PHotoEspaña: WOMAN: The Feminist Avant-Garde from the 1970s

Birgit Jürgenssen, Untitled (Self with Little Fur), 1974/77
© Estate of Birgit Jürgenssen / VBK, Vienna, 2012 / Sammlung Vebund, Vienna

Hosted at the Círculo de Bellas Artes in Madrid and part of the PHotoEspaña International Festival of Photography and Visual Arts, WOMAN: The Feminist Avant-Garde from the 1970s features a fascinating selection of over 200 photographs and video-based pieces from the Sammlung Verbund collection in Austria. The 21 exhibiting artists whose multi-layered practices radically changed female iconography and broadened the feminist debate include VALIE EXPORT, Sanja Ivekovic, Suzanne Lacy, Martha Rosler, Cindy Sherman and Helena Almeida.

These second-wave feminists broke with art history, particularly with the notion that the image of women is to be constructed by men. Exploring their minds and bodies and determining their own feminine identities, the feminist avant-garde established a new image of women. Curated by Vienna-born Gabriele Shor, the group show provides a glimpse into how women in the 70s tackled the construction of identity in a provocative, ironic and poetic manner.
PHotoEspaña 2013: 5 June – 28 July

Ana Mendieta, Untitled (Glass on Body Imprints), 1972/1997
© Estate Ana Mendieta / Sammlung Verbund, Vienna

Hannah Wilke, S.O.S., 1975
Starification object series. One of 32 playing cards from mastication box
© VBK, Vienna, 2012 / Courtesy of Ronald Feldman Fine Arts, New York / Sammlung Verbund, Vienna

Francesca Woodman, Self Portrait Talking to Vince, 1975/78
© Estate Francesca Woodman / Sammlung Verbund, Vienna

Renate Bertlmann, Zärtliche Pantomine (Tender Pantomine), 1976
© Renate Bertlmann / Sammlung Verbund, Vienna