I’m excited that my work will be included in the “Awesome Womxn” group- exhibition curated by Dr. Adele Adendorff, hosted by the Association of Arts in Pretoria in celebration of Women’s month 2019.
Awesome Womxn series
from the curator:
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (2014) explains in her book, We should all be feminists, that “single stories” curtail and inform our thinking, “especially about Africa.” Adichie urges us to “unlearn” the lessons of our youth and, instead, foster a new narrative where we may all strive to be as we are.
This year’s exhibition is viewed as such an open platform whereby gender, in particular, womxn, are celebrated, questioned, showcased and narrated to offer new, multiple stories of who we are. The appellation, womxn, is an open-ended and inclusive term that offers alternative narratives for all who identify with the intersectional politics of womxn. The exhibition will be accompanied by a digital catalogue.
Inanna and Pre-Her-Storic
meanwhile … The word “Womxn” made me think of:
The X-men (superheroes) … which made me think of
Manga (Japanese comics)…but actually a “mangled Manga”, since I added animal heads onto the ‘Manga’ inspired bodies of these figures. I also find it noteworthy that the word Manga, contains “man’ (tongue in the cheek, cheekiness)
I decided to work on a series of:
Toys/Dolls…because I thought of …
Simone de Beauvoir:
“…one is not born but rather becomes a woman”. In childhood there is no difference between the sexes in terms of what they are capable. Differentiation begins when boys are told of their superiority and how they need to prepare for the difficult, heroic path ahead. While pride in his sex is pointed out to him by adults, the girl’s sexual anatomy does not receive the same reverence. Urinating also produces a sexual difference: for the boy it is a game, but for the girl a shameful and inconvenient procedure. Even if a girl has no ‘penis envy’ the presence of an organ that can be seen and grasped helps him to identify himself and it becomes a kind of alter ego. For the girl it is the doll which becomes the alter ego. There is really no “maternal instinct”, de Beauvoir argues, but through play with the doll she ascertains that the care of the children falls on the mother, and “thus her vocation is powerfully impressed upon her.”
“I deny that they establish for her a fixed and inevitable destiny”. Biology is not reason enough for male/female inequality, or grounds for woman being cast as ‘Other’, and her physicality does not condemn her to remain subordinate. Moreover, while animals can be studied as static organisms, it is much harder to make assessments of people as male or female human beings, since our sex does not define us in the way that it does other animals.
I also looked at Comparitive psychology: Comparative psychology is the study of animals in order to find out about humans. The underlying assumption is that to some degree the laws of behavior are the same for all species and that therefore knowledge gained by studying rats, dogs, cats and other animals can be generalised to humans.
So I used toys from my own collection as a starting point:
I always thought that Bambi was female, but while paging through a book I noticed it’s a he! Also noteworthy is that my youngest son says there is a Bambi book at school, but “its for girls”
So please meet…
Bamboozle – Cotton and acrylic thread, rubber, polyester fiber filling, 61 x 20 x 5cm
BAMBOOZLE (title of the work below) and I like that the word means: to trick or deceive someone, often by confusing them
No Action Hero – Cotton and acrylic thread, rubber, polyester fiber filling, 41 x 15 x 5 cm
NO ACTION HERO
In Old English sources, the word man was neuter. One of its meanings was similar to the modern English usage of “one” as a gender-neutral indefinite pronoun (compare with mankind (man + kind), which means the human race).
Inanna – Cotton and acrylic thread, rubber, polyester fiber filling, 46 x 13 x 5cm
Inanna is an ancient Mesopotamian goddess associated with love, beauty, sex, desire, fertility, war, justice, and political power. She was later worshipped under the name Ishtar. The word Ishtar made me think of Easter hence the bunny(fertility), but Inanna’s most prominent symbol is actually the lion. Inanna was believed to have stolen the mes, which represented all positive and negative aspects of civilization,
Inanna has become an important figure in modern feminist theory . Simone de Beauvoir, in her book The Second Sex (1949), argues that Inanna, along with other powerful female deities from antiquity, have been marginalized by modern culture in favor of male deities
Inanna is also an important figure in modern BDSM culture. Author and historian Anne O. Nomis has cited the portrayal of Inanna in the myth of Inanna and Ebih as an early example of the dominatrix archetype, characterizing her as a powerful female who forces gods and men into submission to her. (source consulted: Wikipedia)
Skunk- a- la – Nancy
Cotton and acrylic thread, rubber, polyester fiber filling, 53 x 17 x 5cm
SKUNK a la NANCY:
Her name is inspired by the band: Skunk Anansie : a “clit-rock” group, which Allmusic clarifies as “an amalgam of heavy metal and black feminist rage”
and Last but not least:
Cotton and acrylic thread, rubber, polyester fiber filling,
32 x 40 x 5cm
The Awesome Womxn group-exhibition opens on the 2nd of August 2019.