Women and art: You Have Every Right
MANILA, Philippines - Seven women artists have taken over the Ateneo Art Gallery — and just in time for International Women’s Month. They come from Sweden, Berlin, Sydney, Chile, Copenhagen, and Manila.
Artists Maria Cruz, Kiri Dalena, Lizza May David, Annika Eriksson, Claudia Del Fierro, Tracy Moffatt, and Lilibeth Cuenca Rasmussen were brought together for a month-long residency sponsored by the Ateneo de Manila University, in cooperation with Light and Space Contemporary and Green Papaya Art Projects.
Their work culminates in the exhibit You Have Every Right — the artists expressing themselves in video, photography, painting, live performance, and interactive installations.
Exhibit curator Lian Ladia tells Rappler, “All the artists submitted works engaged with thoughts about Manila in relation to their own personal pursuits.
"It is very interesting to observe how these female artists work, relate or communicate knowing their backgrounds and influence in unconsciously addressing diversity; and their effective but unobtrusive strength in articulating questions about notions on power, gender roles, political systems or institutional critique.”
As I watch Tracey Moffatt’s 21-minute video loop called "LOVE," Simone de Beauvoir’s famous line resonates: “One is not born a woman — one becomes one.” The existentialist writer and feminist had asserted how women are hit harder by cultural perceptions. Decades since she died, in more enlightened times, this still rings true.
Moffatt tackles this sentiment with a sense of humor by splicing together cinematic stereotypes of women for full-on kitsch.
There are ladies being romanced, there are plenty being slapped and pushed. Jane Fonda’s character in "Klute" gets her breast awkwardly fondled by a man she’s disgusted with. Another man in another movie threatens, “I’m going to teach you a lesson, bloody bitch!”
There are scenes from the '60s sexploitation film "Faster Pussycat! Kill! Kill!" Then Ellen Ripley of "Alien" fame — one of the strongest female protagonists in science fiction — makes an appearance. After a hard slap, another woman taunts, “Is that how you prove your virility?” The entire 21 minutes were violent, cringe-inducing, jarring — and hilarious.
Pop culture references of a more local flavor come from Filipina artist Maria Cruz. She now divides her time between Manila and Berlin, but for this exhibit she gives homage to the 1970s Filipino films she grew up with — paying special tribute to Celso Ad Castillo’s cult classic "Nympha."
According to Ladia, Cruz’s paintings “explore notions of hysteria and sexuality.”
Times have been better for women since Simone De Beauvoir wrote her angry feminist treatises.
The Philippines has had a woman president. Third wave feminists are more about woman power than anger. Women continue to hold up half the world. We bear the children and still do most of the rearing.
Now we also run governments and corporations. And yet, we still need to be reminded that, yes, we do have every right to be heard.
This latest exhibit at the Ateneo Art Gallery brings together a diverse and compelling blend of women voices.
A series of artist talks have also been programmed for the duration of the exhibit. These are open to the public. For Women’s Day, March 8, Kiri Dalena will be speaking at the Ateneo Library of Women’s Writings (ALIWW) at 2pm. - Rappler.com
(You Have Every Right runs until April 20. The Ateneo Art Gallery is at the Rizal Library Special Collections Building, Ateneo de Manila University, Loyola Heights, Quezon City. For more information, you can call 426-6488.)
March is Women's Month. Read more about inspiring Filipinas here:
- Ann Pamintuan's art in the city
- Edna Vida Froilan: Beyond ballet's legacy
- Nikki Luna: Rebel with a cause
- Margarita Alcantara: From Bamboo Girl to healer
- Marie Alonzo-Snyder: Dance is for everyone
- Miss Universe 2012: Meet Janine Tugonon
- Pinky Amador plays Edith Piaf in new musical
- Monique Wilson and the One Billion Rising movement
- Half-Pinay magician Billy Kidd in new Discovery show
- Let it drip: Pinay star barista's new way of brewing coffee
- Marilou Diaz-Abaya’s limitless horizons
- Lea Salonga to open American Songbook concert series
- Jennifer Hillier faces her fears
In these changing times, courage and clarity become even more important.
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