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Sibylle Bergemann, Heike, Berlin, 1988.  Courtesy of Loock Gallerie.

The Medea Insurrection: Radical Women Artists Behind the Iron Curtain

The Wende Museum, The Armory, Culver City, California / November 10, 2019 - April 5, 2020


Medea: controversial archetype of female strength and passion from the East. In the years before the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, East European writers and painters often turned to ancient mythology to express their discontent with authoritarian rule. Their interpretations of mythological figures like Medea, Cassandra, and Penthesilea were crucial in shaping contemporary images for women, and sometimes they were straight-up punk. Working under the radar of the accepted art establishment, the artists in this exhibition provoked, protested, played with fire, and experimented while refusing socialist and bourgeois stereotypes. 

The Medea Insurrection pairs countercultural women artists from Cold War-era Eastern Europe with contemporary subversive women and non-binary artists from Southern California. Organized in collaboration with the Staatliche Kunstsammlungen, Dresden, and guest curator Susanne Altmann. 

Sibylle Bergemann, Heike, Berlin, 1988. Courtesy of Loock Gallerie.

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