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The Brooklyn Museum Presents: 'In the Now: Gender and Nation in Europe'

On view in the Center for Feminist Art, the upcoming exhibition will include 47 women artists.
Sarah Pickering (British, b. 1972) Land mine, 2005. Photo: Provided/Brooklyn Museum.

The Brooklyn Museum will display the work of 47 women artists who are challenging the notions of gender, nationhood and the practice of photography itself in their upcoming exhibit "In the Now: Gender and Nation in Europe, Selections from the Sir Mark Fehrs Haukohl Photography Collection." 

The exhibition highlights photo-based artwork made since 2000 by women artists born or working in more than 16 European countries. It will be on view from March 8 through July 7, 2024. 

“We are grateful to Sir Mark Fehrs Haukohl, whose generosity has made this exhibition possible. The show inspires new narratives about the Brooklyn Museum’s photographic collection by prioritizing important contributions by women photographers. This directly supports the Museum’s mission to provide expansive encounters with art, inspire courageous conversations, and celebrate our communities,” said Carmen Hermo, associate curator, Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art, Brooklyn Museum.

Building on the first iteration of the exhibition, which was on view at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art in 2021, the Brooklyn Museum presentation features 15 new artists from the Haukohl Photography Collection and illuminates the collection’s feminist underpinnings.

The works on view investigate issues of migration, the legacies of nationalism in Europe and patriarchal power structures. By pushing the boundaries of photographic methods and techniques, the artists also resist the male-centric focus of the history of photography.

Organized into three thematic sections, the exhibition is located in the Museum’s Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art, which is centered around Judy Chicago’s The Dinner Party (1974–79). Chicago’s landmark installation presents a now-canonical critique of male-centric Western history. While Chicago reimagines Western civilization through the lives and achievements of women, artists like Carole Bénitah, Anna Rackard and Aida Silvestri use the camera to focus on personal and political stories of family, labor and migration. Others, including Alexandra Croitoru, Eva Koťátková and Melanie Manchot, capture the social and patriarchal pressures women face.

The Gender section contends with representations of women’s bodies, as artists react to the personal and political realms of oppressive beauty standards, religion and law, and the history of art. 

In the Nation section, the artists unpack the social and generational fallout of European colonialism and nationalism. Artists in the Photography section grapple with a changing medium that has historically been hostile and exclusionary to women. Some engage early photographic methods in new ways or adapt found photography. Others reject the boundaries of the medium by incorporating painting, performance, film and textiles.

"In the Now: Gender and Nation in Europe, Selections from the Sir Mark Fehrs Haukohl Photography Collection" will be on view from March 8 through July 7, 2024.