In Episode 10 of The Great Women Artists Podcast, Katy Hessel interviews the legendary Director of Whitechapel Gallery IWONA BLAZWICK on the radical Brazilian artist ANNA MARIA MAIOLINO!!
And WOW is it incredible to hear one of the most important curators in the WORLD today speaking so passionately about one of the greatest Latin American artists – who also has an unmissable exhibition on right now at Whitechapel Gallery.
With a career spanning five decades and counting, 77 year-old Maiolino works across a multitude of mediums including performance, photography, and sculpture. Born in Italy during WW2, Maiolino emigrated to Venezuela and then Brazil, where she lived in extreme politically unstable times under a dictatorship.
But this fuelled Maiolino to make art that reflected these times: hidden away from the authorities, and challenging what it really meant to be a woman in this environment.
Known for her blindfolded performances where she avoided treading on hundreds of eggshells to highlight the fragility of life under a dictatorship, sculptures of the body that featured just the basic system to emulate the mere 'existence' of life under a dictatorship, Maiolino also focusses on simple shapes and forms to emphasise the universality of art and clay, substituting it for a language that, as an immigrant, never felt was hers.
I cannot STRESS how fascinating my chat with the brilliant Iwona Blazwick was. It made me realise so much about what artists do to survive when under political scrutiny, but also how much Mailino's work applies not just to artists, but to the public today.
We also discuss Iwona's role as a museum director and what that means in 2019; programming women artists exhibitions now compared to the 80s and 90s; 'exclusion' (such as women and Latin American artists) in the traditional art historical canon; the importance of diversity in institutions; and making shows relevant and accessible for everyone today.
Anna Maria Maiolino: Making Love Revolutionary is at the Whitechapel Gallery until 12 January:
Thank you for listening!!
This episode is sponsored by the National Art Pass/ @artfund: https://bit.ly/32HJVDk
To receive a free tote bag with your National Art Pass, enter the code GREAT at checkout!
Katy Hessel: @thegreatwomenartists / @katy.hessel
Sound editing by @_ellieclifford
Artwork by @thisisaliceskinner
Music by Ben Wetherfield