Dina Danish

Female Fatigue


30 May - 7 July 2024

Female Fatigue

Dina Danish, Peggy Franck, Melissa Gordon, Erika Peucelle, Maaike Schoorel

During Amsterdam Art Week, Stigter Van Doesburg presents Female Fatique, a group exhibition featuring Dinah Danish, Peggy Franck, Melissa Gordon, Erika Peucelle and Maaike Schoorel.

 

Female Fatique, refers to a state of exhaustion. A permanent fatigue that women suffer from more than men, it seems.  A spin around the Internet and the reasons fly around your ears. Too much is demanded of us.

In the visual arts, catching up is taking place on several levels.

The museums have woken up, but still have a long way to go before the female creator is equal to the male. Not until that division is 50/50 may we rest. Keep repeating that knowing that the zeitgeist will get fed up and focus on something else. Even then, keep repeating it. Use the attention that is there, and watch that it does not slacken.

Apart from numerically, art that was previously dismissed as “typically female” is given a place in the canon in terms of both subject matter and materials. No longer are subjects supposedly on the feminine side of the spectrum viewed with disdain. Pink is the new blue, tapestries are very popular.

Women are jumping into the breach for each other. With combined efforts, history is being changed, including intersectionally.

There are so many stories to tell and women no longer have to be afraid to be women.

Things are moving in the right direction, and this exhibition is another step forward.

 

Five women, the oldest of whom is in her early fifties and the youngest twenty-four. Could you tell that their work is by a female hand if you didn't know?

Dina Danish is showing a work that can be characterized as typically female in both subject matter and material. A tapestry of a ping ponging Mrs. Macron and Queen Camilla. The men are having a business meeting; they are playing a game. By choosing precisely this image, Danish holds up a mirror to us, but she could also have gone for an image of, say, Angela Merkel when she was still in office. Here Danish plays precisely with clichés that are on the verge of bursting with gender and power.

The work of Peggy Franck work could be seen by the amount of color and sensuality as that must have been made by a woman. And it is evident that she stands on the shoulders of other women. The history of female abstraction with Helen Frankenthaler as icon. She weakens the macho gesture of slapping paint by Pollock and colleagues by showing a photograph of the painting instead of the painting. The gesture is silenced. The unique gesture reproducible.

Melissa Gordon blends the history of the feminine side of art with her own palette. Under the name Female readymades, she rewrites the big story and engages in dialogue with her gendered peers. New is her series “Myopic views” in which she photographs the studio of fellow makers and fills in the view with abstract forms. A collaboration in a place that is otherwise individual.

Erika Peucelle uses her own body. Her self-portraits have something mournful and uncomfortable. They are far from coquettish and the male gaze is missing. It is precisely this awkwardness that betrays a feminine hand. Showing and being shown in one, more subject than object. I stand before the mirror, and I show what I feel. 

Finally, Maaike Schoorel paints subjects that have belonged to the female domain for centuries. Still lifes were always allowed to be made by women, and flower still lifes even more so, but gender transcends the subject. How many men today are not involved with flowers. It has rid itself of the feminine connotation and is almost gender neutral. 

Slowly you look through the layers of paint and the subject becomes lost in the idea of the subject. Her work possesses a spiritual charge that is more than a hint at meaning.

Besides being women, what do they have in common? Something of daring. Guts to do what they do and make what they make. No fear of feminine cliches, but daring precisely to strip them of their ingrained meaning and let them shine.