The Ordinary Lives of Women

A feminism of the ordinary

Co-curators: Elise Billiard Pisani, Margerita Pulè Exhibition design: Noura Abdelhafidh Film programme: Nicole Bearman Catalogue: Ann Dingli Participating artists: Florinda Camilleri (MT) & Abigail Agius (MT), Charlie Cauchi (MT), Edith Dekyndt (BEL), Katel Delia (FR/MT), Rachel Fallon (IRL), Julieta Gil (MEX), Syowia Kyambi (KEN/DR), Fatima Mazmouz (/MAR/FR), Francesca Saraullo (IT) Catalogue contributors: Amira Hassnaoui, Kathrin Shoedel One pitfall of feminist narratives can be to separate the female condition from ecology, economy or nationalism; to detach it from what constitutes and sustains it. Another misleading tendency is to place the limelight on women’s prominent achievements, forgetting the daily struggles many face in order to maintain their environment. These are the main issues The Ordinary Lives of Women exhibition challenges. The ten female artists within this exhibition approach the multi-faceted lives of those identified and identifying as women around the world. They address the mundane in the revolutionary and reveal the revolutionary within the mundane. Going beyond iconic and visible moments of feminist acts, they explore how other, less conspicuous acts, such as radical care, can disrupt and sabotage established power, reflected in Antigone’s ultimately fatal refusal to leave her brother’s corpse unburied. Here, the artists do not necessarily defend any feminine or female essence, but rather attempt to reclaim a space for female politics and restate how power shapes every aspect of women’s lives. What may be common to all the works in the exhibition are the quandaries in which women find themselves daily. Women are possessors of bodies which at the same time are publicly owned. Patriarchy offers little recognition of the daily gestures that women implement in order to keep unofficial history alive, to defend the rights of the undervalued, to work and care simultaneously; in other words, the wide variety of women’s modes of resistance. Placing the limelight on the achievements of individual women leaves little space in which to acknowledge the lives of women on an equal footing, and with equal rights and respect. The Ordinary Lives of Women, instead, gives visibility to the mundane, to its constraints and its revolutionary potential. There can be revolution in the mundane, just as there can by mundanity in the revolutionary process.