January 24 - March 24, 2018

Halida Boughriet, Shahrzad Changalvaee, Fatoş Irwen, Simin Keramati, Tahmineh Monzavi, Balqis al´Rashid, Dilan Cudi Saruhan, Nil Yalter, Arzu Yayıntaş

Every person should have the exclusive right to dispose of their body as they wish. The body should be an untouchable personal zone. But power structures of a governmental or religious nature as well as certain social notions do restrict this right. In particular, women of the so called Near and Middle East are struggling for this right. However the undifferentiated, fragmentary idea of the subordinated, voiceless woman in the hijab, who has to be freed by external forces - an idea very prominent in the West - represents a false role as well. Per se it denies the individual self-determination of the many different women in the aforementioned region – just like some of the governmental or religious institutions in charge.

Art is a field where - more or less safely – anyone can exercise this right on the own body. In Vienna the use of the body as artistic medium is prominent due to the Viennese Actionism, the works of Austrian artist VALIE EXPORT and the feminist avantgarde of the 70s, most of whom explored the medium of video.

The central starting point of the exhibition at hinterland is on the one hand the awareness that a lot of female artists from Near and Middle Eastern countries use their bodies as their artistic tool as well as video as their medium, on the other hand the need for representations of the self instead of the other in order to replace generalisations.

By showing different self-representations of artists who claim their right over their body the exhibition intends to draw the attention of the general public to those women who refuse both previously mentioned forms of heteronomy. The ways in which they put their protest into practice vary from intentionally breaking taboos, counteracting stereotypes, making mental pain visible on their body, to the corporeal claim of the public space. 

Exhibited Videos:

Halida Boughriet, Les illuminés, 2004

Shahrzad Changalvaee, Artists Must be Provocative, Art Must be Provocative, 2013

Fatoş Irwen, El dikişi, 2016

Simin Keramati, I am not a female Middle Eastern Artist in Exile, I am an Artist, 2014

Tahmineh Monzavi, Oxys in Black & White, 2013

Balqis al´Rashid, A State of Play, 2014

Dilan Cudi Saruhan, Look! I am here Naked as the Sky/ Bak! Burdayım gökyüzü kadar cıplak, 2017

Nil Yalter, The Headless Woman or the Belly Dance/ La femme sans tête ou la danse du ventre, 1974

Arzu Yayıntaş, Awakening/ Uyanış, 2016

Supported by Sammlung Verbund.

Installation views

Photos: Jakob Winkler