A recent post at "The F Word" introduces us to "Off The Beaten Path" a global exhibition bringing together a group of female artists to examine the ways in which women are hurt, mistreated, and otherwise disempowered throughout the world.

"Off The Beaten Path: Violence, Women, and Art" is a multimedia traveling art show that opened June 20th at the Stenersen Museum in Oslo, Norway. It features 17 well-known artists from 14 countries, along with several up-and-coming participants, in efforts to address both the various cultural difficulties women face and the more general trend toward violence against women. Curator Randy Jayne Rosenberg divided the works into several rooms, each with a theme like "Violence and the Individual," "Violence and the Community," or "Violence and Politics."


In the curator statement, Rosenberg writes:

Throughout the world, women and girls are victims of countless and senseless acts of violence. The range of gender-based violence is devastating, occurring, quite literally, from womb to tomb. It occurs in every segment of society, regardless of class, ethnicity, culture, or whether the country is at peace or war. Often, the victim's only crime is that she is female.

Rosenberg continues:

Premised on the visionary, poetic and prophetic potential in art, the stories that underlie these artworks by 32 artists from around the world return us imaginatively to the event of violation and allow it to affect us. Avoiding tabloid and sensational imagery, we ask the artists to help us create a new vocabulary—new representations—through their artworks and, in doing so, heal us, transform us and help us feel and understand the essence of the problem of violence against women.


Through dividing the art into several different themes, Rosenberg seeks to represent the ways in which women are oppressed in all sectors of society. The works included in "Off The Beaten Path" show a great range, both in the style and media, and the perspective that they represent. The pieces deal with issues ranging from the rights of sex workers, to the pervasive practice of bride burning, to the widespread terror of rape in Darfur.

Participating artists include: Marina Abramovic, Laylah Ali, Lise Byjorne, Maria Campos-Pons, Luciana Fina, Icelandic Love Corp, Yoko Inoue, Kim Myung Jin, Jung Jungyeob, Amal Kenawy, Almagul Menlibayeva, Wangechi Mutu, Miri Nishri, Yoko Ono, Lucy Orta, and Cecilia Paredes.


Yoko Inoue, Japan "Untitled" photograph of a performance

"Untitled" is from the room titled "Violence and the Community." The caption reads: "In some communities, where direct intervention is culturally impossible, women respond to severe domestic violence by assembling outside of the household in question and band out an alarm on pots and pans."


Laylah Ali, USA
Untitled, 2002
Untitled, 2002
Untitled, 2002

Susan Plum, Mexico, Luz y Solidaridad, 2006

"Brooms evoke many connotations—from the mystical to the mundane. For Plum, they reference the sacred act of sweeping the temples in Pre-Hispanic Mexico, an act that was performed during ritual cleansing and was also thought to elicit the earth's healing spirit."


Miwa Yanagi, Japan Tsumugi, Estelle Kwanyi, from the Grandmother Series

Yanagi's photographs show several young women posing as themselves fifty years from now. She found that the "modern girls" involved saw the process of aging as one that will bring power, respect, and adventure. Using makeup, costumes, and digital manipulation, Yanagi turned her participants into future versions of themselves.

Off The Beaten Path [The F Word]
International Contemporary Art Exhibition Highlights Issues Of Gender-Based Violence [ArtDaily]
Group Show: Off The Beaten Path: Violence, Women, And Art [Imagine Peace]
Off The Beaten Path: Violence, Women, And Art [Virtual Exhibition]
Off The Beaten Path [Official Press Release]