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The Female Gaze—On Body, Love, and Sex


Selma Alaçam, Chicks on Speed, Elisa Duca, Sabrina Jung, Claudia Hart, Juliana Cerqueira Leite & Zoë Claire Miller, Eglė Otto, Laure Prouvost, Antje Prust, Anaïs Senli


Isabella Meiffert


Kunsthaus Erfurt, Haus am Lützowplatz/Studiogalerie, Berlin


April – June 2018

The exhibition The Female Gaze – On Body, Love, and Sex brings together ten artists who formulate an independent view of women, the body and sexuality. They develop images and visions of contemporary femininity, which they celebrate with self-confidence - often sensual and full of relish, critical yet forgiving, always serious and sometimes with a pinch of humor. They question gender attributions, power relations and widespread stereotypes, free themselves from the male view of women and transfer this debate into often very personal works. Ideals of beauty are revealed and reduced to absurdity, the female body is used as a projection surface and aging processes are visualized using 3D programs. Lust, eroticism and sexuality are other central themes of the exhibition. The artists work with a variety of media and visitors are invited to immerse themselves in their sensual worlds, in which heteronormativity, hierarchies and classifications dissolve in favor of sensitive observation, fluid forms and an ambiguous visual language.
The Female Gaze – On Body, Love, and Sex I is presented on four floors of the Kunsthaus Erfurt. In addition to immersive video installations by Laure Prouvost (Into all that is here, 2015) and Anaïs Senli (I'm not like you, 2017), body images in oil on canvas by Eglė Otto and a site-specific installation by Juliana Cerqueira Leite & Zoë Claire Miller, which incorporates sculptural body casts and subtly alters the atmosphere of the exhibition space, featured photo and media works by Claudia Hart (Serial Mortification, 2015), Sabrina Jung (Beautiful Women, 2011) and Selma Alaçam (Körperprojektionen, 2010-11), the role attributions , obsession with youth and the female body as a projection screen.
While lust, eroticism and sexuality were central themes in Erfurt, the Berlin part of the exhibition focused on role models and the female body with the social expectations associated with it. Antje Prust and Anaïs Senli have each created new walk-in video works. In Anaïs Senli's video portrait, dramatic consequences of socially established, female ideals of beauty are negotiated; The immersive work Mein Fell Mein Pferd Mein Hase – The Bunny Triptych by Antje Prust is about questioning gender constructions and role models using the example of being a girl. The performative installation Peachness by Elisa Duca is based on the 'Longevity Peach Bun', a Chinese yeast bun that promises eternal youthfulness, and is expressed in a sensual, space-related work that was modified by unannounced performances during the duration of the exhibition. The sculptural body casts by Juliana Cerqueira Leite & Zoë Claire Miller reveal fragmentary yet intimate insights. The photographic triptych Me, Myself & I by Sabrina Jung questions one-dimensional perspectives on women, and in Eglė Otto's paintings the rigid idea of heteronormativity is set in motion by changing perspectives and concepts. The video installation Swallow by Laure Prouvost playfully plays with idyllic references and creates an enjoyable and refreshing update of this art-historical genre.

The two parts of the exhibition The Female Gaze – On Body, Love, and Sex complemented each other  and ran parallel for a month.

The Female Gaze – On Body, Love, and Sex I, Kunsthaus Erfurt, April 6 – June 1, 2018
The Female Gaze – On Body, Love, and Sex II, Haus am Lützowplatz/Studiogalerie, May 4 – June 17, 2018

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