Even today, works by female artists are still underrepresented in the Kunstmuseum Basel collection. The same is true for leading art museums around the world. Now as before, women still need to assert their importance as protagonists of (Western) art history.
For over half a century, artists, art historians, gallerists, collectors and curators have been working to represent female perspectives in the visual arts within exhibition spaces, museums, publications, and archives. In particular by linking feminist themes with humour, artists create works that function at once as a means of activism and a call to action. Comedy and satire are multifaceted means of expressing an artistic-feminist stance that prompt a shared, liberating laughter. As the American literary scholar bell hooks put it twenty years ago, “Feminism is for everybody”.
A selection of key works by female artists held by Kunstmuseum Basel — including Guerrilla Girls, Pipilotti Rist, Martha Rosler, and Rosemarie Trockel — anchor this group exhibition.
Fun Feminism is a suggestion of looking at the collection through a feminist lens, while combatting the stereotype of feminism as humourless with an emphasis on joy, playfulness and irreverence — which gave rise to the current exhibition. It features outstanding, yet rarely shown works with a feminist subtext in the permanent collection from the late 1960s to the 1990s, and recent works by contemporary artists.
Polly Apfelbaum, Monika Baer, Lynda Benglis, Dara Birnbaum, Pauline Boudry & Renate Lorenz, Dineo Seshee Bopape, Ruth Buchanan, Pauline Curnier Jardin, Paz Errázuriz, Jana Euler, Sylvie Fleury, Andrea Fraser, Ellen Gallagher, Anna Gili, Guerrilla Girls, Ani Liu, Muda Mathis & Sus Zwick, Kirsi Mikkola, Ebecho Muslimova, Lorraine O'Grady, Pipilotti Rist, Tracey Rose, Martha Rosler, Karin Sander, Sarina Scheidegger & Ariane Koch, Cindy Sherman, Wiebke Siem, Lena Maria Thüring, Rosemarie Trockel, Fatimah Tuggar, Lily van der Stokker, Kawita Vatanajyankur, Puck Verkade, Marianne Wex, Nives Widauer, Melanie Jame Wolf, Betty Woodman, Aline Stalder & Nadine Cueni & Katharina Kemmerling & Katrin Niedermeier