Men #2, 2016
Excerpt from performance documentation, editor: Ines Moldavsky
Men#2, uses Rebecca Solnit’s iconic article “Men Explain Things to Me” (Haymarket Books, 2015) as a starting point for thinking about education and gender in the art world. Slonit's article focuses on the silencing of women, specifically the idea that men seemingly believe that no matter what a woman says, a man always knows better. This phenomenon was later named mansplaining.
For this playful project, Amir had invited a dozen of her male ex-college professors, to stand behind a custom made speaker podium in Tel Aviv Museum's Helena Rubinstein Pavilion. The Professors were asked read Solnit's article to the audience. While reading the article, the professors wore T-Shirts that were designed in a collaboration with five local female artists. Each T-shirt presents a different gender based statistic about the Israeli art world found by Amir; such as: The percentage of female vs. male artists in museum solo shows (Female 30% Male 70%) or the percentage of female vs. male artists that have shown at the Israeli pavilion in the Venice Biennale (Female 12% Male 88%). Since Sonit's article is written in the first person singular form, and it was written by a female, when translated into Hebrew, which is a grammatically gendered language, it became clear that the male professors would be speaking in the feminine form. This act created a double meaning: the male professors were ‘mansplaining’ the article to the audience but they are also criticizing themselves by reading out loud this article which talks about the silencing of women by men, and they were also undermining their own gender by speaking in the feminine form of the Hebrew language.
A large scale portraits of five of the participants with the five especially designed T-Shirts were presented on the back wall.
Photos of Professors as T shirt models: Hinda Weiss
Performance and Installation photos: Jasmine Ritter
This work was shown as part of the show Art School, Curated by Avi Lubin at the Helena Rubinstien Pavilion of the Tel AvivMuseum, 2016
Participantes: Yair Garbuz, Ido Barel, Doron Solomons, Roee Rosen, Gilad Melzer, Joshua Simon, Raafat Hattab, Anonymous, Avi Lubin and Uri Katzenstein.
Produced by Jasmine Ritter. Wood work by Yair Shahar.