Presentation of the «History of Feminine Art. 1989-2009» edition and the retrospective show of feminine art activism «Evidence of Absent Subject» within the project «Workshop of Feminine Creation. History of Feminine Culture in the Post-Soviet Space. 1989-2009».Curators:
Natalia Kamenetskaya, Oksana Sarkisyan Project coordinators:
Alexei Novoselov, Asya MukhinaCatalogue editors:
Natalia Kamenetskaya, Oksana SarkisyanOrganizers:
Department of Culture of the City of Moscow
Russian Academy of Arts
Moscow Museum of Modern Art
Russian State University of the Humanities
Autonomous Non-profit Institution of Culture «INO»Exhibitions:
The retrospective show includes 1989-2009 exhibition projects: «Woman in Art», «Woman as Subject and Object in Art», «Womanhood and Power», «0 Arcanum», «Working Woman», «Skillful Hands», «Museum of Wishes», «Second Point», «Female Friend», «Hearts of Four», «Russian Feminist» («From the Artist’s Viewpoint» project), «Camera Obscura», «Colloquium», «Working Woman-2 (Report)», «Borders of Gender», «Recollections – Mistakes in Memory», «Bitch of the Century», «Men in My Life», «Non-Sleeping Car», «Self-portrait of the Artist», «Art of Feminine Gender», «Body, Culture and Optical Illusions», «Gender Disturbances», «Egalitism», «Homo Grandis Natu: Age», «Swan Lake», «Kataptron», «Vulnerability»; projects of feminine art groups: VMC, IV height, I Love You, Life; solo projects of the artists T. Antoshina, A. Alchuk, N. Turnova, M. Koldobskaya, video presentation of the Cyber-Femin-Club, artists of the Russian abroad.
The project is to promote the Museum’s ideas of the feminine art in Russia, an abstract idea that is to be realized in the institutional forms, the most appropriate for the further development of the feminine art. The project includes a whole range of events: conferences, web-portal creation, exhibitions, archives and catalogue edition. The museumfication of the feminine art is conjugated with the current socio-cultural processes, assists in development of the discourse of problems of feminine art activism and gender reflections. While analyzing the meaning of the feminine art in the post-Soviet Russia, the project marks out the perspectives in the further work of its support and growth.
Rich traditions of Russian feminism are related to the social equality of women in the Soviet society. But gender theory as an instrument of the socio-cultural analysis has started to spread in Russia during the perestroika time, the period of consolidation of democratic freedoms, pluralism and policy of openness. Women artists have turned out in the forefront of the process. Russia has got to know the Western feminism at the end of its heroic period, but has experienced it brightly and originally. The gender theory has become an effective instrument of deconstruction of totalitarian ideology and forming of the Russian woman’s new identity in the post-Soviet Russia. The actual issues at the turn of the 1990ies are elimination of the Soviet myths and study of private spaces, where sensuality, suppressed by universality of public relations in the Soviet society, is of special importance. They are reflected in the first exhibitions: «Women in Art» (1989) and «ZEN: Women as Subject and Object in Art» (1990), «Working Woman» (1990) and «Working Woman -2 (Report)» (1995), «Womanhood and Power (Ъ)» (1991) and «0 Arcanum» (1992). The exhibitions have been held during the period of rising public interest to the gender theory, resulted in the women art groups. The artists Anna Alchuk and Natalia Kamenetskaya, the art theorists Olesya Turkina and Alla Mitrofanova have played an invaluable role in organization of the first exhibitions. The international magazine «Idiom» in Moscow and the Cyber-Femin-Club in St-Petersburg have started active research, artistic and popularized activities. The feminist art peaked in the 2000ies. It was conditioned by formation of new identities and emergence of the new generation of women artists on the art scene. The exhibitions «Women of Russia» (1997), «Russian Feminist» (1999), «Borders of Gender» project (exhibitions «Borders of Gender» and «Аnamnesis Lapsus Memoriae (Recollections – Mistakes in Memory) » (1999-2000)), «Self-portrait of a Woman Artist» (2002) have reflected the process of self-determination. The gender theory-based artistic strategies have appeared in the art of women artists such as Anna Alchuk («Girl’s doll», «Double Game», «Law’s Figures»), Tatiana Antoshina («Museum of Woman» project), Maria Chuikova, using the image of a reading housewife, Aidan Salakhova, exploring an oriental woman’s world-view, Anna Brochet, ironically reflecting the reality of the women’s gloss magazines. The large exhibition «Art of Feminine Gender» (2002) in the Tretyakov Art Gallery has become recognition of the importance of the feminine art.
In the recent decade, the Russian feminine art has focused its attention on the analysis and deconstruction of stereotypes concerning the image of the woman in contemporary mass media, integration of new connotations in the traditional cultural field: «Body, culture and optical illusions» (2004), «Egalitism» and «Gender Disturbances» (2005), Katoptron (Direction of the mirror) (2007). But organization of the feminine art exhibitions is still an initiative of the women artists themselves. It has no constant institutional support.
With support of: The project is realized thanks to the state financial support, granted under the decree of the President of the Russian Federation of April 14, 2008, No 192-рп.