MODEM, Debrecen: The Other Venus

The Other Venus

An exhibition by Orshi Drozdik
9th October 2011 – 8th January 2012

The work of Orshi Drozdik has played a significant role in the history of women’s art across the international arts scene and has greatly influenced a generation of artists to follow.

Drozdik moved to Amsterdam in 1978, after graduating from the College of Fine Arts in 1977 as a graphics major, and two years later she based herself in New York City. At present Drozdik lives both in New York and Budapest, and is a teacher at the Hungarian University of Fine Arts. She has exhibited at many of the foremost galleries across Hungary and abroad, and articles assessing her shows have been published in numerous prestigious art journals. Yet, Drozdik has continually engaged with the contemporary art scene in Hungary. The 1998 exhibition, article, and textbook Walking Brains, for instance, greatly contributed to the spread of feminism in the country.

Drozdik began her career in tandem with the Hungarian post-conceptual movement of the 1970s. Still Drozdik’s work can only truly be interpreted in the light of the poststructuralist discourse that she was influenced by at the time of her emigration. Research, the demand for theory and its language, as well as the manifest representation of these in the work of art have been the ongoing driving force for her creative production. As a result, her chosen topic often unfolds in numerous variations and is presented in her polyvalent practice to reveal many aspects of the given problem.

A major point of departure for Drozdik’s career took place while being student of the College of Fine Arts, Drozdik started to develop the chief concepts underpinning a work titled Individual Mythology. With this term Drozdik signified a unique set of values, which she felt were essential in her vindication of the current patriarchal social and artistic environment. The problematic of gender first caught her attention in an early nude drawing class, once deemed to be the basics of classical art education. Drozdik there observed the distinction of form between a man’s and a woman’s gaze and, taking this problem as her premise, she reflected on the paradoxical situation of the woman artist. The search for a feminine aspect, the definition of a woman artist is also markedly interwoven with the analysis of the relations between power and representation.

Now, for her first, major project in Modem, The Other Venus, Drozdik’s thematically selected, reformulated work takes into account the peculiar features of the gallery. Yet this exhibition does not simply highlight the dilemma the other’s perspective in art history because it opens experiential possibilities to viewers rarely encountered in this place.

MODEM Centre for Modern and Contemporary Arts
4026 Debrecen, Baltazár Dezső tér 1.

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