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UCSD University Art Gallery Opens
Season With ‘Off the Beaten Path’

First U.S. Showing of International Exhibition on Violence Against Women

October 7, 2009

By Isabelle Lutterodt

Photo of
Yoko Inoue, detail of Untitled, photograph of performance, 2007 digital print scanned from Polaroid, 36 x 36 inches, courtesy of the artist.

The University Art Gallery at UC San Diego opens its 2009-10 exhibition season with “Off The Beaten Path: Violence, Women and Art,” which brings together artists from around the world to explore the global ramifications of gender-based violence. The internationally travelling show makes its first stop in the United States at UCSD, opening Oct. 23 and remaining on view through Dec. 12.  

Curated by Randy Jayne Rosenberg, executive director of Art Works for Change, “Off The Beaten Path” features 21 artists and organizations from 19 countries: Amnesty International, Laylah Ali, Maimuna Feroze-Nana, Mona Hatoum, Icelandic Love Corporation, Yoko Inoue, International Rescue Committee, Jung Jungyeob, Amal Kenawy, Lisa Bjørne Linert, Hung Liu, Gabriela Morawetz, Miri Nishri, Yoko Ono, Cecilia Paredes, Susan Plum, Cima Rahmankhah, Joyce J. Scott, Jaune Quick-to-See Smith, Masami Teroka and Hank Willis Thomas.

“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,” said curator Rosenberg. “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 new representations through their artworks and, in doing so, help us feel and understand the essence of the problem of violence against women,” Rosenberg said.

“Off the Beaten Path” explores multiple aspects of violence against women and girls organized within several thematic categories: Violence and the Individual; Violence and the Family; Violence and the Community; Violence and Culture; Violence and Politics.

The organizers 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,” she said. “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.”

The University Art Gallery at UCSD is partnering with 5 Women Who Care, CASTLA, Center for Community Solutions San Diego, End Violence Against Women International, Survivors of Torture, Amnesty International, The Voices and Faces Project, and United 4 Iran as well as departments and programs on campus in order to create a calendar of programming.

The University Art Gallery is on the west end of Mandeville Center at UCSD. Hours are Tuesday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is free and open to the public. Information at  858-534-2107 or uag@ucsd.edu.

More about the gallery: http://universityartgallery.ucsd.edu.


Media Contact: Isabelle Lutterodt, 858-534-0419 or ilutterodt@ucsd.edu

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