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Off the Beaten Path: International Art Exhibit Highlights Issues of Gender-Based Violence img-share-ph

June 13, 2009

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Randy Jayne Rosenberg 510-451-6610 or Randy@ArtWorksForChange.org

“Off the Beaten Path” Opens in Norway before Touring Globally

OAKLAND, Calif. — A new international exhibition of contemporary art brings together artists from around the world to explore the many dimensions of gender-based violence. In “Off the Beaten Path: Violence, Women, and Art,” set to open June 20 at the Stenersen Museum in Oslo, Norway, 32 well-respected artists from 25 countries create new stories through their artwork addressing gender-based violence from a global perspective.


“Throughout the world, women and girls are victims of countless and senseless acts of violence. The range of gender-based violence is devastating, occurring, quite literally, from womb to tomb,” explains Randy Jayne Rosenberg, executive director of the nonprofit group Art Works for Change and the show’s curator. “The stories that underlie these artworks return us imaginatively to the event of violation and allow it to affect us.”

Premised on the visionary potential in art, the exhibition avoids tabloid and sensational imagery. The invited artists were asked “to help us create a new representations through their artworks and, in doing so, help us feel and understand the essence of the problem of violence against women,” says Rosenberg. The goal of the exhibition is to help create a new conversation on the full spectrum of issues that surround this important topic. Within the context of the exhibition Art Works For Change explores various definitions of violence against women and girls as it relates to the themes of: Violence and the Individual; Violence and the Family; Violence and the Community; Violence and Culture; Violence and Politics. They hope the audience leaves the exhibition with a better understanding of the roots of abuse, a feeling of empathy, and an awareness of choice in their actions and beliefs. These problems, though widespread, are often invisible, says Rosenberg. “When we encounter violence against women, we often overlook the facts and experience a sort of blindness. We choose not to see the devastation of domestic violence, calling it ‘a family affair’. Honor-killings of women in faraway regions of the world become nothing more than a ‘cultural difference’. We find it hard to believe that sex trafficking and exploitation occur in our cities, close to home. The rape and torture of women during armed conflict is the inevitable ‘messiness of war’. As such, the political and systemic sources of violence are often underestimated or overlooked.” To promote social change, Art Works For Change and its exhibitions serves as a catalyst within the community. Through its partnerships with museums, galleries, and advocacy and educational organizations, Art Works For Change provides a forum for which local education and outreach can take place within each host city the exhibition travels. Organizational partners for “Off the Beaten Path” include Amnesty International; Art for Amnesty; CounterQuo.org; Global Fund for Women; International Rescue Committee; the UN Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM); the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), and The Voices and Faces Project. Participating artists include Marina Abramovic; Jane Alexander; Laylah Ali; Louise Bourgeois; Lise Byjorne; Maria Campos-Pons; Patricia Evans; Luciana Fina; Maimuna Galgano; Mona Hatoum; Icelandic Love Corp; Yoko Inoue; Kim Myung Jin; Jung Jungyeob; Amal Kenawy; Hung Liu; Almagul Menlibayeva; Gabriela Morawetz; Wangechi Mutu; Miri Nishri; Yoko Ono; Lucy Orta; Cecilia Paredes; Susan Plum; Jaune Quick-to-See Smith; Joyce J. Scott; Eve Sussman; Masami Teraoka; Hank Willis Thomas; Miwa Yanagi “Off the Beaten Path” will run through August 9, 2009, before touring to other cities. For more information, visit www.ArtWorksForChange.org.

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About Art Works for Change
Art Works for Change produces contemporary art exhibitions to address social and environmental. It uses the power of art as a vehicle to promote dialogue and awareness, and to inspire action and thought. Art Works for Change operates under the fiscal umbrella of the Tides Center, a tax-exempt organization.