ON GRACE AND MONSTERS
ESTEFANIA B FLORES
‘’In honour of a landlord from my past, who in their infantile incompetence equates 'intelligence' and 'womanhood' with someone simply 'being difficult’’’.
The concept of female monstrosity, deeply ingrained in cultural narratives, serves as a reflection of broader social anxieties and norms concerning female identity and its societal role. Entrenched within expectations and societal fears, the archetype of a monstrous woman emerges when females deviate from established norms.
This archetype is often categorized and stereotyped within the 'scale of grace,' as teens are conditioned to perceive their assertiveness as aggression and commodify their dreams for the empire of consumption. Narratives echoing historical attitudes toward women who pursued autonomy and independence exemplify societal apprehensions not only towards women but also towards any individual embracing feminine ideals and breaking free from traditional molds.
The social dimension of female monstrosity intersects with broader movements advocating for gender equality. From ancient figures to contemporaries, Lilith to Shelley’s Frankenstein and dames depicted in the 60s and 70s horror novels, portrayals within social contexts illuminate how cultural narratives either perpetuate or challenge societal shifts toward more inclusive and egalitarian values.
Narratives that serve as a lens through which to examine the complexities of gender dynamics and the ongoing struggle for equality in society.
On Monsters and Grace, on portraits opposed in constructing the feminine as an imaginary ‘other’, on defying control and repression. The evolving social landscape, influenced by these portrayals, reflects ongoing struggles for gender equity and encourages society to reevaluate and redefine its perspectives on femininity and the power of choice.
Robots, masters of the universe, mothers encapsulating the whole world in a gaze—females fighting to protect, advocating for our rights, and demanding to be included. This imagery captures the multifaceted struggle for gender equality and recognition in today's society. Standing as a collective force united in the fight for equality and inclusion a united front acting as one character speaking up breaking systemic barriers, demanding recognition and representation in all spheres of life.
D Contemporary, this year highlights International Women’s Day and strives to ‘inspire inclusion’ by Presenting a duo show with Frida Wannerberger and Estefania B Flores. Intimidating figures spring from the void and speak loudly of their minds. This time, Venus does not modest herself. She stands tall, sits on her throne, speaks her mind, assuming control of it, defining sin and submissiveness.
Frida Wannerberger's figures command attention as they stand tall, poised on the brink of transformation, while grappling with the enduring dichotomy of self-versus the world. In her life-sized paintings, realism takes a divergent path, transcending mere depiction to unveil the depths of inner memories and experiences. Within these canvases, vulnerability intertwines with boldness, creating a dynamic interplay of emotions that captivate your attention Animated by the emotions they look directly into your eyes seeking solidarity.
Echoing an archetype of the divine sentinel, Estefania B. Flores scrutinizes the abuse of clichés by intertwining human flesh with mechatronics while linking femininity to superficial conventions and socially constructed imagery. She critically examines the soft power wielded by animated pop culture in the collective unconscious, perpetuating values and stereotypes while shirking responsibility and glossing over life's harsh realities. Adult cartoons, she observes, enjoy a degree of immunity due to the media's inherent political influence. Flores seeks to exorcise the societal impositions of 'musts' and 'shoulds,' referencing non-ideal feminist figures and employing artifice and exaggeration to comment on the idealization that shapes society through passed-down nostalgia.
23 FEBRUARY - 9 MARCH
PV: 23 FEBRUARY 6-9 PM