Milan Mikuláštík’s exhibition titled Genderbunker stages feminist topics and maps the historical representation of women and questions related to the beauty myth...
Author: Milan Mikuláštík (CZ)
Curator: Lenka Kukurová
Exhibition opening: Thursday, October 25th 2012, at 5:30 p.m.
The exhibition runs until December 9th 2012
Venue: Bunker – Nitra Gallery, Župné námestie 3, 949 01 Nitra, Slovakia
Milan Mikuláštík’s exhibition titled Genderbunker stages feminist topics and maps the historical representation of women and questions related to the beauty myth. The exhibition responds to a continuous and often misguided discussion on the understanding of the concept of feminism. The author’s position is openly feminist. In his view, feminism is primarily of a social and civil concern, not something related to women exclusively.
Inspired by real historical expositions, Milan Mikuláštík created an armoury situated in the space of the underground bunker. Instead of arms, however, the spectacular installations on the walls communicate the “historical role“ of women – they display kitchen tools. The installations reconsider male heroism traditionally understood as a series of war successes. The exhibition of invasive kitchen arms is equally absurd as exhibitions adoring military objects. The presentation of history as a display of kitchen utensils is, however, less insidious.
In the work “The Last Supper” the author deals with the topic of anorexia. The composition of personal scales, situated in the scheme of an exclusively male biblical topic, refers to the obsession with a perfect look that becomes a new religion of capitalist society. Historically the reasons for the inequality of genders were religious dogmas, whereas at present illusory equality is demonstrated by the myth of beauty men and women conform to. The author’s childhood experience with eating disorder exemplifies that feminist questions are not exclusively women’s agenda.
Even twenty years after the concept appeared in our country, the broad public still misperceives its meaning as a “battle of sexes” or as an “extreme form of women’s emancipation”. In fact, feminism is a critical attitude reinforcing gender equality rights and focused to undermine prejudices commanding how a “proper” man or a “proper” woman should act. The exhibition discloses a reality when it is no longer necessary to be ashamed of feminist thinking or to oppose feminism whether in the arts or in civil life.
Milan Mikuláštík (1975) is a Czech artist, a member of the collective Groupe Guma Guar that responds to topical social and political problems in its works. Groupe Guma Guar and Milan Mikuláštík attracted wide attention of the public and political representation with their artistic installations (criticising corruption and undemocratic governmental practices). The author also curates exhibitions.