Pin me up – Turn me around
Pin-Up art has a long and rich history and occupies a unique space in feminist history. A Pin-Up is a photo or a painted picture of a pretty young woman with a seductive smile in a sexy pose pinned to the wall. These women have been displayed as ideal feminine figures and sexualized objects of desire. Coquettishly and tightly dressed Pin-Ups navigate between scandal and sexual liberation, longing and sensuality, sharp-nipped at the border between eroticism and art, undoubtedly sexist, but never pornographic. But the "sexy Icons", like all commercial images of the female body, could be objectifying and limiting in that it pressured women to conform to a rigid standard of beauty. The exhibition at Galerie Michaela Stock explores the ideal image of stereotypical men's dreams of an idealized female body, invented by men and then claimed by women in a new way of thinking.
Pin me up – turn me around deconstructs a sexualized burlesque image of a monster beauty. The exhibition encourages a move away from a one-dimensional view of sexuality encased in heterosexual norms, highlighting social, cultural and aesthetic positions. The exhibition is focused on the presentation of artworks from the realms of performance, painting, graphics, photography, collage, sound and video.
The invited artists from different age and cultural background appropriated familiar images of women and used the body as a powerful weapon against the social and political constructs of gender. For example the photo "Tomislav Gotovac as Grace Jones" documents his naked action 1986. The image was printed in the men's magazine Start. Gotovac was the only male centerfold in the whole history of that magazine.
Works from artists like Katalin Ladik, Barbara Hammer, Selma Selman or Evelyn Loschy can be approached by Georges Bataille's definition: according to him the origin of the erotic lies in the activity of hiding nudity. For example in the performance "Blackshave Poem" Katalin Ladik is shaving herself and simulating nudity in the spectacle of stripping. By substituting black garments for her naked body, she subverts the anticipated outcome and its attendant voyeurism.
Other Artists explore themes of perfection and their destruction and examine the illusion of perfection and it's desirability and regains control over the objectification of the body, taking it beyond erotic demonstration. Proudly, the body is presented in provocative as well as erotically tinged and trivial positions.