Women House is the meeting of two notions: a gender - the female - and a space - the domestic one. Architecture and public space have been masculine while the domestic space was for a long time the prison or the shelter of women: this historical evidence is nevertheless not a fatality and the exhibition Women House shows this. On a 1000 Sq m. floor area and in some of Monnaie de Paris’ courtyards, it brings together 40 female artists of the 20th and 21st centuries who take up this complex subject and place women at the center of a history of which they were absent. After its Parisian stage, Women House will exhibit at the National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington D.C. on March 8, 2018.
The challenge of finding a work space at home was theorized by Virginia Woolf in 1929, as she encouraged women, in her essay "A Room of One's Own", to find a room that they could "lock up without disturbance”. This is the point of departure of Women House, whose ambition continues thematically, up to recent works produced by a young generation of women artists, passing by the 70s, when their counterparts equally rebelled against the deprivation of physical space -for exhibition or work-, as they did against the lack of the symbolic space - of recognition.
The exhibition's eight chapters display the complexity of the possible viewpoints on the subject: not only are they feminist (Desperate Housewives); they're also poetic (A Room of One's Own), political (Mobile Homes) or nostalgic (Doll's House) :
Women House's 40 artists come from four continents; they span from historic figures such as Claude Cahun to a young generation: Mexican artist Pia Camil, Iranian Nazgol Ansarinia, Portuguese Joana Vasconcelos, German Isa Melsheimer or the French Laure Tixier and Elsa Sahal ... Some of the names are already famous (Louise Bourgeois, Niki de Saint Phalle, Martha Rosler, Mona Hatoum, Cindy Sherman, Rachel Whiteread), others are the subject of recent rediscoveries connected to a rereading of the History of Art in terms of gender parity (Birgit Jürgenssen, Ana Vieira, Laetitia Parente, Heidi Bucher).
Monumental works will be exhibited in Monnaie de Paris’ courtyards, rendered public and accessible free of charge from the Fall 2017 as part of a walking tour linking the Pont des Arts to the Pont Neuf.
An exhibition under the curatorship of Camille Morineau, Director of Exhibitions and Collections of Monnaie de Paris and Lucia Pesapane, Exhibition curator at Monnaie de Paris.