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Group show "Monroe/Monroe" at Shang Ba Art Gallery Beijing

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Duration: October 19, 2018 – November 20, 2018
Venue: Shang Ba Art Gallery
Address: Shang 8 International AD Park, Yard 3, Xiadianjia (West Dawang Rd), Chaoyang District, Beijing
Host: Photo Beijing 2018 Curatorial Committee
Organizer: China Art Photography Society

Opening: October 19, 2018 (Friday) 14:30
Artists: Anna Ehrenstein, Guo Yingguang, Pixy Liao, Lv Jiatong, Miia Autio, Poulomi Basu

Executive Director: Xue Chenmei
Curator: He Yining
Curatorial Assistants: Cai Xinyuan, Qiao Hongyan
Designer: Shi Runmin

In the 1940s, French philosopher Simone de Beauvoir wrote in The Second Sex that “one is not born, but rather becomes, a woman. No biological, psychological, or economic fate determines the figure that the human female presents in society: it is civilization as a whole that produces this creature, intermediate between male and eunuch, which is described as feminine.” “Monroe”, a surname of Scottish origin, has been translated into completely different and highly gendered Chinese characters in different contexts: Meng Lu (梦露) in the case of Hollywood star Marilyn Monroe, and Men Luo (门罗) in the case of James Monroe, the fifth president of the United States. This phenomenon indirectly responds to the myth of femininity revealed in de Beauvoir’s book.

“Monroe/Monroe” focuses on recent creative practices in photography and related media by artists around the world on topics concerning women and gender. The exhibition aims to investigate, in certain social and historical contexts, possibilities for artists to create their own expressions between the speakable and the unspeakable. The project is grounded in the connection between contemporary photography and feminist culture, and will be presented as a combination of exhibition, forum, research and public events.

The exhibition of the same title, “Monroe/Monroe”, will explore different issues caused by gender differentiation in the upbringing, family life and social life of women through the works of 6 photographers. The works showcased in the exhibition start from the postmodern perspective that sees the body as an object of gender and go on to challenge, humorously or methodically, stereotypical identities of women within the scope of complicated social and cultural perceptions.

During the exhibition, we will invite a number of curators, scholars and artists active in the field to participate in academic forums, talks and public events, which are not only designed to help us explore the important significance of photography in raising and responding to related issues, but also to examine the history and development of women’s photography around the world in a broader context.