Turkish performance artist Nezaket Ekici. :: SUR
Exhibitions and events in Malaga are part of a national festival promoting women in art
Let’s start with some statistics. 64 per cent of the students studying Fine Art are women and 52 per cent of the visits to Spanish museums are made by women. And yet only 9.4 per cent of the exhibiitions in the country’s contemporary art galleries are created by women and their work makes up a mere 13 per cent of the collections in these spaces. Women rarely win major art prizes - only Doris Salcedo has won the prestigious ‘Premio Velázquez’ (in 2010) and no female artist has been given the Prince of Asturias art award.
These figures have been collected by the ‘Mujeres en las Artes Visuales’ (MAV or women in visual arts) association which is promoting a nationwide and month-long celebration of female artists, the ‘Festival Miradas de Mujeres’.
Malaga has one of the strongest showings in Andalucía for this, the third year of the festival, with 17 different venues for exhibitions, performances and lectures.
“Our principal objective is to make not just the work of the artists more visible but also that of the gallery owners and directors because, in spite of everything we have achieved, women are still under-represented in culture,” says Mariana Hormaechea, director of the festival in Andalucía.
One of the most striking images of the festival in Malaga is a video of Turkish performance artist Nezaket Ekici dressed as a cactus which is showing at the Galería Isabel Hurley.
Gallery owner Isabel Hurley reveals that Ekici “raises the issue of women as beautiful but with sharp spines too so that they can’t be manipulated. Her work shows a great sense of humour but is spirited as well - the title of the exhibition with works by Maria Cañas also, ‘Amazonas de a pie’, (average Amazonians) refers to the constant hard work that women do at ground level.”
Another artist in the festival, Beatriz Ros, has an exhibition at the ‘Facultad de Bellas Artes’ (fine art faculty) of the University of Malaga. Titled ‘Heartself: the typical and the strange’, the exhibition’s theme is the “troubling and almost painful necessity of revealing the limitations of the body when it comes to displaying certain emotions”, says Ros who is from Malaga.
Maite Méndez, lecturer at the university of Malaga and organiser of an event at the Picasso museum, “Women at the cutting edge of art”, refers to the struggle faced by women in art. “As in other fields, there exists a glass ceiling, above all in museums and art centres where there are lots of women working but very few in senior positions.
“The history of art is written from a male perspective when we believe it should be neutral”.
There are lectures as part of the festival at CAC (‘centro de arte contemporáneo’) Malaga on the work of female artists. A talk on Marina Abramovic takes place on March 25th.
The Museo Carmen Thyssen has been hosting events for secondary school pupils and education centres under the title, ‘Beauty and the Beast?’, which tackles the different ways men and women are portrayed in art.
FESTIVAL VENUES in Malaga province
Galería Isabel Hurley
Artists and exhibition: Nezaket Ekici and María Cañas, ‘Amazonas de a pie”.
Address: Paseo de Reding, 39.
Dates: March 20th to April 5th.
Facultad de Bellas Artes
Artist and exhibition: Beatriz Ros, ‘Heartself: Lo propio y lo extraño’
Address: Universidad de Malaga, El Ejido.
Dates: March 13th to May 2nd.
Exhibition: Group show, ‘Download. Arte de Mujeres’.
Address: Calle Granada 64
Dates: March 14th to 29th.
Artist and exhibition: Isabel Garnelo, ‘Espejos que reflejan sombras’.
Address: Facultad de Ciencas de la Comunicación, Teatinos.
Dates: March 19th to April 11th.
Galería Yolanda Ochando
Artist and exhibition: Fátima Conesa, ‘Laberinto’.
Address: Alameda Principal 4, Malaga.
Dates: Until June 6th.
La Casa Rosa
Artists and exhibitions: Betty Bundy and Estefanía Muñoz, ‘Paisaje circular’
Address: Calle República Argentina 23.
Dates: From March 20th.
Artists: Group show
Address: Las Velas 29, Cañada de los Cardos, Torremolinos.
Dates: March 14th to April 30th.