** Canceled ** Gendering Protest: Deborah Castillo and Érika Ordosgoitti

Tuesday, January 21, 2020
through Friday, April 3, 2020
Douglass Library


Center for Women in the Arts and Humanities

The Center for Women in the Arts and Humanities is pleased to announce the two-person exhibition, Gendering Protest: Deborah Castillo and Érika Ordosgoitti, which features the work of exiled Venezuelan artists whose art responds to the country’s political turmoil of the last decade.

Gendering Protest will be on view from January 21 to April 3, 2020, in the Mary H. Dana Women Artists Series Galleries, Douglass Library. The exhibit is curated by art historian and curator Tatiana Flores, associate professor in the Departments of Latino & Caribbean Studies and Art History, Rutgers University. To accompany the exhibition, CWAH will publish a comprehensive online catalog. 

On Wednesday, March 25 at 5 p.m. in the Mabel Smith Douglass Room, Douglass Library, there will be a reception in honor of the artists followed by an artist’s lecture from 5:30 to 6:45 p.m.

The work of Castillo and Ordosgoitti carries a distinctly feminist form of social protest, relying on performative acts and activating the body in daring ways so as to challenge not only the current political regime, but also heteronormative patriarchal culture and canonical Venezuelan aesthetics. In Venezuela’s economic heyday, geometric abstraction and architectural modernism were regarded as emblems of progress and prosperity. They eclipsed profound economic inequality and worsening social problems. As conditions deteriorated, abstraction was thrown into crisis, but Venezuela did not have a strong tradition of protest art. It was the task of artists in the 21st century to forge new directions. Castillo and Ordosgoitti do so by presenting a strong female body and imbuing her with agency, revealing a conviction in the power of art to effect social change.

Based in Brooklyn, New York, Deborah Castillo (b. 1971) has exhibited widely across Latin America, the United States, and Europe. A graduate of the Armando Reverón University Institute of Plastic Arts in Caracas, she has held residencies at Franklin Furnace, the Hemispheric Institute, and the London Print Studio. She is the subject of the recently published ebook Deborah Castillo: Radical Disobedience, published by HemiPress.

Érika Ordosgoitti (b. 1980) is a graduate of the Armando Reverón University Institute of Plastic Arts. She received the AICA award for young artists in Venezuela in 2016 and the MISOL Foundation award for young artists in Bogota in 2014. She has had solo exhibitions in Caracas and Bogota and participated in group exhibitions in Europe and Latin America. 

Venue Information     

The exhibition and event are free and open to public. The Mary H. Dana Women Artists Series Galleries are located in the Mabel Smith Douglass Library (8 Chapel Drive, New Brunswick, NJ 08901). Gallery hours are Monday through Friday 9 a.m. to 10 p.m., and are subject to the University Libraries’ operating schedule. Further information about the exhibition, event, accessibility services, and parking can be found at cwah.rutgers.edu. Visitors to the university are required to register their vehicles online. Please direct inquiries to: womenart@cwah.rutgers.edu.


The exhibition and event are funded in part by the Center for Cultural Analysis; Center for Latin American Studies; Department of Art History; Douglass Residential College; Rutgers Global; and the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, a partner agency of the National Endowment for the Arts. Co-sponsors: Art Library, Center for Latino Arts and Culture; Department of Arts and Design; Department of Latino and Caribbean Studies; Department of Women’s & Gender Studies; Institute for Research on Women; Institute for Women’s Leadership; Zimmerli Art Museum.

Douglass Library