even if it’s in the women’s bathroom

even if it’s in the women’s bathroom
even if it’s in the women’s bathroom

In a probably failed attempt to capture the conjunctural vibration of the consequences of the news at hand – they will quickly discover which one – easily fit into a furious aesthetic translation, into the gestural rebellion of, at the very least, a generalized arching of the eyebrows on the part of the of the male sector and the usual comparative plot tantrum of “imagine it had been the other way around”, suddenly one stops to think. Not much either, which is diverted or lost.

Naive, playful and always projected in the unmistakable enjoyment of the fabled, You can imagine the face he would make or the absolutely unfriendly comment he would make. Antonio Dumas –impeccable as always Oscar Martínez despite the irritation that his character causes here–, that cultural manager with an allergy to historical and gender revisionism within the framework of exhibition codes, recently appointed director of a contemporary art museum in Madrid and protagonist of the “Fine Arts” series when he saw that the artist Kirsha Kaechele has decided to exhibit the cubist style painting “Woman Lying on the Couch” painted by Picasso at 32 above a sink in the new women’s bathroom at the Museum of Old and New Art (MONA) in southern Australiawhile a version by the Malaga painter of the painting “Lunch on the Grass” from 1961, It rests in this same universal space of anonymous urination next to one of the toilets.

The proposal, of course, is not coincidental, nor does it respond to a childish congenital preference for the silent refuge of the toilets: nor to a symbolic insult towards the figure of Picasso nor to an exercise in rejection of his work. It is rather a pulse of resistance, a coherent performative continuity with the discourse initiatedfrom a statement of intentions with a feminist tinge that was born after “Ladies Lounge”, an art installation created by Kaechele herself consisting of the setting up of a room within the MONKEY which housed some of the museum’s most acclaimed works (including pieces by Picasso and Sidney Nolan and a trove of antiquities from Mesopotamia, Central America and Africa) and restricted access to menwas temporarily closed after a guy identified as Jason Lau alleged that in 2023 the museum prevented him from accessing the facility despite having paid the full entrance fee to the facility and a court ruling ended up describing it as discriminatory that the facility had an exclusive exhibition for women.

During her defense, Kaechele reviewed a chronology of the experience of discrimination and exclusion experienced by Australian women, including the prohibition of working in the public service sector once marriedthe fact of receiving lower salaries than men for the same work, something in which the museum’s own management had been involved, or the chilling fact that Australian women were not allowed to enter public bars until 1965. 1965. “Men are experiencing “Ladies Lounge.” Their experience of rejection is the work of art,” he explained then, underlining the blurred nature of the artistic limits of a proposal whose very meaning was precisely the predictable reaction of masculine indignation generated.

“We will reopen the room as a church, school, luxury establishment or facility (…) In the meantime, enjoy ladies!“urges the American artist on her Instagram account, defending this creative solution of transforming the space into a bathroom for ladies and thus being able to comply with the regulation despite the fact that the lounge continued to operate as an exclusive space for women under the corresponding legal exceptions. And as claimed Ana Mendieta“transgression only exists from the moment art reveals itself.”

 
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