The exhibition takes its name from the book “A Room of One’s Own” written by Virginia Woolf, one of the most remarkable modernist novelists of 20th century. Woolf talks about the disadvantages of being a woman in the male-dominated art world - particularly in the literary scene- and proposes ways to bring out women’s creativity through stories that oscillate between reality and fiction. The book is inspired by Woolf’s speech to female students in Cambridge University and was published in 1929, the year after women were allowed to vote. Woolf criticized the important British male authors, poets and critics of her period due to their attitudes towards women and claims that a woman needs a room for herself and economic independence in order to write freely. Woolf creates a fictional character in the 16th century, Judith Shakespeare (Shakespeare’s imaginary sister) in order to illustrate that women are denied certain opportunities even when they have the same talents, because they are confined to household tasks.
The challenges that are addressed in the book “A Room of One’s Own” can still transcend today’s world view and are expressed through the works of four women artists in the exhibition. The artists are inspired by personal experience or by combining reality and fiction, just like Woolf. Each artist comes from a different part of the world and with her own photographic language, brings out obsolete values and the expectations that still trap women today.
Based on her own family experience, Cansu Yıldıran created the series "The Dispossessed" portraying hard-working women who are deprived from the right to own property in the flatlands of the Black Sea region of Turkey.
German photographer Charlotte Schmitz photographed the lives of her neighbors as she lived in Balat, Istanbul for two years. In her project "I am so beautiful, so beautiful" she documented patterns of behavior of women that privatize beauty and marriage.
Iranian artist Tahmineh Monzavi who focuses on the social problems and especially women issues in the Middle East creates a fictional beauty Iran in the “Crown Giver” series, which takes its name from an old beauty pageant in Iran. Her other work in the exhibition takes place in the old parliament of Afghanistan which had been ruined during the war, depicting a female musician playing the traditional instrument “robab”.
Meltem Işık, in her series “Twice into the Stream”, explores one’s relationship with her body and the notion of watching and being watched at the same time.
A room of one´s own
- 22.03.18 - 05.05.18
Leica Gallery Istanbul
Tarihi Bomonti Bira Fabrikası,
Birahane Sok., No:1/C
Bomonti, Sisli 34380
+90 212 230 8898
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Tuesday - Sunday 11.00 am - 7.00 pm