until 08.04. | #1909ARTatBerlin | Kunstquartier Bethanien presents from 23th March 2018 31 artists in the exhibition “bitch MATERial”, curated by Britta Helbig and Saralisa Volm, with extensive accompanying program for the extension of the mother term.
Mathilde ter Hejne, Candice Breitz, Almagul Menlibayeva, Pipilotti Rist, Lara Schnitger, Römer + Römer, Ruprecht von Kaufmann, Jo Freeman, Oda Jaune, Tracey Snelling, René Schoemakers, Courtey Kessel, Cornelia Renz, Oliver Rath, Various & Gold, Christopher Winter, Annique Delphine, Jen Ray,
Iris Schieferstein, Julija Goyd, Kirsten Becken, Vera Kochubey, Anina Brisolla, Peter Wilde, Miriam Lenk, GODsDOGs, Bettina Moras, Vincent Dance Theater –
kuratiert von Saralisa Volm und Britta Helbig.
What is a mother today? Wife, lioness, slut, whore or saint? There are many clichés and “Traditions never change”, suggests Iris Schieferstein, in her work “she imagined”: A good-natured boy in a pink pajamas with a wooden sword in his hand rides a kneeling, naked woman with a horse tail on her behind and horse mask in the face. The boy: her son? A role cliché pointedly staged.
Iris Schieferstein, She Imagined, 2005,
Fotoplastik, 138 x 150 cm
Material: Fotopapier auf Aludibond, Pferdeschweif,
Rehkopf, Acryl, Draht, Pferdehaar,
Courtesy the artist.
Mother-being is the theme of the exhibition bitch MATERial. But, what is it: motherliness, motherhood, mother-being? Role models that are anything but clear today. Schieferstein is one of about 30 international artists who contributed works to the exhibition. Even childless and male artists are represented and also show aspects of motherhood. Because maternity should be redefined. “Lionesses, when they have boys, become more active than before, hunt more, are more effective and defend the offspring more aggressively,” says Britta Helbig, who curated the exhibition together with Saralisa Volm. The active artist and mother is therefore at the center of the exhibition bitch MATERial.
GODsDOGs, Χθονία (Chthonia), 2018,
Digitaler Druck auf Hahnemühle Museums Etching, 122 x 111 cm
122 x 111 cm, Courtesy the artist.
The term “Bitch” has not had a positive connotation so far, but has been redefined as a self-determined and successful woman in the sense of a “bad bitch”. The curators certainly intend that the combination of the terms bitch material and MATER – Mutter – initially causes irritation, but then questions. This supposed contradiction was thus also opposed to the exhibition makers, as they sought sponsors for their project.
Annique Delphine, Single Serve Feminism, 2018,
Digitaler Farbdruck, 90 x 60 cm,
Courtesy the artist.
The fact that good girls go to heaven and evil everywhere is now commonplace and is vividly expressed in Candice Breitz’s video work “Soliloquy (Sharon)”. But that motherhood, active sexuality, and the active production of good art can go hand in hand is still an issue that is not accepted. Mothers are either considered affectionate or stressed-out Helicopter-Mum, who may or may not be active as an artist after the maternity leave, with the aging of the children.
Oda Jaune, Big Bed Scene, 2015,
Öl auf Leinwand, 160 x 180 cm,
Mit freundlicher Genehmigung der Galerie Templon, Paris-Brussels
Photo Bertrand Huet / Tutti.
The participating artists go beyond the cliché: prices for the sophisticated arrangements of Lara Schnitger (Hauser + Wirth) move in regions that are not behind those of their successful male colleagues. Professor Mathilde ter Heijne has been reflecting women’s clichés and roles in an exemplary analytical way for years. Works by Cornelia Renz are as popular with international collectors as their male counterparts. Still, the cliché of the mother, facing an overburdening family burden, or sitting, as in Performance In Balance with Courtney Kessel, still exists.
Bitch MATERial addresses with a pleasurable, positive and playful approach how typical gender structures can be broken up, how established, restricting codes dissipate in the face of the banality of empirically determinable reality and how emotionally charged, supposedly fluid social role patterns demand their permanence. The man as full-time-dad and sole representative at the Parents’ Day: a problem case that must first of all justify itself. The transgender woman happily marrying and adopting children, or the transgender man who becomes pregnant: exotics.
That’s why the exhibition demands: rethinking motherhood! “The starting point can only be the thought of the well-being of the children. It does not matter how mothers live their profession or their sexuality, or whether they are thoroughbred artists. “Says Britta Helbig. Mother could therefore be either the (gay) father, the biological mother, or the transgender parents. Because it is time that social roles in a free society are freely selectable and are not fixed.
Oliver Rath, Vaterfreuden, 2015,
Digitaler Farbdruck, gerahmt, 90 x 60 cm,
Courtesy the artist.
The comprehensive accompanying program (podium discussions, men’s meeting, etc.) on the subject of mother pictures, family and gender in society and the art market is intended to supplement and make the subject matter for children and adults more than mere recipes.
Exhibition period: Friday, 23rd March – Sunday, 8th April 2018
WHERE? Studio1, Kunstquartier Bethanien, Mariannenplatz 2, 10997 Berlin
Opening hours: daily noon – 7:00 p.m. and by arrangement: firstname.lastname@example.org
Thursday, 22.03.2018, 6 pm VERNISSAGE
Saturday, 24.03.2018, 7 pm PANEL DISCUSSION – Mother. Whore or saint?
Thursday, 29.03.2018, 6 pm PECHAKUCHA: Insider tips from + with Art-Bitches with children
Thursday, 05.04.2018, 7 pm PANEL DISCUSSION – Gorillas. Girls. Gender & amp; Gap
Friday, 06.04.2018, 6 pm PODIUM DISCUSSION – Men only – Men’s Stammtisch
Sunday, 08.04.2018, 5 pm FINISSAGE
Image caption cover: Julija Goyd, Composition of the State, 2012, Digitaler Farbdruck, 50 x 75 cm, (Detail), Courtesy the artist.
Exhibition bitch MATERial – Kunstquartier Bethanien | ART at Berlin