Nothing Less! 100 Years of Women’s Suffrage
Bernadette Anzengruber, Amanda Gutierrez, Marlene Haring, Zosia Hołubowska, Christa Joo Hyun D’Angelo, Lena Rosa Händle, Jorun Jonasson, Adele Knall, Annja Krautgasser, Marte Kiessling, Nadine Lemke, Mika Maruyama, Marina Markovic, Barbis Ruder, Käthe Schönle, Stefanie Seibold, Ekaterina Shapiro-Obermair, Starsky, Alexandra Tatar, Aiko Kazuko Kurosaki, Danielle Pamp, Petra Paul, Faith Wilding, and Hui Ye
We stand on the shoulders of giants! Women’s rights may be taken for granted and seem completely normal today, but they were fought for and hard-won by women* everywhere around the world. These accomplishments range from the right to vote, women’s education and ownership of their own bodies, to women working side-by-side with men, and the list goes on. Our foremothers have fought for these rights since the end of the 19th century; they have raised their voices and demonstrated on the streets, they have stood up to gender discrimination and labour injustices, and, most importantly, they have succeeded on many grounds. Suffice it to say, we are at the point of no return. Or so we would think…As we celebrate Austria’s 100th anniversary of Women’s Suffrage, we are also witnessing the subliminal decline in support of women’s issues exerted by conservative politics, marking a huge setback in gender and social issues around the world. In 2018, female employees are far from getting equal pay, independent (art) institutions with feminist agendas are scrutinised by a cut in fundings, female and queer artists are still underrepresented in exhibitions and the art market, and again the list goes on. As we move forward, some questions remain: will women’s struggles ever cease? How can we make sure not to lose those steps already gained? And what will the next generation have to fight for?
Nothing Less! questions what constitutes women’s rights in Austria and the world today, and reminds us of the feminist legacies we’ve grown used to. We demand nothing less than what was already fought for, than what was already accomplished, than what we have already settled on. We want to move forward on the path that our foremothers have already paved for us and strive to leave a balanced society behind for the next generations.The exhibition encompasses a diverse range of artworks, artists, and arguments. The latter will be tackled through a public program that ranges from talks, performances, and stereotype-debunking debates. In close collaboration with artists, curators, writers, cultural producers, and activists the exhibition will take an active part in the discussion on what constitutes women’s rights, gender equality, and (queer-)feminist art today. In the course of an open call, the curators have invited artists to contribute proposals that respond to the questions raised above and they have chosen works and projects that speak to a wide spectrum of gender issues.
Nothing Less! is thus a reflection of the diversity and range of interpretations and opinions on women’s rights past, present, and future. Moreover, the exhibition itself is a representation of the status quo of our cultural scene and its precarious working environment as the participating artists, curators, project partners, and VBKÖ members are not compensated for working on this exhibition. Everyone involved is donating their time, energy, knowledge, and expertise.
Nothing Less! serves as a wake-up call to those who take women’s rights and cultural production for granted!Aline Lara Rezende and Julia Hartmann, the co-founders of SALOON Wien, an international network of women in the arts, have curated the show at the VBKÖ – the Austrian association of female artists – which in itself is a place with a great history of women’s liberation. Since 1912, the VBKÖ has played a vital role in displaying and supporting female artists in Vienna and has mounted many gender-specific group exhibitions.