Gendering Protest: Deborah Castillo and Érika Ordosgoitti
through Thursday, December 31, 2020
The Center for Women in the Arts and Humanities is pleased to present the virtual exhibition, Gendering Protest: Deborah Castillo and Érika Ordosgoitti, which features the work of two exiled Venezuelan artists whose art responds to the country’s political turmoil of the last decade.
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 twenty-first 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 e-book 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.