A New Feminine? was an exhibition curated by Rafaela Pandolfini at Sydney gallery Airspace Projects in April 2015.
Taking inspiration from interviews with Antony Hegarty (the incredible voice behind Antony and the Johnsons) Pandolfini’s organising principle has generated an exhibition that asks us to reconsider the feminine as a multiplicity of differing understandings of the world and how we live in it.
A New Feminine?
A New Feminine? Begs the question. What does a new feminine look like?
The term is used in the sense that is creates new meanings and possibilities beyond the metaphysical and gendered notion of feminine. It quite literally attempts to make “sense” in so far as it provides a sense to concept, content to form, reality to dreams.
The concept takes its leave from the artist Antony Hegarty and her proposition of the Future Feminine;
“I’m someone who’s looking for a reason to hope, and for me hope looks like feminine systems of governance being instated in, like, the major religious institutions and throughout corporate and civil life. And it might sound far-fetched, but if you look at your own beliefs, just imagine how quickly you accepted the idea that the ocean is rising and the ecology of our world is collapsing. We can actually imagine that more readily than we can imagine a switch from patriarchal to matriarchal systems of governance a subtle shift in the way our society works.” (from the live album Cut the world)
I am very taken by Antony Hegarty, she so often makes me soar.
Antony’s definition of femininity is dynamic.
“I have observed femininity often manifest as a greater sensitivity to one’s relationships with one’s surroundings, a heightened sense of oneself within space. I often think of the word femininity as congruous with creativity. Another feminine archetype is the capacity for intuitive and emotional intelligence” (from an interview with Richard Metzger)
The artists participating in the show include Centre for Style, Christian Thompson, Clare Davies, Dominic Kirkwood, Jemima Wyman, Hana Shimada and Rebecca Scibilia.
A New Feminine? Is an open question, it is responded in various tones and timbres: irritation, intrigue, worn carpet, not at all, photographs, video, totems, gems or shits, a new suite of painting on velvet, a trickle, felt pen and so on.
Together the artists embody the various and multiform character of a dream made real, and keep alive a receptivity to difference, without looking to have the last word on the subject.
Video documentation of a performance by Rafaela Pandolfini: A minor history of the feminine, a performance of porcelain and sound