Defiant Muses ~ Delphine Seyrig and the Feminist Video Collectives of 1970s and 1980s France. Focusing on the emergence of video collectives in the 1970s, this exhibition (curated by Nataša Petrešin-Bachelez and Giovanna Zapperi and running till May 7, 2023) proposes to reconsider the history of the feminist movement in France through a set of media practices and looks at a network of creative alliances that emerged in a time of political turmoil and that were relevant far beyond France. Seyrig as well as actress and friend Jane Fonda, cinematographer and filmmaker Babette Mangolte, poet and painter Etel Adnan, artist, author and activist Kate Millett, or writer and philosopher Simone de Beauvoir appear as knitting nodes of a wider, plural, transnational fabric. Videos, films, artworks, costumes, photographs and archival documents are associated within sections that convey the multiple political concerns that the feminist movement was raising at this precise historical moment. The total of seven exhibition areas were conceived under the following titles: Undoing the Diva; Feminist Media Appropriation; Countering Normativity; Disobedient Practices; Transnational Struggles; Research Into The Anti-Psychiatry Movement; An Unfinished History. The topics negotiated therein resonate with a set of problems concerning art and politics today, as feminists keep on building alliances, rise against the film industry’s structural sexism, and challenge normative gender roles. Seyrig’s troubled positions in-between aesthetics (cinema, video) and work (profession, industry) are marked by a continuum between the actress and the activist thus reminding of the ongoing significance of the 1970s feminist slogan: “the personal is political.”

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