“Ever since perestroika, the majority of Russian women still fail to recognize that they suffer domestic and/or political oppression. This makes it difficult to convert them into partisans of a feminist course. Even if we accept their claim to political and domestic equality, it is possible, as Sandra Lee Bartky reminds us, to be oppressed ‘in ways that need involve neither physical deprivation, legal inequality, not economic exploitation; one can be oppressed psychologically. The psychologically oppressed become their own oppressors.” This is precisely what happened to Soviet women before perestroika, and it is still the case today: they are unwilling to acknowledge manifestations of psychological oppression (which include stereotyping, cultural domination, and sexual objectification), and so they continue to serve as ‘their own oppressors.’
The participants in After Perestroika: Kitchenmaids or Stateswomen, by contrast, were among the first in Russia to recognize that underneath each ideology there is always another. And in the wake of the dismantling of Soviet doctrine they began to reflect upon the ideology of gender, making the first contributions to its critique and taking the initial steps against the assumed belief in a single ideology.”
- Excerpt from catalogue essay by Margarita Tupitsyn
After Perestroika examines the shifts in women’s lives by exploring depictions and imagery of women in the former Soviet Union, challenging cultural attitudes, and bringing to light the socio-political climate for women and artists during the 90s in the post-Soviet states.
Accompanying this exhibition is the catalogue, After Perestroika: Kitchenmaids or Stateswomen, with essays by Margarita Tupitsyn and Martha Rosler. Please click here or visit our shop for more information.