2012 - 15° edition

April 22 to June 10 2012

curated by Lola Bonora e Silvia Cirelli

VIOLENCE. Art Decoding Violence

Ferrara, Padiglione d’Arte Contemporanea


The Science Committee Biennale Donna is working for several months now on the XV edition of the Biennale Donna, planned to take place in the spring of 2012 (April-June).

The appointment with the female contemporary art is taking place in Ferrara since 1984, with the collaboration of the Galleria Civica di Arte Moderna e Contemporanea (Civic Gallery of Modern and Contemporary Art).

After several exhibitions intended to explore female creativity in the strict sense of art, in the last three exhibitions of the Biennale, the Committee considered important to individualize topics related to sociocultural, identity, geopolitical and behavioral problems. Such problems are often present in the esthetical research of today’s international scene of most of the female artists.


Willing to study and develop the thesis previously identified, the Biennale Committee, focused for the XV edition of the exhibition, on the concept of violence, in all its possible meanings. This international exhibition with the presence of artists witch research is based on these themes, improves the problems of violence as an extremely relevant topic in today’s word society.

Violence is an action that could be exercised not only against the individual, but in the most various ways and in the most different contexts: there is family violence, cultural, social and political violence; not respecting the nature is a widespread type of violence today.

The artists invited to the exhibition are:

Valie Export, Austria

In her work the artist often deals with the issue of violence, in all its various and extreme directions. The work selected for the exhibition, Kalashnikov, assembles the artist’s sensibility to the war crimes, the social violence related on war and the trampling on human rights.

In her videos cruel images appear: images that the artist patiently retrieves from the Internet. Such images often pass on under the watchful eye of everyone, but sometimes they are forgotten too soon.

Regina Josè Galindo, Guatemala

The artist was born and still lives in her country. Her art is various, it goes from video to photography, but it meanly evolves performances.

In her work Regina Josè Galindo complaints the social and political situation in her country that continues to worsen and to attack the weakest, like children and women. The works selected for the Biennale Donna reveal offences and violated freedom: truths that have the duty to be told.

Loredana Longo, Italy

Loredana Longo’s research is introspection; it is a reflection of her own image, proposed in photos, installations, videos and performances. Therefore the autobiographical component becomes the artist’s work distinctive.

The family topic is another main subject of the artist’s research, which is narrated with all its contradictions. The house is the place where all these contradictions arise, and where different psychological and social situations take place.

In the last years the project Explosion is where the artist recreates family life scenes, makes them explode so she could recompose their broken pieces. The video related to the installation documents all the passages the artist makes from the destruction to the reconstruction of the family house. This video goes on like this forever thanks to the use of the loop. Thus the private environment becomes a change of forces, examining the different facets of the social relations.

Naiza Khan, Pakistan

The artist works batter down the generational, geographical and gender’s barriers. Naiza Khan often works with photography, drawings and installations. She exalts the paradox of the Pakistan’s society, still too attached to the rigid religion lows. The artist’s sculptures are particularly provocative and suggestive; therefore they engage the lightness of the female underwear with the coldness and the heaviness of the steel.

Yoko Ono, Japan

After the Second World War the artist moves to the United Stated with her family, where she spent the most of her life.

Yoko Ono is one of the first artists that explored the Concept Art and the Performance. She was also the director of several experimental videos.

Lydia Schouten, Holland

After a one year sojournment in New York, the artist remains overdone by the violence and the aggressive lifestyle of the metropolis streets. Lydia Schouten works are marked by that experience and her installations speak about murders, aggressions and crimes, fragments taken from the TV interviews made to killers and from the newspaper clippings.

Nancy Spero, United States

Feminist, artist and radical is a reputation that didn’t preclude her access to the London and New York’s art institutions, these adjectives are not a fire mark as they are in some countries like Italy, where being a feminist today sounds like an insult, or a failure of youth.

With her shouting heads, images of victims and executioners, the artist sees the prevalence of violence, in a men’s world made of wars and phallic bombs.



Kalashnikov, 2007

Courtesy Charim Galerie, Vienna

Photo: © Markus Krottendorfer

Regina José Galindo

Regina José Galindo

Peso, 2006

Courtesy prometeogallery di Ida Pisani, Milano/Lucca

Loredana Longo

Loredana Longo

Floor #5, Triangle Shirtwaist Fire, 2012

Courtesy l’artista

Naiza H. Khan

Naiza H. Khan

Armour Lingerie IV, 2007

Courtesy l’artista e Rossi & Rossi Ltd

Naiza H. Khan

New Clothes for the Emperor II, 2009

Courtesy l’artista e Rossi & Rossi

Lydia Schouten


Lydia Schouten

A Virus of Sadness, 1990

Courtesy l’artista e Cultural Heritage Agency of The Netherlands

Nancy Spero

Nancy Spero

Vulture goddess/Gestapo victim, 1994

Courtesy Galleria Franco Soffiantino

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