The works selected for the exhibition testify how at the start of the XX century the representation of the female body starts bursting at the seams. Following the deep impact of the Second World War, Feminism and Freud?s theories, the female representation started reflecting the contradictions of a rapidly changing society.
However, it is only from the beginning of the 1960s that the struggle for equal rights generates a deep change in female self-perception and a widening in women?s perspectives in many environments, including the artistic one.
Between the XIX and XX century, beside the feminine ideal of the Angel in the house, the unsettling figure of the femme fatale emerges: feared and craved at the same time, she becomes a diva on screen, an independent woman, in charge of her own destiny.
The female naked body, in its most intimate dimension is helpless, powerless, fragile, a sublime example of grace and beauty, the incarnation of the artists? poetic essence, the emblematic embodiment of their aesthetics.
In the XX century, photography and psychological investigation transform portraiture into a representation of the artists? perception of themselves and of other people; they depict women believing they can ascertain their own soul, their most profound inner sense.
During Italy?s fascist era, the female representation swung between two opposite archetypes: the prolific mother and the ?new woman?, aiming at obtaining consensus and at creating ideal women
citizens, ready to respond to the country?s needs.
The XX century social, cultural and political changes determine a new perception of the family and of gender relationships; art reflects the interpretative uncertainties of until then codified roles, the new dynamics of romantic love, the representation of a new feminine inwardness.
From the 1960s the female body, no longer an object of desire and representation, takes on a leading role within the political debate becoming a key player in the artistic expression:
thanks to the feminist movement and to women art performers, the body becomes a powerful mean of communication, investigating the mystery of the female?s identity and sexuality, exploring the family and other institutions, highlighting anxieties and deepest fears.
The exhibition will be accompanied by a series of events (talks, readings, performances), starting from March 2019. The GAM (Modern Art Gallery) is also launching an online and social media call to action #donneGAM, inviting the public to post pictures of women as key players of their family history from the start of the XX century until the 1970s. All the photos will be on display for the duration of the exhibition.