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A hundred years of feminist art

The small Schinkel Pavillon delivers on a big promise. Catch "Straying from the Line" before it ends on Jul 28.

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Andrea Rossetti

Straying from the Line: The small Schinkel Pavillon delivers on a big promise.

Ambitiously setting out to show “works dedicated to the multiplicity of feminist tendencies in artistic production over the last 100 years”, the relatively small Schinkel Pavillon might not seem to be able to accommodate such a promise. However, this show reads like a directory of feminism in art.

In the hexagonal atrium space you will find everything from the very in your face 1980 pornographic magazine spread of and by groundbreaking British performance artist and musician Cosey Fanni Tutti (accompanied by an interview with her band Throbbing Gristle), to Heji Shin’s 2017 photo of a baby being helped from its mother’s birth canal by hands in white surgical gloves, to a more oblique Charlotte Posenenske sculpture easily mistaken for an air-conditioning unit snaking out of the gallery window. Fulfilling the show’s vow of a hundred-year survey are French photographer and gender nonconformist Claude Cahun’s three stunning self-portraits from 1917 and as you make your way downstairs don’t miss a Guerrilla Girls poster from 1988 spelling out the acerbically sarcastic “advantages of being a woman artist”.

Highlights downstairs include Ellen Gallagher’s “DeLuxe”, 60 individually framed collages of retro magazine ads embellished with materials ranging from ink to medical tablets and diamanté; a partly clad and faceless mannequin of a stripper by Anna Uddenberg contorting and dripping precariously off a glass table in the middle of the room, and Raphaela Vogel’s installation evoking a creepy nightmare of motherhood as a dairy cow with what resemble calcified milking machines hanging like stalactites around a projected video. With over 50 works, the films in the basement feel a little overcrowded and make it hard to focus on one at a time. And it’s a pity the catalogue is only available in German, but overall this show hits its mark and any feminist worth their salt should see it.

Through Jul 28