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Kunsthalle Wien Presents Some Stories: Women
Mona Hatoum, “Measures of Distance”, 1988, 15’, videostill, A western Front Video Production, Vancouver.
VIENNA, AUSTRIA.- Kunsthalle Wien presents Some Stories: Women artists from Algeria, Egypt, Iran, Lebanon, Palestine, Syria, and Turkey show constructions of female identity in film and video, on view through April 24, 2005. Heard in this video exhibition are women artists from Algeria, Egypt, Iran, Lebanon, Palestine, Syria, and Turkey , living both at home and abroad, who tell their individual narratives of being female. They move in the tense field of tradition and progress, regionalism and internationalism, exile and immigration, religious value systems and Western capitalist influences. Their multifaceted works show extremely diverse possibilities for identity. Identities shift in culture clashes, the translation between Arabic and Western languages and world pictures proves difficult. Women must confront the projections with which they are denounced by both East and West and must find their place between the simultaneous poles of capitalism and cult. So as not to become immersed in the indifference of the public realm and mass media hegemony, it is necessary for women to reposition themselves and appear in a world in which they set a self affirmative example and announce their art and their opinions.

Artists who are now living in Istanbul, London, Cairo, Damaskus, New York and Vienna show subjective stories in film and video: The constructions and also deconstructions, impressions of and statements about the female identity range from work as being a moment that endows identity to a mother daughter relationship, from psychoanalytical interpretations of family structures to a slightly documentary style exploration of the status of being pregnant....Panoramic overviews are broken by specific political and personal experiences, regional close ups, and transcultural and multi perspective approaches. Narratives, documentaries, and fictions collect in digital images to form a series of impressions that demonstrate a diverse array of realities and visions of femininity. The videos suggested by the artists, in keeping with the demands of Edward Said, allow personal and sudden insight into a theme that is difficult to grasp. A kaleidoscopic collection of narratives thus emerges, which asks questions for which there exist no final and unambiguous answers.

Participating artists: Lara Baladi, Mona Hatoum, Diana El Jeiroudi, Gülsün Karamustafa, Amal Kenawy, Shirin Neshat, Nura (anonymous artist), Zineb Sedira. Curators: Róza El Hassan, Gerald Matt.

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