Why are a woman's breasts obscene?

Female breasts in art : Double portraits

Whether plump, firm and large, as we encounter it in the ideal image of advertising, limp after weaning a child or disappeared after a mastectomy - the female breast excites the minds. Described as obscene, loved, coveted, lust and life-giving, identity-creating - hardly any part of the body is assigned so many contradicting attributes as the female breast. Some breasts can feed a person, others not - and the supposedly cosmopolitan values ​​of tech giants like Facebook and Instagram are still shattering on the female nipple. No woman has breasts when she is born, they only grow in the course of life. What is the female breast? What if it disappears? In what forms does it exist, how do we deal with it and, above all, why? These are just some of the numerous questions that the curators Britta (Helbig) Adler and Saralisa Volm ask in their current exhibition “bOObs - We show breasts”.

It is after "Bitch MATERial" the second exhibition by the curators under the same motto. You have selected artists who deal with our view of women's breasts in their works (prices: 450-25,000 euros). Camila Gonzalez Corea parodies the uptightness of big tech companies by censoring the female nipple in impressionistic breast portraits made from emojis. Only from a distance do the smileys, syringes, flags and animals merge into breasts. The artist does not stick to theory, but publishes the works on her account @camilagc - Thanks to the emoji landscape, Instagram has not yet recognized that the person depicted is - oh dear! - is a female breast.

Give breasts a place in art!

In Matt Lambert's provocative short film "Nipples", who deals with the same topic, it says: "Let's fuck with the status quo". That could be the exhibition's battle cry anyway: Give breasts a place in art beyond paint gauze, smashes the impetus that the female nipple still arouses. Rethink, smash clichés, celebrate femininity in all its forms. Thedra Cullor-Ledford processes her double mastectomy through the portrait of her removed, skinless breast: two bright red flatbreads resembling minced meat on a blue surgical drape. The dark cancer that has eaten its way through the tissue is clearly visible. Ledford himself decided against a reconstruction of her breasts - the absence of the female breast is one of the big themes of "bOObs". Sophie Mayanne shows in her photos that the breast does not have to make a woman into a woman - just as breasts do not have to meet a certain standard in order to be beautiful. Scars, seams, skin - all of this becomes part of joie de vivre and femininity instead of diminishing it.

Small rubber balls between candy

The poetically named painting "Thunderstorm breast" von GODsDOGs shows the veined breast of a pregnant woman in a warm light. More than ever before, the breast resembles a map of life, criss-crossed by blue rivers. Annique Delphine stages small rubber balls in breast optics in pastel candy landscapes. The flawlessly round breast spheres fit worryingly seamlessly into the collection of appealing objects that we want to eat, want to consume. The most perfect breasts in the exhibition can be found in a photo by Fréderic Schwilden. They are the only ones who cannot donate milk because they have grown through hormone therapy. Next to it, by the same artist, you can see a breastfeeding breast - less perfect, different. “BOObs” forces you to reflect on your own ideas, sings a hymn to femininity, to the fact that women and breast carriers can do whatever they want with them: All of this is part of female sexuality, identity and beauty. This directness and ease, yes, the revolutionary spirit of this exhibition will continue to have an effect long after you have left the Tempelhofer Galerie.

Karl Oskar Gallery, Burgemeisterstrasse 4, opening by appointment at: 015221022722 or[email protected]
Finissage: March 8th, 2019 (advance registration requested)

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