press release

Jodi Bieber - Making Feminism - 02.02.2020

The Syker Vorwerk - Centre for Contemporary Art presents the exhibition "Jodi Bieber - Making Feminism". In her work, the artist deals with socially relevant themes and draws attention to disparities, whether in her native South Africa or worldwide. She claims to be a photographer in a male-dominated world. Accordingly, she focuses her work on the reality of women beyond glamour.

"Making Feminism" is a comprehensive show within the framework of the exhibition cycle "works on gender and identity". Three comprehensive series from the last 14 years will be shown: "Real Beauty", "Quiet" and "Women who have murdered their husbands". The three series represent the artist's longstanding engagement with questions of gender, gender identity, self-determination and related conflicts in the context of contemporary South African society.

While "Real Beauty" questions the prevailing ideology of female beauty with its stylized body ideals, "Quiet" deals with the representation of the male body beyond clichéd stereotypes that construct it as masculine. "Women who have murdered their husbands" shows women's fates that reveal how the spiral of domestic violence can become imprisonment. With different focal points, the three series form a central thematic complex in Bieber's work, along which a feminist attitude is clearly expressed.

The gender-political movement of feminism requires the subject "woman". How this is to be defined proves to be highly complex. The oppression to which women are exposed, on the other hand, is far less inaccessible. For the reality of their phenomena can be clearly determined despite their abundance. The work of the South African artist Jodi Bieber, who has meanwhile become one of the most important photographers of our time, shows that this fact can become a starting point for artistic debate.

Bieber's career began in 1994 with the democratic elections in South Africa. She worked as a photo journalist for The Star newspaper in Johannesburg. In 1996 she was invited to attend the World Press Masterclass in Amsterdam. This opened up new possibilities: Commissions for international magazines and NGOs took her around the globe. In the course of her career, Bieber developed an independent pictorial language, which testifies to a pronounced empathy. The photographer thus succeeded in asserting herself in the art system. Regular exhibitions in the national and international art scene context underline their importance in the art world as well as the presence of their works in renowned collections, including Artur Walther Collection, Fondazione Carispezia, Fondazione Fotografia Modena, François Pinault Collection, Iziko Museums Collection, Johannesburg Art Gallery, Oppenheimer Collection, Jean Paul Blachere-Foundation.

Kindly supported by Landschaftsverband Weser-Hunte e.V. and Arbeitnehmerkammer Bremen.