The eighth weapon


2000-05 The eighth weapon

The Exposition “Down the guns!”
In the year 2005, the hundredth anniversary of the awarding of Nobel Peace Prize, the writer and activist Berta von Suttner is been commemorated. Women’s Culture Centre Francesca Bonnemaison pays tribute to her with the exhibition “Down the guns!” which at the same time, and mainly, is a way to remember the many other women, most anonymous, who throughout history have fought for the peace.

The «war on war» that women have practiced has taken many forms: although we often think of demonstrations, strikes, rallies, barricades, taking care of life at the front and in the rearguard, also a novel an essay, a poster, a sculpture, a drawing can be concretions and vehicles. Bertha von Suttner, Käthe Kollwitz and Marga Ximenez have made contributions to the culture of peace through their artistic works: Bertha von Suttner with his novel “Die Waffen nieder!”, Käthe Kollwitz with his engravings and sculptures and Marga Ximenez with the installation “The eighth weapon”.

The exhibition “Down the guns!”, curated by Bea Porqueres, aims to be both an exercise in memory and an incitement to a dialogue on a question as crucial to humanity as the culture of peace and to its past and present contributions to its construction.

The eighth weapon
The installation “The eighth weapon” (2000) of Marga Ximenez is presented in the exhibition “Down the guns!” along with Bertha von Suttner's books and Käthe Kollwitz's engravings, because, like the works of Bertha von Suttner and Käthe Kollwitz, It is a first-rate contribution to the reflection on wars and their consequences and will incite the visiting public to «listening» to the dialogue that can be opened between the three, a dialogue that, like all the ones that stand between artists of the past and the present, needs our intervention, and our voice establishes the links between them.

The artist became acquainted with the work of 18th-century midwife and obstetric teacher Angelique Marguerite Le Boursier, named Madame Du Coudray (1712? -1790?), who devised a demonstration «machine», a pelvic area dummy with which the trainees could gain an in-depth knowledge of the physiology of the body of the pregnant woman and the location of the fetus, as well as the gestures that the midwife must perform to accompany a woman and a child to give birth / to reach life. The «machine» used by Mme. Du Coudray in her classes, kept in a museum in Rouen (France), was the starting point for a work which Marga Ximenez wanted to undertake and in whose course he was questioned by the brutal news appeared in the press about massacres in East Timor during the conflicts that ravaged the territory in its independence process in 1999. Pictures and descriptions of pregnant women killed and slaughtered by armed militiamen, from creatures snatched from their womb, interrupted and reoriented the work of the artist who conceived, thus, “The eighth weapon”.

The work shows fragments of bodies, from the waist down, explicitly sexually —emphasized the vulvae: two shin pads resting on the groin of trousers stuffed tightly— but avoiding obscene or brutality. It is the neatness with which the artist executes the sewing work that returns integrity, dignity and life to these bodies barred by deadly violence and barbarism. Point by point, jammed, sergeant, overvoltage, stitching, stitched together by the civilizing act of hands deftly loving, the cloths —cloths and flesh— return to life than Mme. Du Coudray wanted teach to giving birth.

A piece of present-day art, “The eighth weapon”, is deeply conceptual and, at the same time, linked to the matter that holds it: it is based on the idea that Marga Ximenez wants to translate and does so with a language, made of materials and techniques, that the artist masters.

2014 - Vapor Badia Librery. CAT, Sabadell. Catalonia.
2009 - MUA, Museum of University of Alicante. CAS. València.
2005 - Francesca Bonnemaison Women's Culture Center, Barcelona. Catalonia.
2000 - La Xina A.R.T. Gallery, Barcelona. Catalonia.

PORQUERES, B - Calcar, hilvanar, pespuntear, sobrehilar gestos del amor a la vida. CAT. PDF 73 Kb
HAC MOR, C - Un cop de puny molt ben donat. CAT. PDF 67 Kb
PLAZA, E - La vuitena arma. CAT. PDF 29 Kb
RIUS VERNET, N - Art contra la violència. CAT. PDF 120 Kb
OLIVER, C - Marga Ximénez, escultures tèxtils. CAT. PDF 77 Kb
COMBALÍA, V - Mujeres contra la guerra. CAS. PDF 29 Kb