Just over a week ago I went to the Museu D’Art Contemporani de Barcelona, a beautiful, rationalist building and saw what I thought was a fittingly perfect reflection of rationalism (feminist) in Eulàlia Grau’s art. Hidden within the building’s many overlapping lines and brilliant white light on bare walls, was Grau’s ‘I Have Never Painted Golden Angels’, an exhibition of the Catalan media-scather and feminist’s collage art.
The building let in rays of light casting shade and glow on the walls, which was a perfect fit for the exhibition showcasing Grau’s collage artwork pasting confusing and juxtaposing images around each other. Grau began working in the 1970s and continues to create art that questions the social ethics of the media and the male-dominance of the industry (and most other industries too), and her work specifically makes ridiculous the inanity of women’s portrayal in the media.
Grau puts it on a plate for you. It’s clear and brash and easy-to-read, it’s take it or leave it. It has attitude. She prints puppet-women with glaring smiles, bright eyes and open legs displayed aside domestic kitchen tools, ebullient beauty queens perched atop surly criminals, a bride wed to the kitchen.
Grau’s images that I’ve posted throughout this blog post emphasise the borish beauty that we have to strive to, the borish social roles we’re trained to adhere to, and frankly, the silly and hilarious positions (literally, when it comes to Page Three) women are bent into every day.
It was, I thought, a satirical exhibition, and made me think, perhaps more feminist campaigns, alongside being aggressive, (which I think is the necessary and rousing tone to take) could monopolize on the humour of female portrayals in the media. A mixture of the ridiculous and the stirring could work well.
Definitely go and check the exhibition out if you’re in Barcelona up to 30 June!