Prototypes for a Feminist Future
May 4th – 31st, Bien Cuadrado Gallery, Barcelona.
Featuring works by Mariadela Araujo, Ana Huerta, Irma Marco, Kiara Mohamed, Katy B Plummer, Marina Rubio and Raechel Teitelbaum.
“We keep losing women to participation in the system, instead of where they should be, which is insubordination. The idea that you can make the strongest impact by influencing culture from the inside is naive at best, disingenuous at worst.” - Why I am Not a Feminist, Jessa Crispin
Feminism is currently a very confused thing.
On the one hand, feminism has become a buzzword used by global fashion brands to sell clothing with slogans proclaiming female solidarity. This is seemingly regardless of the ethics of mass-produced t-shirts which are predominantly made by women* working in horribly impoverished conditions . Wearing a t-shirt with a feminist slogan that was made by exploited women has nothing to do with empowerment and everything to do with perpetuating women’s subjugation.
Not only does Ivanka Trump claim to be a feminist, but also, that her father Donald Trump - a self confessed sexual abuser - is one as well. The Spanish centre right party Ciudadanos has produced a “liberal feminist” manifesto that doesn’t offer any initiatives or answers, just hollow soundbites and the repetitive use of the word “equality”.
On the other side of the spectrum, there is a yearning for a radical feminism that will demand institutional changes not as insiders but as the dissenting opposition. At the same time, radical feminism is also accused of refusing the right of sexual agency for women and, more recently, many of the champions of 2nd wave feminism have refused to acknowledge transgender and non binary people’s existence, let alone their rights.
In order to navigate through this messy tangle, I believe we need an intersectional movement that doesn’t negate the experiences of any that refer to themselves as women/wimmin/womyn/womxn, but instead implements the simple yet progressive act of open-minded listening. We need to be brave and open to criticism, our capacity for growth should not be restricted by our fragility. We need a living ideology because culture and society are fluid and ever evolving.
Because of this, it is clear that resistance and insubordination are needed more than ever. It is no longer enough to be offered a seat at the table or to dream of smashing the glass ceiling; these patriarchal structures were not built for us and it is time to create our own. We need to start working on the prototypes.
With this in mind, 7 womxn artists (5 local and 2 international) have been asked to work on this exhibition as a precursor to opening the new Tangent Projects Gallery, which will open in June 2019 with a run of solo shows and projects by these same womxn artists.
*Young women make up approximately two thirds of garment workers worldwide and 80% of them are aged between 18-24. They are some of the most underpaid workers in the world, with most barely making subsistence level incomes.
Mariadela Araujo is a freelance textile artist and fashion designer from Caracas that lives and works in Barcelona. Her style is best described as bold, abstract, instinctive, shape obsessive with an analytical study of colour composition that reaches abstract expressionism but with a Caribbean twist.
Academically trained in fashion design and weaving techniques, Mariadela's artwork traverses artworks, bespoke pieces and large format installations. Having lived and worked “pretty much everywhere” in her 10-year career (Caracas, Helsinki, Rome, Barcelona), every single one of these experiences shaped her as a creative person.
Having studied for her Degree in Fine Arts at Instituto Universitario de Estudios Superiores de Artes Plásticas Armando Reverón in Caracas, Mariadela Araujo continued her formal education in Rome (Fashion Design, Accademia Koefia and Fashion Stylist - Master, IED) and Barcelona (Weaving Techniques, Escola Textil Terraninya). She has shown both collectively and individually, including in Limited Edition Be (Mouscron), Artnit Campos Art Festival (Mallorca) and Art Festival Gargar (Penelles) among others.
After running several important projects; In 2018 Mariadela opened her own studio in Barcelona, working on art pieces and developing products, installations and international collaborations. Mariadela is also a weaving teacher and regularly holds classes and courses out of her studio in Barcelona.
Feminism: An attitude that does not understand prejudices, impositions or insecurities motivated by ones gender.
I began my education in apparent equality between family, friends and companions. However, my verbs have since taken on new meaning, infiltrated by obligations and doubts; the nouns accompanied by possessive determiners. The adjectives seldom positive. An education contorted.
I live in a modern society, technologically advanced, diverse, liberated. Logic shows me no differences, rationally I am your equal. But is this true, could this be our reality?
The construction of a woman like building a work of art, requires strength, sanity and resilience. Broken and reconstructed, time after time. Moulded into a system designed for someone else. A system where stereotype still prevails.
Invisibilities focuses on the destructive situations experienced every single day. It depicts the fragility that we all feel and the strength needed to build a new feminist future.”
From formal training in product design, Ana Huerta now applies much of her skill and energy to more expressive projects. Her work seeks to influence the individual through by affecting their perception the piece relative to the surrounding environment. Always looking to provoke an emotional response from her creative output.
Having completed her degree in Design at Escuela Elisava, Barcelona, Ana Huerta continued her professional learning whilst working at various different design studios in Barcelona, Madrid, Rekjavik and London. Meanwhile collaborating with numerous artists to create installations across Spain and Italy, including several editions of Art Nit Campos (Mallorca) and Fortyfourteen (Lucca). Her varied experience gives an appreciation of numerous aesthetic cultures and media, enabling her to draw on an eclectic range of materials and methodologies in her work.
Working with pre-existing elements (sounds, images, speeches or particular contexts), Irma Marco adds new interpretations to materials that already have their own content.
With an interest in the plurality with which events are narrated and recorded, and Irma's attraction to spaces, collectives and non-hegemonic ideas - as well as the way their discourses can question that which is established - she utilises noise, appropriationism, collaboration and exchange as combined strategies to create new layers of meaning and to open a space for possibilities.
Focusing on site-specific projects, Irma uses context as a fundamental form of inquiry in order to define processes and results. A multidisciplinary artist, her practice moves between sound experimentation, installation, actions and interventions within a space or editorial object, among others.
Originally from Valencia, Irma Marco lives and works in Barcelona. She has exhibited, and participated, in Centro de Desarrollo de las Artes Visuales (Havana), Museo de Arte Moderno de Santo Domingo, Matadero, CA2M, Fundación Telefónica (Madrid), Centre del Carme (Valencia), Bòlit Centre d'Art Contemporani (Girona), MACBA, SWAB Art Fair, Sónar Festival, Arts Santa Mónica and Primavera Pro (Barcelona) among others.
She is currently a resident artist at Fabra i Coats (Barcelona) and is studying for her PhD in Advanced Studies in Artistic Productions (University of Barcelona).
Letters to You are hand written wax letters written by Kiara Mohamed. This project is about sending love, human appreciation and kindness out to the world. In a world that is trying to divide us, it is important more than ever than we show empathy, that we reach other to one another and love anonymously. These letters are physical manifestation of these ideas.
Kiara is a multidisciplinary artist based in Toxteth, Liverpool. Her work focuses on identity, social issues and the role art plays in our lives in addressing these issues. Her art can be created with photography, poetry, film or even drone photography to comment on post-colonial ideas and reflect on her background, feminist ideology and and the community that she lives in. She is always looking to push the envelope on the idea of race, gender, community and social responsibility.
Kiara Mohamed completed and graduated from her Bachelor of Arts, in Arts and Humanities, from Liverpool Hope University in 2015. She has performed and exhibited her work in various different galleries and spaces in the UK including Output Gallery, Tate Liverpool, The World Transformed Festival (Liverpool) and the British Museum (London). She is co-founder of Black Liver Birds, a podcast for and by black women from Liverpool, and team member of ROOT-ed Zine, a self-published publication that aims to promote, support and inspire creative people of colour within the North West of England. Kiara has also helped to curate exhibitions for Savera UK, a UK based charity that helps survivors of forced marriage and honour based violence. Kiara has two young daughters that she bringing up to be total badasses.
Katy B Plummer
“A Ghost receives a phone call. A voice whispers urgently about poisoning a well. The Ghost feels perhaps unready to heed this call, but finds the internal wherewithal to perform the mysterious task. The World is urgently calling us to confront and dismantle toxic and oppressive systems. We may not know what it will look like on the other side, but dismantle them we must.”
Katy B Plummer has a video, performance and installation practice. She uses the grand sweep of west-, euro- and male-centric history as a kind of raw narrative material, pulling it apart and sorting its threads, repurposing cultural forms, posing her own sweaty existential questions. She is interested in personal revolution, violence and witchcraft as legitimate political strategies. She uses domestic textiles and the aesthetics of high-school theatre as energetic containers for volatile ideological material and unstable emotional assemblages. She lives and works on land owned by the Guringai and Gadigal people of the Eora Nation.
Katy B Plummer has a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of New South Wales and a Master of Fine Arts from the School of Visual Arts in New York. She has shown in many solo and group exhibitions including in Galerie Pompom, AIRspace Projects (Sydney), Incinerator Art Space (Willoughby), Borderline Art Space (Iasi), PS122 (New York) and Bien Cuadrado (Barcelona) to name a few. Some of her video works were shown in the Play section of Fair., the alternative non-commercial women artists art fair, at Miami Art Week 2017.
Through her appreciation of industrial, found, reproduced or manipulated objects, Marina Rubio’s work serves to generate speculation about a reality in which the materials are forcefully displayed.
After delving into the field of ceramics, the playful nature of Marina's work has been accentuated by her decision to experiment with the found, the random and the improvised; whilst looking for new ways to understand the relationships between the work, the physical body of the viewer and the space in which they inhabit.
In her most recent work, Marina plays with construction systems with objects that are structured and interrelated, which generates contradicting dialogues arising from the same material. She interprets the material as fluid and as a living body. Her process has a lot to do with letting go of control while being in a constant state of learning through the material.
Marina Rubio started her artistic training, specialising in sculpture, in her home town of Zaragoza. She then continued her formal education with a degree in Fine Arts from the University of Barcelona and a Masters of Ceramics in the University of the Basque Country. She has exhibited both individually and collectively, including - IAACC Pablo Serrano, CERCO (Zaragoza), Fabra i Coats (Barcelona), the National Ceramics Museum (Valencia), Can Mario (Palafrugell) among others. She has also taken part in the Biennal of Casablanca, Nit dels Museus (Barcelona) and was part of the Ephemeral programme of SWAB Fair in 2018.
She has been a resident artist at La Escoscesa since 2017.
Raechel Teitelbaum is primarily interested in using video and installation to visualize queer and non-binary consciousness, ecologies, and futures. Using DIY and new media techniques, as well as performance, poetry, costume and set design, their work explores these themes of gender, sexuality, ecology, and post humanism to question what is natural and normal in terms of interactions among humans, plants, animals, and technology. In this piece, ‘Birth of the Second Earth’, Raechel creates a new version of the bible that is performed by a ‘future muther mary’, telling the story of the genesis of a post-human, non-dualistic earth after our current earth is destroyed by the humans. Thus, a new, dreamlike version of the earth is birthed which encompasses all types of creatures, organisms, and life and encourages their equal treatment. Using a queer narrative, Raechel's work deconstructs our current perception of the human as being at the top of the hierarchy and places the emphasis on protecting the earth and its creatures and birthing new from old.
A visual artist born in Syracuse, New York, Raechel is currently based in Barcelona. After studying in both Spain and the United States for their undergraduate degree, they graduated from Purchase College with a bachelor's degree in 'Media, Society, and the Arts’, an interdisciplinary major that combines fine arts, anthropology, and media studies. Raechel is presently enrolled in their final year at Metáfora Studio Arts Programs, where they will complete an advanced studio arts diploma. Raechel has shown their artwork at a variety of a galleries in Barcelona including Homesession gallery and Mutuo , and will present their work in a group exhibition at Ángels Barcelona Espai 2, in May. In September 2019, they will be attending Goldsmiths, University of London, for a Master in Digital Media.