March 6 – April 11, 2009
Curated by Jan Van Woensel
Assistant Curator: Vanessa Albury
Referencing the United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security, the exhibition focuses on the position of women in global and local sociopolitical contexts. Bringing works by eight Belgian artists together with works by eight American artists, the show critically addresses topics such as religion, sex, identity, trauma and war.
UN-SCR-1325, adopted in 2000, is the first resolution passed by the Security Council that comprehensively addresses the impact of war and conflict on women and women’s contributions to conflict prevention as well as conflict resolution and sustainable peace efforts. The exhibition acknowledges the great importance and value of this resolution. Instead of being illustrations of a political declaration, the individual works examine critical moments of social and psychological defect and disruption. Rather than portraying women as victims, the artists of the exhibition present works that expose the resilient reactions of women to negligence, discrimination and intolerance. Present and past occasions explored in this exhibition include the California Gold Rush, 9/11, the Iraq War, racial issues, domestic violence and sexism.
Many of the works presented in the exhibition find their inspiration in concrete time and place. From the staged repetition of a random action in the work of Joëlle Tuerlinckx, to the notions of space and isolation in the work of Sofie Muller, to the relational complexity between “you” and “me” in Vanessa Albury’s work and to the survival objects of collaborators Kathleen Hanna and Becca Albee: these works reveal how the artists reflect upon the here and now. The exhibition confronts the viewer with physicality, femininity, transgression and action. “If women suffer the impact of conflict disproportionately, they are also the key to the solution of conflict”, said former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan in 2002. The exhibition UN-SCR-1325 demonstrates how women can be an important force for change in a situation of conflict. Through this exhibition we are invited to think consciously about how change can be suggested, accepted and successfully integrated in our societies.
Vanessa Albury, Claire Beckett, Berlinde De Bruyckere, Jen DeNike, Kathleen Hanna & Becca Albee, Karin Hanssen, Kati Heck, Ann Veronica Janssens, Marie-Jo Lafontaine, Marlene McCarty, Sofie Muller, Adrian Piper, Adie Russell, Leah Singer, Joëlle Tuerlinckx, and Cindy Wright.
The exhibition UN-SCR-1325 is sponsored by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Belgium and supported by The Armory Show, Capitalatwork, Yasmine Geukens and Marie-Paule De Vil, and Office Jan Van Woensel.