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Maskulinitäten. A cooperation between Bonner Kunstverein, Kölnischer Kunstverein und Kunstverein für die Rheinlande und Westfalen, Düsseldorf

Artists: Vito Acconci, The Agency, Georgia Anderson & David Doherty & Morag Keil & Henry Stringer, Lutz Bacher, Louis Backhouse, Olga Balema, Lynda Benglis, Judith Bernstein, Gerry Bibby, Alexandra Bircken, Juliette Blightman, Patricia L. Boyd, Anders Clausen, Keren Cytter, Enrico David, Vaginal Davis, Jonathas de Andrade, Jimmy DeSana, Nicole Eisenman, Hedi El Kholti, Jana Euler, Hal Fischer, Andrea Fraser, keyon gaskin with Samiya Bashir, sidony o‘neal and Adee Roberson, Eunice Golden, Philipp Gufler, Richard Hawkins, Jenny Holzer, Hudinilson Jr., Allison Katz, Annette Kennerley, Sister Corita Kent, Mahmoud Khaled, Jürgen Klauke, Jutta Koether, Tetsumi Kudo, Klara Lidén, Hilary Lloyd, Sarah Lucas, Robert Morris, Shahryar Nashat, D’Ette Nogle, Henrik Olesen, D.A. Pennebaker & Chris Hegedus, Josephine Pryde, Puppies Puppies (Jade Kuriki Olivo), Carol Rama, Lorenzo Sandoval, Julia Scher, Agnes Scherer, Bea Schlingelhoff, Heji Shin, Katharina Sieverding, Nancy Spero, Anita Steckel, Evelyn Taocheng Wang, Carrie Mae Weems, Marianne Wex, Martin Wong, Katharina Wulff

1 September – 24 November 2019
Exhibition Opening: Saturday 31 August, from 2.30pm

Organised in collaboration by Bonner Kunstverein, Kölnischer Kunstverein and Kunstverein für die Rheinlande und Westfalen, Düsseldorf, “Maskulinitäten” is an international exhibition with a series of events and accompanying publication project that explores the subject of masculinity via contemporary art. The tripartite presentation is premised by an interest in questioning how a feminist exhibition on masculinity could look.

Conceived within the context of prominent and reactionary manifestations of masculinity and with an irreverent, uncompromising critique of its hegemonic forms, the collaboration aims to destabilise patriarchal and heteronormative notions of gender. Including public artworks, performances, plays, readings, lectures, screenings, and workshops, the exhibition seeks to open up alternative spaces of agency and bring performative and transgressive conceptions of identity, sexuality, gender and the body to the fore. The three institutions share a history in variously presenting radical, feminist and queer exhibitions. Whilst many of these focused on reclaiming femininity and female experience from a history of male authorship, this project turns its attention instead to the male subject. The exhibition and the accompanying programme explores shifting perspectives on the representation of the body, the associated politics of power and visibility, and how these are negotiated and deconstructed in art from the 1960s to the present. Encompassing artistic and art-theoretical perspectives from different contexts and periods, masculinity is encountered as a complex, evolving, social construct that remains in continual flux.

The presentation in Bonn takes as its starting point the institution’s own history in organising feminist exhibitions of contemporary art (such as ‘Typisch Frau’, 1981). Working within this tradition, it apprehends the climate of aggression that has accompanied the so-called ‘fourth wave’ of feminism. The exhibition responds to recent prominent, reactionary manifestations of machismo and is addressed to the resurgence of political cultures led by ‘strongmen’ politicians who prolificate simple solutions to complex issues.

Recent and new paintings by Jana Euler and Allison Katz are placed in dialogue with the historical, phallocentric work of Judith Bernstein, Eunice Golden and Anita Steckel. A selection of works by Alexandra Bircken, Patricia L. Boyd, Hal Fischer, Richard Hawkins, Hilary Lloyd and Sarah Lucas explore a pervasive culture of symbolism and fetishization. Others by Lutz Bacher, Lynda Benglis, Jenny Holzer and D’Ette Nogle can be read as humorous and somewhat confrontational statements on the subject of male privilege. Whilst works by Hudnilson Jr, Mahmoud Khaled and Puppies Puppies (Jade Kuriki Olivo) further complicate and interrogate gender binaries in a series of distinctly personal works.

The exhibition is accompanied by a series of events to be announced on the websites of the participating institutions.

Bonner Kunstverein: Lutz Bacher, Lynda Benglis, Judith Bernstein, Alexandra Bircken, Patrica L. Boyd, Jana Euler, Hal Fischer, Eunice Golden, Richard Hawkins, Jenny Holzer, Hudinilson Jr., Allison Katz, Mahmoud Khaled, Hilary Lloyd, Sarah Lucas, Robert Morris, D’Ette Nogle, Puppies Puppies (Jade Kuriki Olivo), Bea Schlingelhoff and Anita Steckel.
Curated by Michelle Cotton, Head of Artistic Programmes and Content, Mudam, Luxembourg.

Kölnischer Kunstverein: Georgia Anderson & David Doherty & Morag Keil & Henry Stringer, Louis Backhouse, Olga Balema, Gerry Bibby, Juliette Blightman, Anders Clausen, Enrico David, Jonathas de Andrade, Jimmy DeSana, Jenny Holzer, Hedi El Kholti, Hilary Lloyd, Sarah Lucas, Shahryar Nashat, Puppies Puppies (Jade Kuriki Olivo), Carol Rama, Bea Schlingelhoff, Heji Shin, Evelyn Taocheng Wang, Carrie Mae Weems, Marianne Wex, Martin Wong and Katharina Wulff.
Curated by Nikola Dietrich, Director, Kölnischer Kunstverein, Cologne.

Kunstverein für die Rheinlande und Westfalen, Düsseldorf: Vito Acconci, The Agency, Keren Cytter, Vaginal Davis, Nicole Eisenman, Andrea Fraser, keyon gaskin with Samiya Bashir, sidony o´neal and Adee Roberson, Philipp Gufler, Jenny Holzer, Annette Kennerley, Sister Corita Kent, Jürgen Klauke, Jutta Koether, Tetsumi Kudo, Klara Lidén, Henrik Olesen, D.A. Pennebaker & Chris Hegedus, Josephine Pryde, Puppies Puppies (Jade Kuriki Olivio), Lorenzo Sandoval, Julia Scher, Agnes Scherer, Bea Schlingelhoff, Katharina Sieverding, Nancy Spero and Evelyn Taocheng Wang.
Curated by Eva Birkenstock, Director, Kunstverein für die Rheinlande und Westfalen, Düsseldorf

The exhibition will be accompanied by a catalogue published by Koenig Books with contributions by CA Conrad, Nelly Gawellek, Chris Kraus, Quinn Latimer, Kerstin Stakemeier, Marlene Streeruwitz, Änne Söll, amongst others, and an introduction by Eva Birkenstock, Michelle Cotton and Nikola Dietrich (to be published November 2019).

The cooperation is funded by Kulturstiftung des Bundes, Ministry of Culture and Science of the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia, and Kunststiftung NRW.