press release

Straying from the Line
April 13–July 28, 2019

Opening: April 12, 6–9pm

50 years ago, Lee Lozano articulated the relationship between artistic and social hierarchies, stating that “there can be no art revolution that is separate from a science revolution, a political
 revolution, an education revolution, a drug revolution, a sex revolution or a personal revolution." Understanding the personal as political became the driving force behind the central feminist movements of the time, bringing together a vibrant spectrum of activist, philosophical and artistic positions across political and social fields. Debates on personal experience and structural violence haven’t lost their relevance and only recently entered the spotlight of political and public interest through social movements such as #metoo and #notsurprised. Whether in politics, media, business, science, culture or our daily lives, experiences of sexism, racism, discrimination and other forms of violence and abuse are not only a personal problem, but a political and structural one as well.

Highlighting the multiplicity of feminist tendencies in artistic production over the last century, Straying from the Line weaves a network of references and interconnections between otherwise aesthetically, politically, geographically and historically heterogeneous perspectives. Characterised by a variety of narratives and movements, these divergent feminisms share an understanding of art as a field of antagonistic relationships within socially determined hierarchies.

Straying from the Line presents artistic approaches that explore the political within the personal, the public within the private, and vice versa. Examining the social codes of artistic forms, mediums and techniques, as well as modes of representation, the works point at the political economy of image circulation and display the desire to reach beyond the boundaries of a binary gender logic. The exhibition draws a trajectory from historical works by Lynda Benglis, Teresa Burga, Eva Hesse, Maria Lassnig and Lee Lozano, artists widely associated with feminist practices, to younger contemporary positions such as Ulrike Müller, Heji Shin, Martine Syms, Anna Uddenberg and Raphaela Vogel. In response to Schinkel Pavillon’s iconic glass octagon, the young Berlin-based architecture office substance & inhalt has designed a semi-permeable exhibition display, creating a multi-layered spatial arrangement that juxtaposes already canonised feminist works with practices and positions that so far remained on the fringes of this discourse: these include, amongst others, Constantina Zavitsanos’ & Park McArthur’s examination of care, Tim Rollins & K.O.S.’s transactional relationships, Irma Hünerfauth's nearly forgotten kinetic objects and the collages of Alice Lex-Nerlinger. What continuities and differences, affinities and desires might emerge from these layerings and juxtapositions and how are they connected to our concepts of body, gender, race or class and our idea of empowerment and emancipation? By presenting a repertoire of artistic approaches that can not be subsumed under historical, political or aesthetic parameters nor be limited to preconceived ideas of womanhood and femininity, Straying from the Line challenges art’s potential to give new meanings and alternative forms to feminist tendencies.

With Vito Acconci, Lynda Benglis, Pauline Boudry & Renate Lorenz, Dara Birnbaum, Jenna Bliss, Teresa Burga, Tom Burr, Claude Cahun, Ellen Cantor, Tony Cokes, Anna Daučíková, Nicole Eisenman, Cosey Fanni Tutti, Ellen Gallagher, Jef Geys, Guerilla Girls, Barbara Hammer, Eva Hesse, Irma Hünerfauth, Maria Lassnig, Klara Lidén, Leigh Ledare, Alice Lex-Nerlinger, Lee Lozano, Sarah Lucas, Ulrike Müller, Gabriele Münter, Anna Oppermann, Charlotte Posenenske, Tim Rollins & K.O.S., Aura Rosenberg, Betye Saar, Heji Shin, Marianna Simnett, Jack Smith, Nancy Spero, Diamond Stingliy, Sturtevant, Martine Syms, Rosemarie Trockel, Anna Uddenberg, Raphaela Vogel, Constantina Zavitzanos & Park McArthur

Curated by Nina Pohl