Must-See Queer Feminist Exhibitions in Europe this Summer

Edited by Anna McNay and Birthe Havmoeller

Inspired by Kathleen Massara’s list 17 Must-See LGBTQ Exhibitions This Summer in New York and California, Anna McNay and I have created Feminine Moments’ list of Must-See Queer Feminist Exhibitions in Europe this Summer. The exhibitions we have selected for this list feature works by Lesbian, Bisexual and Queer Women Artists. The first one on the list, Tamara de Lempicka in Turin, Italy, scores very highly on the red-lips-and-nice-tits-scale (!)
Some of the other exhibitions are more “queer” and some of the women artists are very subtle or academic in the way in which they integrate the queer/homosexual/political queer feminist in their creative practice. All the group exhibitions are mixed, so these exhibitions include works by gay male artists too – the most interesting are perhaps the gay artists from China who will be presented at the Antwerp Queer Arts Festival at the beginning of August.

Tamara de Lempicka

Dates: March 19 – August 30, 2015
Venue: Palazzo Chiablese, Turin, Italy
The exhibition features more than 80 works by the bisexual Polish artist Tamara de Lempicka (1898-1980). It not only showcases de Lempicka’s most iconic erotic paintings of women, it also features erotic drawings, lots of sensual vintage Hollywood-style photographs of the artist and a series of her photographs of nude models. The exhibition gives you the opportunity to discover new aspects of Tamara’s life and artistic career.
Curator: Gioia Mori

Patricia Cronin: Shrine for Girls

Dates: May 9 – November 22, 2015
Venue: Chiesa di San Gallo, Venice, Italy
In her site-specific installation Shrine for Girls, New York-based lesbian artist Patricia Cronin (US, 1963) commemorates three horrendous events: the rape, murder and hanging from trees of three girls in India in June 2014 (the “mango tree rape case”); the kidnapping of 276 female students by the jihadist militants of Boko Haram in Nigeria in April 2014; and the many young women pushed into forced labour in the Magdalene asylums and laundries in Europe and North America from the late-18th century to as recently as 1996. The installation is a collateral event of the Venice Biennale, presented by The Brooklyn Rail Curatorial Projects.
Curator: Ludovico Pratesi

Cabello/Carceller, Francesc Ruiz, Pepo Salazar + Salvador Dalí:

Los Sujetos (The Subjects)

Dates: May 9 – November 22, 2015
Venue: Spanish Pavilion, 56th Venice Biennale, Venice, Italy
Artistic duo Cabello/Carceller was formed in 1992 by Helena Cabello (FR, 1963) and Ana Carceller (ES, 1964). Alongside Francesc Ruiz and Pepo Salazar, they are this year’s Spanish offering at the Venice Biennale, in a group exhibition that seeks to reinterpret and reposition Salvador Dalí from a contemporary perspective, exploring the artist as he is known through his words and his interviews. Cabello/Carceller’s work is a site-specific installation entitled The State of the Art _a performative essay. Incorporating elements of performance, film and installation, the work is rooted in feminist methodologies ,queer theory and the Brechtian aesthetic, offering a critical insight into the definition of identity and the political fight of the individual.
Curator: Martí Manen

Here We LTTR: 2002–2008

Dates: May 23 – September 27, 2015
Venue: Tensta Konsthall, Spånga, Sweden
‘A border-crossing approach that is characteristic for queer feminism, a feministic movement that is not so easy to define.’ This exhibition brings together the archives of LTTR, a feminist, genderqueer artist collective, originally based in New York in the 2000s. The collective – whose acronym LTTR can be read in various ways, including Lesbians To The Rescue, Listen Translate Translate Record, Lesbians Tend To Read and Lacan Teaches To Repeat – catalysed a vibrant queer community through collaboration, discourse, journal making and distribution. The collective’s groundbreaking work, including the five issues of the journal, as well as photographs and other documentation of its social energy, is being exhibited for the first time at Tensta Konsthall, where local and international guests connected to LTTR and queer art, activism, and research, will guide a series of walk-throughs.

Homosexuality_ies / Homosexualität_en

Poster: Homosexuality_ies, courtesy of Schwules Museum*Dates: June 26 to December 1, 2015
Venues: Schwules Museum* and the Deutsches Historisches Museum, Berlin, Germany
Homosexualität_en shows how same-sex sexuality and non-conformist gender identities have been criminalised and socially repressed and it tells the story of the LGBT liberation movement. The section of the exhibition on view at the Deutsches Historisches Museum focuses on historical developments in the fields of society, politics, art, law and science since the “discovery” of homosexuality in the mid-19th century. The section of the exhibition on view at the Schwules Museum* consists of contemporary artworks and addresses the present and future of gender codes and sexualities. Participating artists: Monica Bonvicini (IT/DE), Louise Bourgeois (FR/US), Heather Cassils (CA/US), Michael Elmgreen (DK) and Ingar Dragset (NO), Nicole Eisenman (FR/US), Lotte Laserstein (DE/SE), Lee Lozano (US), Jeanne Mammen (DE), Zanele Muholi (ZA), Henrik Olesen (DK), Andy Warhol (US), Mary Coble (US/SE), Sturtevant (US), Sam Taylor-Johnson (UK) and others.
Curators: Dr. Birgit Bosold, Dr. Dorothée Brill and Detlef Weitz
[Poster: Homosexuality_ies. Photo credits: Heather Cassils and Robin Black ]


Dates: June 17 – July 31, 2015
Venue: Thessaloniki City Hall, Thessaloniki, Greece
The concept of otherness, of the strange or the different is inherent within our identity. In an age that has seen a rise in neo-conservatism, racist, homophobic, lesbophobic and transphobic behaviours, attacks against women and discrimination based on race, nationality, sexual orientation and gender identity, Ident-alter-ity is a group exhibition addressing the issues of gender and self-determination. The exhibition is a part of the 5th Thessaloniki Biennale of Contemporary Art. Participating artists: Lynda Benglis (US), Ursula Biemann (CH), Pauline Boudry and Renate Lorenz (CH-DE/DE), Marianne Darlen Solhaugstrand (NO), Yevgeniy Fiks (RU/US), Kostis Fokas (GR/UK), Hector de Gregorio (UK), Igor Grubic (HR), David Hockney (UK), Deborah Kelly & Tina Fiveash (AU), Majida Khattari (MA/FR), Carlos Motta (CO/US), Slava Mogutin (RU/US), Natasha Papadopoulou (GR), Antonis Protopatsis (GR), Wolfgang Tillmans (DE/UK), Boryana Rossa – Oleg Mavromatti (BG/US-RU), Milica Tomic (RS).
Curators: Theodore Markoglou, Art Historian – Curator at the State Museum of Contemporary Art and Syrago Tsiara, Art Historian – Director of the Contemporary Art Center of Thessaloniki

Pauline Boudry and Renate Lorenz: Loving, Repeating

copyright Stephan Wyckoff/Kunsthalle WienDates: June 11 – October 4, 2015
Venue: Kunsthalle Wien, Vienna, Austria
The queer artist duo Pauline Boudry (CH-DE, 1972) and Renate Lorenz (DE, 1963) present three video-based works and a series of new sculptures, which make up an atmospheric, time-reflective installation as part of Future Light, the visual arts part of the Vienna Biennale 2015. Pauline Boudry and Renate Lorenz create video performances, making use of a dense net of references to experimental film, the history of photography and underground (drag-) performance.
Curator: Maria Lind, Director Tensta Konsthall, Stockholm
[Press photo: Installation view: Future Light. Pauline Boudry / Renate Lorenz. LOVING, REPEATING, Kunsthalle Wien 2015, Photo: Stephan Wyckoff ]

Criss-crossing Connections. Mette Winckelmann and Concrete Art

Dates: June 20 – August 30, 2015
Venue: Sorø Kunstmuseum, Sorø, Denmark
The 100th anniversary of the amendments to the Danish constitution, which introduced democracy and women’s right to vote in Denmark, has prompted the Sorø Art Museum to cast a critical eye on its own collection and the power structures it represents. Artist and lesbian Mette Winckelmann (DK, 1971) was invited to evaluate the museum’s collections and to reflect on its concrete art acquisitions from the 1950s. She responded by drawing many connections – some obvious, some startling – which linked the collection to various paintings, sketches and textile works from other collections. This web of connections is criss-crossed by links to some of Winckelmann’s own works, which take a dual point of departure in abstract geometric imagery and in classic techniques from textile work.
Curators: Helle Brøns, Sorø Kunstmuseum and Mette Winckelmann

Agnes Martin

Dates: June 3 – October 11, 2015
Venue: Tate Modern, London, UK
This is the first retrospective exhibition of works by Canadian-born painter Agnes Martin (1912-2004) since 1994. The exhibition spans Martin’s entire career, from her figurative paintings of the early 1950s to her grid-based works and line drawings just before her death in 2004. Agnes identified with the Abstract Expressionists, and was born in the same year as Jackson Pollock, but her commitment to linear geometry caused her to be associated in turn with Minimalist, feminist, and even outsider artists. She vehemently denied being a feminist, however, as well as a lesbian (numerous relationships with fellow women artists are known to have taken place) and, at one point, even a woman. Agnes was headhunted in 1957 by gallerist and lesbian Betty Parson, who became her first dealer. Her career was punctuated by episodes of schizophrenia.
Curators: Tiffany Bell and Frances Morris

Claude Cahun – Photographies, dessins, écrites

Claude Cahun Programme coveDates: July 3 – October 31, 2015
Venue: Médiathèque Jacques Demy, Nantes, France
The experimental self-portraits by surrealist artist Claude Cahun (1894-1954), born a native of Nantes, under the name of Lucy Schwob, have gained international recognition and have been exhibited around the world. This exhibition, however, presents not just her photographs but also her graphic works, publications and letters.
Curators: Claire Lebossé and Marion Chaigne
[Cover of the programme by Médiathèque Jacques Demy]

Claude Cahun and Marcel Moore – A Life Defiant

Dates: March 15 – September 6, 2015
Venue: Jersey Museum and Art Gallery, Jersey, UK
French artists and lesbians Claude Cahun (1894-1954) and Marcel Moore (1892-1972) challenged the boundaries of gender and sexual identity, campaigned against tyranny and resisted Nazi occupiers. They created some of the most startlingly original and enigmatic photographic images of the 20th century. They were an extraordinary couple, who lived, loved and worked together for more than 30 years. For the first time this exhibition examines their history of defiance, from the forming of their lesbian relationship in the early 1900s, through Claude’s exploration of her self-image and multiple personalities in conservative post-war France, to her anti-Fascist political protests of the 1930s and anti-Nazi resistance activities of the 1940s.
Organiser: The Jersey Heritage Trust

Germaine Krull (1897-1985) – Un destin de photographe

Dates: June 2 – September 27, 2015
Venue: Jeu de Paume, Paris, France
From nudes to surreal collage, street scenes to portraits, a new exhibition charts the astonishingly modern work of maverick photographer Germaine Krull (1897-1985). A pioneer of photojournalism, bisexual Germaine moved across Europe in the 1920s and 30s, mixing with left-leaning intellectuals and pushing boundaries, both in her work and as a woman. Germaine then settled in Paris where she worked in the 1930s. After serving as a war photographer from 1943–45, she moved to Thailand and then settled in India, where she converted to Buddhism and worked to preserve its cultural heritage.
Curator: Michel Frizot

Nicola Tyson: Goodbye/Hello

Dates: June 10 – July 25, 2015
Venue: Nathalie Obadia, Paris, France
Lesbian artist Nicola Tyson (UK/US) is primarily known as a painter, however drawings are also central to her creative practice. The absurd has always been an important ingredient in her work: humour veering toward the satirical and often the hysterical. In Self-portrait: Weeping (2015), the artist references Picasso’s crying woman, but here it is her own experience that she describes. Nevertheless, her nose seems to double as a penis, literally ejaculating into her face.
Organiser: Nathalie Obadia

Pride Photo Award

Dates: July 31 – August 19, 2015
Venue: Foam Café, Foam, Keizersgracht 609, 1017 DS Amsterdam, Holland
Pride Photo Award is celebrating its fifth anniversary this year. This photography exhibition at Foam challenges mainstream gender stereotypes by showcasing photographs from the previous four editions of the Pride Photo Award exhibition. The works, which show the diversity of LGBT communities and counterbalance the often one-sided images of lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgender people in the media, are made by photographers and artist who consider sexual and gender identity an important, often personal subject. Participating artists: Erica Beckman (US), John Paul Evans (UK), Mads Nissen (DK), Farida de Pauw (UK), Chris Rijksen (NL), Anna Charlotte Schmid (DE), Hinda Schuman (US) and Aldo Soligno (IT).
Curator: Kim Knoppers

Antwerp Queer Arts Festival – Queer Art in China

Poster, Antwerp Queer Arts FestivalDates: August 2 – 9, 2015
Venue: Verbeeck-Van Dyck, Antwerp, Belgium
This summer, the gallery Verbeeck-Van Dyck and Antwerp Queer Arts Festival will present a Chinese LGBT art exhibition. Participating artists are: Yuan Yuan, Xiyadie AKA the Siberian Butterfly, Shi Tou & Ming Ming, Xu Yadong, Huang Yue and Flour. Chinese filmmaker and photographer Yuan Yuan specialises in conceptual photography, combining photography and contemporary art to make her pictures about gender identity.
Organiser: Antwerp Queer Arts Festival
[Antwerp Queer Arts Festival, poster 2015]

Pioneering Photographer Claude Cahun

The Modern Lens: International Photography and the Tate collection
Tate St Ives: Exhibition
14 October 2014 – 10 May 2015

‘Pioneering artists from across Europe, the Americas and Japan will be shown at Tate St Ives for the first time in The Modern Lens. This will be the largest display of photographic works ever to be exhibited at the gallery.’ – Tate St Ives.

‘We sometimes think of abstraction and surrealism as opposing forces: the universal language of abstraction versus the personal language of surrealism, which was inspired by the unconscious. But this section of The Modern Lens suggests how these two currents sometimes converged in depictions of the landscape.

Claude Cahun in particular offers a really interesting point of connection in terms of landscape conflating abstraction and surrealism.’ – Tate.

Claude Cahun and Marcel Moore at Jersey  Museum

Jersey  Museum and Art Gallery: On display in the Art Gallery you will find the work of Claude Cahun, recognised worldwide as one of the leading artists of the Surrealist movement. Jersey Museum cares for one of the largest collections of Cahun’s work, which comprises photographs, original manuscripts, first editions, books and other personal material.  Find out more about Claude Cahun and Marcel Moore.

Lover Other. The Story of Claude Cahun and Marcel More

Trailer: Lover Other: The Story of Claude Cahun and Marcel from Barbara Hammer on Vimeo

1920’s Surrealist artists Claude Cahun and Marcel Moore come to life in this hybrid documentary. Lesbians and step-sisters, the gender-bending artists lived and worked together all their lives. Heroic resisters to the Nazis occupying Jersey Isle during WWII, they were captured and sentenced to death.

Award-winning queer filmmaker Barbara Hammer (USA) infuses her film with vigor using photographs, archival footage, dramatic interludes of a “found Cahun script”, and unique interviews of Jersey Isle residents who knew the “sisters”.

Related Links
Barbara Hammer’s video stream at Vimeo
Barbara Hammer’s website

Claude Cahun Retrospective in Barcelona

Lover Other by Barbara Hammer

Still from the short film Lover Other by Barbara Hammer

Still from the short film Lover Other by Barbara Hammer

In September 2011 Barbara Hammer’s new film Lover Other will be screened at the 11th International Eressos Women’s Festival, Skala Eressos Lesvos Island, Greece.

Lover Other
Barbara Hammer’s collage of photographs, documents, interviews, lyrical passages and dramatised scenes recalls the lives of two surrealist artists and lesbian Resistance fighters whose work and whose fate has largely been forgotten: Claude Cahun (whose real name was Lucie Schwob, 1894–1954) and her girlfriend and lover Marcel Moore (Suzanne Malherbe, 1892–1972).
Claude Cahun and Marcel Moore were step-sisters. They fell in love around 1910 and were to spend their whole lives together; they are regarded as the first lesbian couple to live and work together as artists. Cahun’s self-portraits wearing an array of different masks and costumes were to make her famous, while Marcel Moore began to gain a reputation as an illustrator. In 1937 they moved to Jersey.
When the Germans occupied Jersey in 1940, the two girlfriends embarked upon a campaign of artistic resistance, putting up posters, writing manifestos and pamphlets with which they hoped to incite the occupying forces to mutiny. In 1944, both women were arrested by the Gestapo and sentenced to death; the majority of their artistic output was destroyed. They were released from imprisonment after the island was liberated in May, 1945. Claude Cahun was never to recover from the experience.

About Barbara Hammer
Barbara Hammer (American, b. 1939) is renowned for creating the earliest and most extensive body of avant-garde films on lesbian life and sexuality. She has made over eighty films and video works over the past forty years. Barbara Hammer won two Teddy Award in February 2011, the prizes in the category for best short film, one for her own Maya Deren’s Sink, which “explores Deren’s concepts of space, time and form through visits and projections filmed in her LA and NY homes” and the other for Generations, which Hammer shares with co-director Gina Carducci. Barbara Hammer’s films has been screened by a number of big international art museums and she is presented in MoMA’s book ‘Modern Women: Women Artists at The Museum of Modern Art’.  Barbara published her first book titled HAMMER!: Making Movies Out of Sex and Life in 2010.

Related Link
Barbara Hammer’s website
Barbara Hammer’s video stream

Brighton: 18th Annual Lesbian Lives Conference

18th Annual Lesbian Lives Conference on 11-12 February 2011 in Brighton, UK. Hosted by University of Brighton LGBT and Queer Life Research Hub in conjunction with Women’s Studies Centre, University College Dublin. The theme of the conference is ‘Revolting: Bodies, Politics & Genders’. The conference will present papers and works by academics, scholars, students, activists, documentary and film-makers, writers and artists.

About Lesbian Lives XVIII
The Lesbian Lives Conference has been organised by the Women’s Studies Centre at University College Dublin for the past seventeen years and in 2011 it celebrates its 18th birthday in Brighton. The conference is a mix of academics, activists, performers, artists and writers and is open to all genders and any political and sexual orientations. There is an ethos of welcome and accessibilty.

Confirmed Speakers include:  Ali Smith, Emma Donoghue, Joan Nestle, Davina Cooper, Sarah Franklin, Reina Lewis, Caroline Gonda and Rose Collis. Panels include Irish Lesbian Activism and screenings by Irish Queer Women film and videomakers.

The organisers say: Brighton is easily accessed by train from Gatwick Airport – the journey is less than 30 mins. Aer Lingus, British Airways, Ryanair, BMI, Air Southwest all connect Ireland and Gjatwick.

Lesbian Lives XVIII
c/o Dr Kath Browne
University of Brighton
School of the Environment & Technology
Cockcroft Building, Lewes Road
Brighton BN2 4GJ

Join Lesbian Lives on Facebook.

'Black Girl Ugly 2010', photo by Sherley Olopherne

‘Black Girl Ugly 2010’, photo by Sherley Camille Olopherne

Art And Arts Related Workshops At Lesbian Lives XVIII
I have had a look at Lesbian Lives XVIII’s programme.  At the conferencey you can join workshops lots of workshops! Here is a list with a few samples which may be of interest to you dear arts professionals and art lovers.

Fingering our Histories: Exploring our Archives
– Lizzie Thynne (Sussex): Surrealism and Resistance: The War-time Campaign of Artists Claude Cahun and Marcel Moore

Taken Spaces: Black Lesbians Against White Aesthetics
– Sherley Camille Olopherne (photographer)

Projecting: LGBT Media Representations
– Fiona Philip (Leeds): Inciting Revolt: Bryher and Hollywood’s ‘Triumphal Bridal Procession’
– Tayfun Tezel (Charles University): Representations of Homosexuality and Homosexual-Oriented Character in Turkish Cinema
– Yasmin max Sason
(UEL): Revolting Lesbians on Israeli Media – Dancing with Conflict on Screening Lesbians on Israeli Media
– Rasha Touqan (LSE): Sex Kitten or Ice Queen: Lesbian Representations in Western Media

Playing a Part: The Story
of Claude Cahun, at Sallis Benney Theatre
– Screening and discussion of ‘Playing a Part’ (Lizzie Thynne, 2005)

Man for a Day
– Presentation and workshop with Diane Torr

Performing an Erotic
– Gael A Harvey (Essex): Queer Cinécriture: The Body Politic in the Lesbian Aesthetic of Barbara Hammer

Lesbian Gaze
– Sam McBean (Birkbeck): Gazing at the Family Photo: Queer Desires in Alison Bechdel’s Fun Home
– Elisha Foust (Royal Holloway): Dykes To Watch Out For: A Meditation on Revolt in the Graphic Novel