Ala Kachuu, (Bride Kidnapping), Kyrgyztan, 2019
From series Power Rape, On Rape
From January 25th to February 22th 2020
[ Opening saturday 25 January 2020 from 3 p.m to 20 p.m ]
The galerie Les filles du Calvaire announces the upcoming solo exhibition of the artist Laia Abril. The first chapter of her work on the history of misogyny On Abortion has been presented worldwide after the Rencontres d’Arles festival in 2016. Laia Abril presents at the gallery her second chapter: On Rape.
Laia Abril’s forthcoming exhibition On Rape is the second chapter to her project. A History of Misogyny. It expands her ongoing visual archive of the systemic control of women’s bodies across time and cultures.
Of her new work, Abril writes, « by scrutinizing, conceptualizing and visualizing diverse miscarriages of justice across historical regulations, toxic dynamics and victims’ testimonies, the project aims to call out the institutional rape culture prevalent in societies around de world. I’m looking at rape by exploring how concepts of myths, power, and law, relate to the constructions of the notion of masculinity and sexual violence.
I choose this topic, the second chapter of a of A History of Misogyny, the same way as the first chapter, On Abortion. I have been triggered by a local news that impressed me deeply. In 2018 the Spanish Court set free 5 man who gang-raped a 18-year-old with a sentence of abuse instead of rape, that would eventually call into question the Spanish legislative on rape. In full apotheosis of #MeToo movement, I wanted to understand why some institutional structures of justice, laws and policy were not only failing the rape victims, but actually encouraging violence through the preservation of power dynamics and social norms. By looking back to history, I could identify gender-based stereotypes and myths, prejudices and misconceptions, that have prevailed and perpetuated the rape culture. Through a painstaking research on miscarriages of justice and victim-blaming attitudes, this work evokes how still today society blames victims of sexual assault and normalizes sexual violence. »