Two notions intersect in the Women House exhibition: a gender (female) and a space (the domestic sphere). Architecture and public space have traditionally been male preserves, whereas domestic space has been that of women; this historic fact is not, however, inevitable, as the exhibition demonstrates. Is the “woman-house” a refuge or a prison, or can it become a space for creativity?
The exhibition and the catalogue that forms its extension work in tandem, the latter featuring essays that explore some of the most important themes these artists have in common. Giovanna Zapperi explores the notion of the “body-house” defined in the 1960s and 1970s (“Our bodies, ourselves,” p. 17); Flavia Frigeri examines the tent as an artistic statement and the different meanings of its fictional nomadism (“Nomadic fictions,” p. 34); Gill Perry discusses the “skin-house” and different types of spatial imprints (“Traces of home and changes of skin,”p. 28); Gabriele Schor looks at the notion of the housewife in history and art history (“The death of the housewife,”p. 22); and Lucia Pesapane discusses the presence of male artists in this history of the representation of domestic space (“And what about the men? A brief history of male domesticity,” p. 40).
Artists : Carla Accardi, Helena Almeida, Nazgol Ansarinia, Monica Bonvicini, Louise Bourgeois, Heidi Bucher, Claude Cahun, Pia Camil, Johanna Demetrakas, Lili Dujourie, Lucy Gunning, Mona Hatoum, Birgit Jürgenssen, Kirsten Justesen, Karin Mack, Isa Melsheimer, Zanele Muholi, Lucy Orta, Letícia Parente, Sheila Pepe, Marta Rosler, Elsa Sahal, Niki de Saint Phalle, Anne-Marie Schneider, Miriam Schapiro, Lydia Schouten, Cindy Sherman, Laurie Simmons, Penny Slinger, Laure Tixier, VALIE EXPORT, Joana Vasconcelos, Ana Vieira, Rachel Whiteread, Sue Williamson, Francesca Woodman, Nil Yalter, Shen Yuan, Andrea Zittel
This catalogue is published to coincide with the exhibition Women House held at 11 Conti in Paris from October 20, 2017 to January 28, 2018, and at the National Museum of Women in the Arts, Washington D.C., from March 9 to May 28, 2018.