29 July - 29 October 2017
Centro Cultural Metropolitano
The exhibition La intimidad es política, especially conceived for the MetQUITO by Rosa Martínez, questions how contemporary subjectivities are constructed and how the distribution of power is articulated in relation to sex, gender, social class and ethnicity. It brings into dialogue artworks of 17 artists and collectives from Bolivia, Chile, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Egypt, Spain, USA, Guatemala, Mexico, South Africa and the former Yugoslavia.
INTIMACY IS POLITICAL
Sex, Gender, Language, Power
Curatorial introduction by Rosa Martínez
Through some of the most relevant aesthetic and conceptual proposals of the current artistic scene, the exhibition INTIMACY IS POLITICAL reflects on gender as a social construction that determines the behaviors of the sexed bodies, the discriminatory uses of language and the strategies of power that, by maintaining the domination / submission binomial, produce physical, cultural and ideological violence in both public and private spaces.
INTIMACY IS POLITICAL departs from two historical statements and several contemporary questionings. The first statement “One is not born, but rather becomes, a woman” was formulated by the French philosopher Simone de Beauvoir in her essay "The Second Sex" (1949). Beauvoir affirmed that, from the moment they are born, women are given a mandate of submission that has forced them to occupy historically a dependent and secondary place with respect to men.
The second statement, "Why Have There Been No Great Women Artists?" corresponds to the title of the article that the American historian and professor Linda Nochlin published in 1971 in the magazine Artnews. In this article, Nochlin dissects how the prohibition of attending drawing academies and the assignment of domestic and reproductive labor excluded women from visual creation.
As for the contemporary questionings, they include decolonial, indigenist, transfeminist and queer positions that go beyond classical feminism as a bourgeois ideology, and that question the heteropatriarchal, white and Eurocentric hegemony. The slogan "A woman´s step forward is never a man´s step back", proposed by the National Indigenous Congress in Chiapas, Mexico, opens new perspectives in defense of equality.
Patriarchal societies have established limits between the public and the private, between the social and the domestic, between the personal and the political. These limits –both visible and invisible– have perpetuated the masculine appropriation of knowledge and power and have resulted in the feminization of poverty and sexual violence, which is mostly exercised against women. Today, intersectional feminism questions such structures of domination and exclusion, analyzes how masculinity is affirmed through violence and how the body of women –rented, abused, subjected– is the last frontier of capitalism.
INTIMACY IS POLITICAL questions how contemporary subjectivities are constructed and how the distribution of power is articulated in relation to sex, gender, social class and ethnicity, among other categories. It defends political equality while it celebrates diversity and differences, and it invites us to reflect on ways of living together that respect the planet as a common good and support the search for happiness.
The title of the exhibition, INTIMACY IS POLITICAL, updates the claim used by American feminisms of the 70's, "The personal is political", which is still fully valid today. Ideological structures operate in the realm of intimacy and define the models for sexuality, gender identities, uses of language and ways of exercising power.
The artists and works presented in this exhibition question the structures of exploitation that perpetuate inequality and manifest how art can be a form of protest, of healing, of individual and collective transformation.
© Text: Rosa Martínez
© Photos: Artists