22 Women

22 Women

SKMU Sørlandets Kunstmuseum

Alfredo Jaar, 22 Women, 2014. Installation detail.

October 2, 2014

22 Women
A project by Alfredo Jaar

10 October 2014–15 February 2015

Opening: Friday, 10 October 6–9pm

SKMU Sørlandets Kunstmuseum
Skippergata 24B
Hours: Tuesday–Saturday 11–5pm,
Sunday noon–4pm

T (+47) 38 07 49 00
post [​at​] skmu.no


SKMU Sørlandets Kunstmuseum is proud to present 22 Women, a project by Alfredo Jaar.

In the installation at SKMU, 22 miniscule portraits of women are illuminated by a multitude of light projectors. They are Amira Hass (Israel/Palestine), Bertha Oliva (Honduras), Camila Vallejo (Chile), Hawa Abdi (Somalia), Jenni Williams (Zimbabwe), Kalpona Akhter (Bangladesh), Lina Ben Mhenni (Tunisia), Lydia Cacho (Mexico), Mahnaz Mohammadi (Iran), Malalai Joya (Afghanistan), Mathilde Muhindo (Democratic Republic of the Congo), Nawal El Saadawi (Egypt), Ni Yulan (China), Olayinka Koso-Thomas (Nigeria/Sierra Leone), Razan Zaitouneh (Syria), Sandra Gomes Melo (Brazil), Susan Burton (United States), Svetlana Gannushkina (Russia), Ta Phong Tan (Vietnam), Tetyana Chornovol (Ukraine), Vandana Shiva (India), and Zainab Alkhawaja (Bahrain).

Who are these women, and why does Alfredo Jaar, at the same time as spotlighting them, acknowledge their invisibility? This new installation is part of an ongoing project, which the artist has been working on for several years. Three Women, the project’s first iteration, was presented to the public in 2010. It cast light on Graça Machel (Mozambique), Ela Bhatt (India), and Aung San Suu Kyi (Burma)—three truly extraordinary women. Jaar’s goal is to keep expanding the project and eventually shine light on the life and work of at least 100 remarkable women.

The women spotlighted in this project are all brave activists who, despite their outstanding achievements, remain generally unknown to the wider public. Their indispensable work is typically under-recognized, suppressed, or ignored. The artist’s project is a means to pay homage to these women as well as their efforts to overcome social injustice. It both acknowledges and counters the lack of recognition they generally receive. All of them are models of resistance in their respective fields—fighting human rights violations, sexual violence, censorship, and ethnic persecution, to name but a few of their causes.

This exhibition is following up on a series of exhibitions at SKMU which focus on women, equality, and women rights. These projects have been dedicated to women’s art, women’s art history, and issues related to women’s rights and opportunities. In addition to looking critically at our own collection and how it represents women, we have presented several exhibitions of works by distinguished female artists including, in autumn 2013, an exhibition on feminist art in Scandinavia from the 1990s to today.

Reacting to specific events in real life, the artist examines the position that art can and should have in a global social debate. Art can open up possibilities for sharing opinions in ways that mass media and politics cannot. Jaar demonstrates that art concerns far more than aesthetics: it is also a powerful means for communication and, ultimately, a decisive factor of social change. We are challenged to examine our own role and responsibility as members of the world community.

Alfredo Jaar is an artist, architect and filmmaker. He was born in Santiago, Chile in 1956, and has lived in New York since 1982. His installations and public interventions have been shown extensively around the world and have earned him international acclaim. This year a major retrospective of his work took place at the Museum of Contemporary Art Kiasma in Helsinki.

SKMU is pleased to announce that one of the 22 women will be present during the opening of the exhibition. Amira Hass, a writer for the Israeli daily paper Haaretz, is the first journalist to have lived in Palestinian territories and the only one to have spent close to 20 years reporting from there. Her unique position as an Israeli in Palestine as well as her remarkable attempt to objectively criticize abuses from both sides of the conflict have earned her contempt and threats from Israeli, Palestinian, as well as international critics. She will be joining Alfredo Jaar at SKMU on Friday, October 10.


22 Women at SKMU Sørlandets Kunstmuseum
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October 2, 2014

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