Presented at the Frigoriferi Milanesi Center for Contemporary Art in Milan from April 4th to May 26th, 2019, the exhibition entitled The Unexpected Subject.1978 Art and Feminism in Italy celebrates the dense and fascinating relationship between visual arts and the feminist movement. 1978: a symbolic date, that of the Venice Biennale edition at which, over 80 women artists were invited to show by the curator Mirella Bentivoglio. Their experimental, militant works made a lasting impression. Forty years on, in echo of this key turning point, Marco Scotini and Raffaella Perna, the artistic director of the Frigoriferi Milanesi and the art historian, respectively, are reviving an event that honors some major figures such as Tomaso Binga, Irma Blank, Maria Lai and Lucia Marcucci.
More than 100 women, including Marina Abramović and Rebecca Horn, come together in this uncompromising artistic sorority, a combat without borders. A pluralistic and essential message supported by the House of Dior, the sponsor of this extraordinary retrospective. Last February, Tomaso Binga drew on her feminist ABCs (Alfabeto poetico monumentale) to design the scenography for Maria Grazia Chiuri’s show and, as a preamble, recited her poem-manifesto, an ode to a political commitment that’s more relevant than ever. Her powerful work, a fusion of the body and writing, also appears in this exhibition.