Exhibition Project with HEINRICH BOELL FOUNDATION
There is an exhibition with female artists from Cambodia that opens on Friday, October 22, 2010 at Sovannah Shopping Mall.(ផ្សារទំនើបសុវណ្ណា) I received the information about the event from my professor and I really interested in it. You may also interested in that event as well so that I put the original press release below for you:
Exhibition Project with
HEINRICH BOELL FOUNDATION
HEY SISTER, WHERE ARE YOU GOING?!
Cambodian women artists create art works
around the theme of Women politics in CambodiaTHE HISTORY OF WOMEN IS THE HISTORY OF MAN “… because man has defined the image of women for both man and women…” THE FUTURE OF WOMEN WILL BE THE HISTORY OF WOMEN (from “WOMEN’S ART: A MANIFESTO”)
1 RATIONALE FOR THE ART PROJECT
Men create and control the social and communication media such as science and art, word and image (cultural inherited or from present days), fashion and architecture, social transportation and the division of labor. Men have projected their image of women onto those media, and those patterns reflect on women. Making believe that those media definition of women space – bodily, emotionally and mentally – are reality. Women did not yet come themselves, conquering a women space, because they have not yet had a chance to speak insofar they had limited access to those media. It will be time that women use art as a means of expression as to influence the consciousness of all of humans.
So far the contemporary arts in Cambodia have been created mainly by men. Though, before and after the Khmer Rouge period women writers, visual and performing artists as well as choreographer in small numbers approached the public awareness.
The men deal with the subject of life, with emotions filtered through a most of the time male view. The new values, women artists can create by adding to, modifying men values about life, can lead to a women’s liberation. What art can give to women and women can give to art, are the transfer of a specific situation of women to the artistic context set up signs and signals which provides new artistic expressions and messages, and change on the other hand the situation of women. Especially in this very young and fragile Cambodian art scene, in which already women are pushed aside and leaving many times their artistic career for expected welfare of the family.
The work of the Heinrich Böll Foundation (HBF) is addressing issues of gender inequalities and has for many years supported artistic expressions of those issues in Germany and worldwide. In Cambodia, HBF is working to empower women to break through gender stereotypes that assign them passive roles and become more active and visible in the public sphere. Since this means to also challenge overall social norms, it is met with strong resistance, which often manifests itself in calls for the protection of “Khmer culture” against the influence of the “Western or modern world”. Women’s behavior, their bodies and their sexuality become central elements in debates on culture and its preservation, often being accused of transgressing too far from traditional social norms. But what role do such norms play in the private and public lives of Cambodian women today? Hey Sister, where are you going? will shed light on this question by providing the space for female Cambodian artists to reflect, discuss, and express their ideas and experiences in a joint exhibition that shall inspire Cambodian women to do the same.
The concept will be based on the outcome, feelings, stories created, memorized during the workshop series. To explore women artists’ understanding and perception of space, where they reside, struggle and strive to realize their dreams. It embraces their psychological, personal, and private individual spaces as well as the sociopolitical and cultural realms that affect and influence their existence as artists and women. This concept will be influenced by the workshop and individual reflection on it.
Three spaces:* OUTSIDE SPACE OF WOMEN Social norms, rules and expectations Definition of others and myself by gender, age, social status, education, race. How does society (man and women) see us as women? * SILENCE AND INVISIBLE SPACE or MIDDLE SPACE Social space, relationships and their power struggle. How do we see each other as women – from women to women? How do I define or restrict myself? * INNER SPACE Inner world of female artists: Flow of imagination, fluidity of thoughts, anxieties. The inner personal reflection. How do I see myself – also independent of my role as women?
Ten or more female artists are exploring during a workshop series, from HBF conducted and artistically supervised by the curator, the topic of gender politics in Cambodia, their own placement within and their defined space. During the workshop the artists will use artistic familiar method (photography, performing art, painting, sculpture or drawing) to explore the topic. It can be that the workshop is based on the HBF commissioned survey “Gender and women’s politics in Cambodia” but should be held by an expert of Gender politics. The workshop will enhance the “artistic language” of those selected women artists to be the artistic “megaphone” of their Cambodian “sisters”. The findings of the workshop will be the motor for the creation of works. The exhibition is planned to be opened October 22, 2010 in a place easy, common and comfortable to access for Cambodian women. The idea is to have it in one of Phnom Penh’s new shopping malls.
Hope to see all of you there, Cheers, Saoyuth