The Open House
Mediation activity addressed to adults to accompany the exhibition “Ana Vieira. The home and the escape”. Based on the identification of the main topics covered in the exhibition, we propose you some reflections and readings in order to challenge us in this regard, as well as possibilities for actions to be taken in relation to Vieira’s work.
“When ideas and affections converge, ideas gain power”. Chantal Mouffe
“Yes, I think that society in general is male-centred everywhere. In the large centres where it is more disguised, or in the outskirts where it is transparent. What I can criticize women for is that they do not claim their situation of minority, whichever it is and not stating their “difference” and their ability to go deeper into their own self”. Ana Vieira
Ana Vieira’s exhibition shows a complex, multidimensional and broad conception of the home, which ranges from aspects linked to the enjoyment of everyday life to the experience of the domestic space in its most problematic spectrum, such as a place of routine, obligation, and work. All of them are issues inevitably traversed by gender, which have been widely addressed from feminisms and contemporary thought.
Just as Vieira uses text in some of her works, we would like to share with you some quotes from writers and thinkers who have addressed the experience of the home from a critical and vindicatory perspective.
“Reality doesn’t impress me. I only believe in intoxication, in ecstasy, and when ordinary life shackles me I escape, one way or another. No more walls”. Anaïs Nin
“Married against their will, kept in one room, and to one occupation, how could a dramatist give a full or interesting or truthful account of them? Love was the only possible interpreter”. Virginia Wolf, A room of own’s own.
“No woman gets an orgasm by shining the kitchen floor”. Betty Friedan
Were you interested in these quotes? You can consult some more here.
Unlike the concise and direct nature of any quote, much of Ana Vieira’s work is characterized by being subtle, poetic and playing with a whole series of layers, juxtapositions and veils that let you sense or glimpse what often remains hidden or invisible when we think of the home, and that transcends its physical and tangible space.
The serigraphs made between 1973 and 1976, as well as some of the intervened photographs (1973-1978) are a clear example of it. here the artist juxtaposes obvious elements of domestic everyday life with scenes and situations from the outside world that are projections of the future and represent her desires for freedom. We must not forget that, as can be seen in Projecto Ocultaçao / Desocultaçao, the house is also for Ana Vieira a space of enjoyment and projection of desires.
After visiting the exhibition and considering the issues we have shared with you we propose the following activities:
- Think about and send us quotes that reflect on the home; exploring the most conflictive dimension people have with the home (“invisible” jobs and duties such as housekeeping, care for dependents, or other burdens) If you prefer, you can also send us your own sentences. Also, you can accompany the text with an image if you find it appropriate.
- Show to us those less visible, less tangible, more interior and subjective aspects of your homes; those that are less literal, that remain hidden, and that, rather than echoing the most immediate reality, are yearnings that project into the future. You can do it like Vieira, for example from the intervention of photographs of your house, or as you see fit.
- We suggest that, following the line of work seen in Projecto Ocultação/Desocultação, you represent pleasure and desire in your homes. Photograph spaces, with or without people, which give us a glimpse of how you live your private space. You can use text if you wish, just like the artist does in this work.
If you have felt inspired to make any of the proposals, you can share them with us at firstname.lastname@example.org