Postponed – Declaration of Sentiments

Throughout the history, the existence of women in social life has been tried to be made invisible.

The woman, who was previously described with symbols of fertility, abundance and goddess , was depicted as an evil creature in the Middle Ages. With the evolution of the matriarchal structure to the patriarchal structure, women were forced to live in a male-dominated world without equality.

In the history of art women artists were ignored, and their work was only associated with craft requiring manual dexterity.

Nevertheless, in this historical process, women artists opposed the marginalization and rejected the gender based roles imposed by the patriarchal system.  They continued their struggle in the field of art by running their own galleries, organizing their own exhibitions and opening their own art schools.

The “Declaration of Sentiments” exhibition was designed as a continuation of this historical process and brought together women artists within the framework of gender based women’s struggle in the art environment.

The exhibition was named after the Declaration of Sentiments at the Seneca Falls Congress, which was held on July 19-20, 1848 under the leadership of Elizabeth CadyStanton. The Declaration was signed by 100 men and women, and this was the first organized women’s rights record in history and an advocacy for equal rights for women.

You’ve probably heard that the Internationale Handwerksmesse München – hosts of Schmuck and Talente – have cancelled the trade fair on the recommendation of the Bavarian Government. Current Obsession, organisers and promoters of the Munich Jewellery Week (MJW) section of the usual Munich exhibition-fest, have set up polls to take the advice of their constituents – people attending and exhibiting in MJW. They have the support of many local shows and are keeping the maps up to date as to who will and won’t be showing. They will be in town providing support for the exhibitions that will be there, and so far there seems to be many shows that will go ahead.

However, Declaration of Sentiments, the touring exhibition that I was invited to participate in (instagram @copluslab) curated by Yasemin Bay, has been postponed. Instead of being in Munich our inaugural exhibition will likely be at Melting Point Valencia in April/May.

If you are elsewhere in Europe you will hopefully get other chances to see it as it tours throughout 2020, in several cities still to be announced. I’ll let you know when I do 🙂

In the mean time, here’s a new Caltrops works I made this year to fill out my collection of these weapons. I have always intended to continue the Caltrops works from the Escalation Series, as I researched and made a timeline of pages and pages of these little devices stretching back close to 2000 years. Yes, there are images of caltrops from around 200 CE; Roman ones from Scotland and some from China. Until now I’ve been occupied with other works and shows, but at the invitation of Yasemin Bay and the rest of the DoS organising team, I was prompted to finally make a couple more of these works.

The works utilise more recent caltrops. Whilst researching I found that they were sold by Amazon in the USA (they still are, and now they’re on Ebay too), so back in 2015 I made replicas of ones used in the US, and of those that were then available for delivery to my house (in Seattle). Unfortunately in 2016 these original works got lost in the mail travelling from one exhibition to another. I was sad to lose these pieces as they had relevance to my personal history, so in restarting this series the first thing I wanted to do was re-establish this connection. When going back into making this weapon I needed the right material, so after searching my boxes and not finding it, I decided to de-accession a couple of baking pans from my kitchen that my receipts show I bought from Amazon in 2015. I reworked the 2015 designs for the new material and ended up with two quite different works. I rarely do this, but in this case one work changed dramatically and I’m really glad to have arrived at this incarnation.

This work is pictured below. This piece replicates homemade caltrops, fashioned from nails bent and welded together, that were found on the US-Mexican border. The piece is named for Texas State Representative Aaron Peña, who banned caltrops in his state at the request of the U.S. Border Patrol.

21st C Caltrop #5 – 2011: AARON PEÑA’s spikes. 2020. Non-stick pie dish, stainless steel.