Monday, March 9, 2009

Future Landscapes Designed by Women

Photo: Maria Adela Díaz
Curated by Patricia Rodriguez, the Solo Mujeres 2009 exhibit is another milestone in the tradition of women artists shows at Mission Cultural Center. This year’s exhibition titled Future Landscapes Designed by Women is an eclectic show with gender issues at its crux.

Solo Mujeres, a haven for Latina/Chicana artists, exhibits since the late 80’s. The demographic composition of artists represents the multi-ethnic population of San Francisco Bay Area and beyond. This exhibition includes sculpture, painting, works on paper, video and installation.

In her video-performance Territorio Invisible, María Adela Díaz covers herself with white paint alluding to the body, and the dichotomy between presence and absence. Anais Ye’s painting Mao wearing red lipstick has a puzzled look as if wondering what is going on in China today. Ye questions China’s embracing of Western values and politics.

A day in the office by Michelle Waters is a humorous rendition of animals looking at humans in a zoo’s den. Waters creates a reversal of roles, and she also alludes to environmental issues. Pink Bits by Marsha Shaw is a 50’s replica of her mother’s living room. Serving as a backdrop, pink wallpaper shows images of eggbeaters, vibrators, and whiskers. Defining public and private space, this piece reclaims female sexuality. Like Díaz, Shaw addresses body image issues.

Inspired by Jorge Luis Borges’ writing, Universos, an installation by Isabel Barbuzza, deconstructs language using discarded copies of the Encyclopedia Britannica. Pages create organic forms reminding us of floral shapes. Here, Barbuzza alludes to knowledge obsolescence of labyrinthine proportions.

Future Landscapes Designed by Women comes together as a women show with a non-thematic approach which includes an array of issues: gender environment, literature, and politics. Solo Mujeres characterizes itself as a show with strong women work, but it is weaken by the politics of inclusion under the emergent art rubric. Yet, this current show it is subject to multiple interpretations as to what future landscapes might mean.

Cecilia Nuín
Independent curator