations of femininity and discursive-relativistic methodologies that pursue no political or identity-related agenda?"

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