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September 15–December 18, 2022
Moving in Space without Asking Permission, an Andrea Bowers exhibition organized by Bruna Roccasalva, is on display at Fondazione Furla and GAM—Galleria d’Arte Moderna in Milan.
Moving in Space without Asking Permission, the artist’s first solo exhibition in an Italian institution, is the latest project in the Furla Series, a program promoted by Fondazione Furla and carried out in partnership with Italy’s top museums, with an all-female program intended to valorize and showcase women’s crucial contribution to contemporary culture. The exhibition provides a comprehensive look into Bowers’s creative process and her dedication to the fight for women’s independence and gender equality.
American artist and activist Andrea Bowers’ work mixes political activism and aesthetic practices from a feminist standpoint. The artist has spent nearly 30 years using a formal method with a powerful visual impact to explore important problems like environmentalism, immigration, women’s and workers’ rights, and gender equality. She employs a range of media, including drawing, film, and neon installations, and renders complicated subjects using an approachable and direct vocabulary. Her work is the ideal illustration of how beautiful language in art can be used to communicate socially significant themes.
The exhibition Moving in Space without Asking Permission is a component of a larger analysis of feminism that Bowers has been working on for some time. It emphasizes both current and historical themes, with a special emphasis on the connection between feminism and physical autonomy. Each of Bowers’ projects starts with in-depth investigation into the environment in which it is being conducted and a meeting with its social structure. Specifically, the work of activist and philosopher Alessandra Chiricosta, who studies and teaches martial arts as a form of bodily self-awareness and thus offers a break with gender stereotypes, served as the starting point for the artist’s exploration of some contemporary Italian feminist experiences.
The exhibition path winds through the five rooms on the ground floor, combining iconic works and ambitious new productions that testify to the artist’s great versatility of artistic language: from the neon sign Another Kind of Strength (after Alessandra Chiricosta’s book “Un altro genere di forza. Costruzione sociale e filosofica della debolezza del corpo femminile e del mito della forza virile”, 2019) (2022), which opens the exhibition, to the documentary video filmed inside Villa Reale and dedicated to a lesson on “feminist combative self-awareness” held by Alessandra Chiricosta; from the paintings on collages of recycled cardboard to the two new striking environmental installations Political Ribbons (Fondazione Furla / GAM Milan) and Feminist Fans.
Moving in Space without Asking Permission demonstrates the effectiveness of a research strategy that sees political activism and artistic practice as being inextricably linked while also demonstrating how art can prompt reflection on and heighten awareness of the most important issues by using the particularities of its language.
Andrea Bowers. Moving in Space without Asking Permission is the fourth edition of the Furla Series project, and is the upshot of collaboration between Fondazione Furla and GAM: a partnership undertaken in 2021 and renewed for the staging of the upcoming events in the cycle.
GAM – Galleria d’Arte Moderna, Milan
Via Palestro 16