She Says: Propositions by 3 Italian Women Artists
Elisabetta Benassi, Daniela Comani & Alice Guareschi
January 4, 2013 – July 27, 2013
The works in this exhibition share an interest in story-telling that is indebted to past feminist art’s emphasis on personal experience and sentiment
The selection of works share an interest in story-telling and narrative that is indebted to past feminist art’s emphasis on personal experience and sentiment, but is less theoretically doctrinaire and more skeptical of rhetoric and totalizing claims. Understanding that authorship is a vexed question, these artists make explicit the fact that history exists both as individual lived experience as well as an amalgamation of inherited notions. Whether presenting first person narratives as imaginary histories, or depicting history as a compound caption to a lost original image, or offering up the various mechanisms of political commentary without the substance they are assumed to contain, the works in this exhibition question the certainties of national identity and personal truth on which much contemporary identity politics are based. Instead of promoting specific agendas, the works in this exhibition offer a space of imaginative play and voyeuristic pantomime. Though largely composed of direct or thematic re-presentations of texts, the works eschew the documentary clarity normally associated with primary source materials. In place of confident declarations of fact based on first-person accounts, these falsified diaries, forged images, and commissioned self-portraits usurp pre-existing narratives and roles, presenting meaning as circuitous and fragmentary.
Works on view courtesy of Charlie James Gallery, Los Angeles, and Magazzino d’Arte Moderna, Roma.
With support from The McIntire Department of Art at the University of Virginia