FUSION CUISINE

 


Deste Foundation - Centre for Contemporary Art, Athens

20.06. — 30.10.02
 

Participating artists: Janine Antoni | Cosima Von Bonin | Monica Bonvicini | Tania Bruguera | Lee Bul | Patty Chang | Camilla Dahl | Tracey Emin | Sylvie Fleury | Jitka Hanzlova | Hilary Harkness | Eliza Jackson | Liza Lou | Elahe Massumi | Despina Meimaroglou | Catherine Opie | Maria Papadimitriou | Kiki Seror | Lina Theodorou | Fatimah Tuggar | Lisa Yuskavage

Fusion Cuisine, which included the work of emerging as well as established contemporary female artists, aimed to reactivate the discussion surrounding feminist practices at a time when it had been somewhat mistakenly considered a closed (and resolved) chapter. This was fifteen years before #MeToo began to break into the global mainstream.

One of the concerns underlying the exhibition was the question of examining the distinction between labels such as ‘feminist’ and ‘post-feminist’, while asserting the importance of ‘feminisms’, that is, acknowledging the impossibility of a universal and singular female perspective. Post-feminism, contrary to popular belief, does not connote an end to the feminist debate; rather it accepts the differences between women and within feminism itself. It continues feminism’s articulation of a wide range of positions and spheres of questioning without adopting an essentialist stance. Fusion Cuisine attempted to dispel some of the myths and stereotypes surrounding feminist art practice, and aimed to deconstruct feminist clichés, disrupt stereotypical images of womanhood and established notions of what constitutes ‘femininity’. It offered a polymorphous look into art being made by women at the beginning of the millennium, attesting to the fact that one can no longer speak in terms of stereotypes such ‘women’s art’, as there is no one single way of being a woman.

The exhibition aimed to demonstrate that while there may have been multiple affinities with feminist strategies and practices, the artists in it could not be grouped into one unifying category under the banner of one kind of feminism. Rather the ‘feminisms’ it posited consisted of many styles, individual expressions and adopted multiple positions, viewpoints and lifestyle options. Fusion Cuisine included a varied cross section of art being made by different women from different cultures and backgrounds and looked into how history, memory, politics, religion and culture bear upon the female experience. The artists in the exhibition assimilated feminism’s legacy of amalgamation of the aesthetic self and the social self, testifying to the fact that it is impossible to engage in art without referencing the social structures that it arises out of.

Patty Chang and Tania Bruguera presented live performances of their work in Athens.

A bilingual (Greek – English) colour catalogue was published with texts by Jo Anna Isaak, Rosa Martinez, Amanda Michalopoulou, Lynne Tillman, Maria Skamaga and Katerina Gregos.