Oh Girl, It’s a Boy!

Oh Girl, It’s a Boy!

Kunstverein München e.V.

Kaucyila Brooke, Tit for Twat, seit 1993

October 12, 2007

Oh Girl, It’s a Boy!
20 October – 25 November 2007

Press Date: 18 October 2007, 11am
Opening: 19 October 2007, 7pm

Galeriestr. 4
80539 München


Kaucyila Brooke, Tom Burr, William S. Burroughs, John Cage, Cerith Wyn Evans, Charles Henri Ford, Antonello Faretta/John Giorno, Brion Gysin, Richard Hawkins, Homotopia, Ray Johnson, Zoe Leonard, Simon Leung, Renate Lorenz & Pauline Boudry, Dorit Margreiter, Ariane Müller, Henrik Olesen, Stephen Prina, Danh Vo, Jean-Michel Wicker, Stephen Willats, Akram Zaatari, basso, Clit, Dyke Action Machine, pablo internacional, Straight to Hell.

Oh Girl, It’s a Boy! plays with the title of a former exhibition presented at Kunstverein München in 1994: Oh Boy, It’s a Girl! This exhibition paved the way for a newly emerging debate on gender politics in contemporary art in Germany by amending the traditional frame of feminist criticism of social gender hierarchies and representations with a general perspective on the performative ‘nature’ of sexualized identities and social norms. In other words, the Oh Boy, It’s a Girl! did not only deal with ‘feminisms in art’, but also with a ‘feminism without women’ (Leo Bersani), which was thrown into relief through gender-travesties, gay politics and the deconstruction of normative structures of desire.

Almost 15 years later, the exhibition Oh Girl, It’s a Boy! attempts to reconsider, question and re-evaluate the central aspects of the then underlying debates on ’gender politics’ and ’gender studies’ in the face of a changed and changing political present.

Central for the re-staging of these debates in Oh Girl, It’s a Boy! is the conflict between the fight for recognition and integration, on one hand, and the protection of ‘identitary difference’ on the other. This set of political problems is also reflected on the level of aesthetic rhetorics. Has the successful struggle for recognition and integration displaced difference as a value? Or has the category of the deviation as a political instrument become obsolete, not to the least because it has turned out to be an indispensable marketing-tool of the present lifestyle-economies? What political value could then a new notion of ‘queerness’ have as a ‘political metaphor without a stable referent’ (David L. Eng)?

The exhibition Oh Girl, It’s a Boy! attempts to polemicize and problematize between achievement and loss: How can difference be articulated, if the position from which it could be practised has long ago been incorporated into the social mainstream? In what way could such a position be re-imagined in the context of current conditions? What vocabularies of articulation could thus resist today’s omnipresent dynamics of integration as an expression of incommensurable desire?

Oh Girl, It’s a Boy! will move within the tension between opacity and transparency, refusal and mediation, the struggle for difference and the fight for recognition, in order understand and question the shifts and repositionings of contemporary gender politics.

Co-curated by Henrik Olesen.

The exhibition is sponsored by:
Kulturstiftung des Bundes, Hypo — Kulturstiftung,
Bayerisches Staatsministerium für Wirtschaft, Forschung und Kunst

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October 12, 2007

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