Tai Kwun Contemporary is proud to announce a new exhibition Performing Society: The Violence of Gender, held from 16 February to 28 April 2019, presented by MUSEUM MMK FÜR MODERNE KUNST, Frankfurt am Main, Germany, and curated by the Director Prof. Susanne Pfeffer. This group exhibition investigates the underlying structural violence in issues related to the body, gender, sexuality, identity and behaviour.
Performing Society: The Violence of Gender probes the nature of violence over the contested terrain of gender, unpacking the notion of "structural violence" and offering counter-narratives and alternative imagination. The exhibition features 11 international, regional and local artists — Dong Jinling, Jana Euler, Anne Imhof, Oliver Laric, Liu Yefu, Ma Qiusha, Julia Phillips, Pamela Rosenkranz, Marianna Simnett, Raphaela Vogel, and Wong Ping — presenting videos, paintings, sculpture, among others.
Violence of a structural nature is no less brutal than its physical counterpart. The everyday presence of structural violence causes a mute paralysis. The definitions of gender based on symbolic, cultural, and physical boundaries are as hard and clear as they are painful to experience. Upbringing, cultural attribution, existing power structures, social codes, religious traditions, and biological manifestations unite to form a violent normative framework that governs body, sexuality, identity, and behaviour.
Susanne Pfeffer, Director of MUSEUM MMK FÜR MODERNE KUNST, Frankfurt am Main, Germany, and curator of Performing Society: The Violence of Gender, said, "In view of the national-conservative and rightist discourses currently on the rise all over the world, gender is a domain all the more fiercely contested, a terrain on which freedom, plurality, and self-determination are at stake."
The artists featured in the exhibition Performing Society: The Violence of Gender contest the symbolic castration of women and reclaim the abilities fundamentally denied them. Pfeffer added, "They dissolve the framing of adolescents and overturn the rules controlling gesture, voice, deportment, and desire. In the process, they develop a counter-narrative to the institution of the family as the foundation of the heteronormative society. They show how mother's milk serves to delineate a territory in a realm between sexuality and reproduction, and they reveal the extent to which reproduction, technology, and exploitability are intertwined." The artworks uncover the violence that lies concealed in normative constructions of gender. With self-assurance, confidence, fantasy, humour, and pain, the artists transcend boundaries with their works and allow different images to emerge.
A renowned curator, Susanne Pfeffer put up a series of well-regarded exhibitions on new materialism and on the notion of the human and of Nature under the impact of technological transformation at the Fridericianum inKassel, Germany; at the 2017 Venice Biennale, she also curated the German Pavilion, featuring the artist Anne Imhof, which won the Golden Lion award for best national pavilion. With her recent Cady Noland exhibition, among others, Susanne Pfeffer has recently taken on a greater curatorial interest in structural violence.
Press release courtesy Tai Kwun Contemporary.