Centro Cultural Montehermoso Kulturunea

Frontal view No. 4 of White British Female,
UK Born. “Feral”, London,
Self portrait, 2007.

January 23, 2008


Fray Zacarías Martínez, 2
01001 Vitoria-Gasteiz SPAIN
00(34) 945 161 830

In January 2008, the Montehermoso Kulturunea Cultural Centre is initiating a new project directed at the production, exhibition and dissemination of art and contemporary thought, coming within the key strategy of working on the triad formed by “art, culture, society”. This innovative project is a pioneer in Spain in applying the policies of gender equality to the field of culture and contemporary art, in addition to the production of projects and specific research to be integrated into the Centre’s annual programmes.

This new scheme is to be launched this coming 25th January with the inauguration of “La Mirada Iracunda / The Furious Gaze”, a group exhibition commissioned by Maura Reilly and Xabier Arakistain.

In order to disseminate and promote an understanding of feminist art and thought, the exhibition will be accompanied by a congress / course in which a number of theorists, artists and cultural and political actors will analyse the issues outlined above.


25th January – 4th May

Curated by Xabier Arakistain (Director of the Montehermoso Kulturunea Cultural Center) and Maura Reilly (Curator of the Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art, Brooklyn Museum)

Artists: Lida Abdul, Pilar Albarracín, Alice Anderson, Txaro Arrazola, Andrea Bowers, Kathe Burkhart, Loulou Cherinet, Dorothy Cross, Lara Favaretto, Coco Fusco, Chitra Ganesh, Caron Geary, Cristina Lucas, Tracey Moffatt, Yurie Nagashima, Itziar Okariz, Mireia Sallarès, Charlotte Schleiffert, A.L. Steiner and
Sophie Whettnall.

The exhibition The Furious Gaze proposes considering feminism as a source of knowledge that is vital for understanding the world we live in, and as an essential framework for going investigating visual works that deal with situations of inequality experienced by women, and women artists in particular, at the beginning of this 21st century.

This international group exhibition presents a collection of works by 20 artists, from different cultural backgrounds, who express their views on the fallacy of sexual equality and on a fury that has no possibility of being displayed. This exhibition connects with the different artistic events which were held in 2007 on both sides of the Atlantic and which explored the relationships between art and feminism, all directed at incorporating feminist avant-garde works into the history of art and at furthering those objectives that are still pending in the feminist political agenda. On this matter, although it is something that is difficult to believe at the beginning of this 21st century, these objectives still include achieving true equality between men
and women.

The exhibition title refers to a question raised in 1996 by the woman philosopher Amelia Valcárcel in La Política de las mujeres – The Politics of Women. For her, the irate expression was the reaction shown by those women who, having reached the age of thirty and having interiorised “the mirage of equality”, then undergo the disagreeable experience of discovering that the equality they thought they enjoyed is actually being shattered into smithereens as it impacts against an unexpected “glass ceiling”, preventing them from climbing higher up the professional ladder; a “glass ceiling” that also covers the field of art, a barrier which women artists come up against throughout their professional careers.

In the past, sexual and gender-based social inequality was interpreted by resorting to a hypothetical “natural inferiority” of women, an interpretation which successive waves of the feminist movement, and in particular the one in the late sixties and seventies in the last century, demonstrated to be politically and theoretically invalid. From that time onwards, and in line with the large-scale incorporation of more women into fields of activity, such as art, which women had hitherto been materially and symbolically prohibited from entering, the notion of the “mirage of equality” was coined. A mirage which consists in assuming that inequality between men and women is a “thing” of the past. However, this assumption is in stark contrast to all the information available and which clearly demonstrates that this inequality still persists even today in each and every field of activity. For example, in the field of art, the persistence of this “mirage of equality” is threatening the feminist agenda still pending and which specifically concerns it. An agenda which is often labelled as being out of fashion, putting human rights on the same level as mere questions of “fashion”.
Xabier Arakistain & Maura Reilly.


February 21st-24th

Although the first demands in favour of gender equality date from the 17th century and despite fights for women’s political and civil rights have been constant since then in western history, three centuries later, gender equality still is a matter pending.

This course focuses on discrimination against women in all fields in order to get deeper into the concrete field of Art. Thus, from Art, philosophy, and culture, the aim of this course is to get nearer the concepts tackled by female artists and curators taking part in the collective exhibition “La mirada iracunda” (the Furious Gaze). Concepts like “the illusion of equality” or “the glass ceiling” will be dealt with in the lectures, while covering different contemporary feminine art strategies.

February the 21st
Feminist philosophy and numbers

- The inequality in numbers. Izaskun Moyua.
- The Glass Ceiling. Carme Adán.
- The mirage of gender equality. Françoise Duroux.
- The furious gaze. Amelia Valcárcel.
- Pannel discussion

February the 22nd
Art and feminism (theory and critic, artistic and curatorial practices)

- Inequality in Art (Revising the Manifiesto ARCO 2005). Amelia Valcárcel, Lourdes Méndez and Xabier Arakistain.
- Can Art History survive Feminism?
- Feminist theory and critic. Katy Deepwell
- The creative act as a feminist action. Françoise Collin.
- Pannel discussion

February the 23rd
Art and feminism (theory and critic, artistic and curatorial practices)

- Feminist curatorial practices. Uta Meta Bauer, Maura Reilly.
- Feminist artistic practices. Ulrike Rosenbach, Suzanne Lacy, Monica Bonvicini.
- Pannel discussion

February the 24th
Recent feminist publications

- Book presentation. Femmes artistas, artistas femmes, by Elisabeth Lebovici and Catherine Gonnard.
- Book presentation. Antropología Feminista, by Lourdes Méndez

Centro Cultural Montehermoso Kulturunea
January 23, 2008

Thank you for your RSVP.

Centro Cultural Montehermoso Kulturunea will be in touch.


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