Through the past few weeks, breasts and flowers have been taking over Berlin. They popped up around Berghain, Rosenthaler Platz, and more locations. If you were around the German capital, then you may have noticed them. Even Ai Weiwei did, and shared it on his Instagram.
These flowery arrangements looked cute, but their significance was far from that: they were part of a series of installations created by the artist Annique Delphine, who named this series “Girl Disruptive” and took it to other locations such as Los Angeles – the most impacting being installed on the spot where they found the Black Dahlia’s corpse – Saint Tropez, London and more. This series is a sign of protest. The objectification of females leads to violence against them. And by placing these flowers and boobs on the street, Annique wants the passers-by to ask themselves the question: “What if femininity found its way through every crack and pothole, alongside your pavements, your roads, your walls… what if you literally had to step over us to go about your day?”.
In her Berlin solo show “Reclaim the feminine” organized by coGalleries and curated by Emma McKee, Annique displayed several series done throughout her career, in addition to the already mentioned “Girl Disruptive”. We could find stills from her movie “Objectify me” shot in California desert, where the artist strips down and covers herself with giant flowers, and the screening of such movie, that holds a strong message: “we don’t want to be picked”. Not as flowers, not as women on a highway. We simply demand the right to express and to move freely around the world.
An installation of flowers and breasts in the middle of the Gallery space, would transform every day into a different shape. Some flowers would wither, some would be added, symbolizing the different generations of women that change forms, grow old, and new ones take the place those old ones already paved.
These were just some of the artworks that the prolific artist Annique Delphine displayed from February 9th in the space. But possibly, the most interesting and fun feature this exhibition had were the Boobhead Workshops. As soon as we saw this interesting proposal on Facebook, we decided to secure our spots on the workshop and see what it was about. Annique has been using “Boobheads” – giant papier maché breasts that you place over your own head – to take photos of herself protesting against breast censorship on social media, among obviously more deeply-rooted aspects that the artist has explored on the path of her career. Delphine uses her ironic and witty sense of humor as an element of protest, and it translates on her pieces.
The workshop weekend went really fast. We were able to share the space together with the artist and some amazing men and women with whom we discussed different aspects of both the works displayed, and the works that each one were making. We were able to express humorously, why we decided to make our boob one way or the other. We shared stories about being left out or objectified, and we were able to let go and simply have a great time. Alliances between like-minded men and women against these society problems are crucial, if we don’t talk to each other, to the passers-by and we don’t expand our circles of friends in order to find more people like us, we will never win. During the workshop, we met people from completely different spheres and we shared a whole weekend exploring our creativity guided by the artist. The workshop was not about “making papier maché boobs” but about generating union. And it was utterly successful, and at the same time, extremely entertaining.
Some may not understand it, some might think that feminism needs to be taken more seriously. But in all honesty, it really takes wit and sense of humor to fight against conventions that have been installed on the mindset of the society for centuries and decades.
Reclaim the Feminine ends tomorrow with a finnissage in the coGalleries space in Torstrasse 170, from 7pm to 10pm.
coGalleries is an artist-first platform driven to empower professional artists by bringing the audience into the artist’s workspace. Based on the idea that meeting the artist in person creates a meaningful connection to each art piece, coGalleries opens the door to where art lives – in the studios and in the hands of the artists who create them.