Women are taught to be pleasing, to be gentle, selfless, accommodating and composed. Thanklessly we navigate this “high road” and tune out the voices that try to undermine us. But what happens when we sink our teeth and misses-nice-girl is no more?
Bossy. Bitchy. Outspoken. Nasty.
Such a nasty woman was 2016’s lesson in flippant misogyny. A soundbite turned rallying call practically overnight. For female artists, the sentiment was as maddening as it was familiar. The contributions of women in the arts have been downplayed throughout the course of history and from this dismissal, inspiration, creativity and subversion have sprung. The Nasty Women global art movement was born from this spirit—from the revolutionary idea that women are more than their ability to be well behaved. That they can exist for themselves, for their art, and for each other.
As the siege on women’s rights continues in the United States and abroad, the purpose of Nasty Women is twofold: to unapologetically celebrate the work of artists who identify as Nasty Women and to promote causes that afford women rights and autonomy. From its humble start in Brooklyn, New York, to expansion of over 40 events worldwide, Nasty Women is a force of resistance and solidarity. Dublin will showcase the diversity of Ireland’s own Nasty Women this month at Pallas Projects/Studios. The event will feature over 80 artists from across the country in addition to fundraising for causes to Repeal the Eight Amendment.
Jesse Jones, one such nasty woman, represented Ireland in May at the 57th Venice Biennale for her film Tremble Tremble. Jones is certainly not one to back away from controversial subject matter. Her work generally takes the form of film or video exploring themes that resonate with contemporary politics, especially regarding the historical struggle of women. In Tremble Tremble she draws inspiration from an archaeological specimen of a 3.5 million year old female, 16th century witch trials to symphysiotomy and the battle for legal abortion in Ireland. Last year, Jones told Image magazine, ‘Political feminism is more what I’m interested in than an idea of feminism. Being an artist, you get to have a space where you get to make representations, and I think that’s fundamentally a political act.”
Dragana Jurisic is another featured artist and Nasty Woman. She is a visionary photographer and an awarded Irish Arts Council artist. Her latest work is a compelling photo story of Yugoslavia, YU: The Lost Country. The photos take the viewer on an emotional pilgrimage, as Jurisic
herself narrates about striking encounters in a country that “disappeared like Atlantis”.
Nasty Women Dublin will present an inspiring gathering of Irish artists that you won’t want to miss. All works have been generously donated by the participating artists and will be on sale for less than €100 with
proceeds going to Coalition to Repeal the Eighth Amendment and the Artists’ Campaign to Repeal the Eighth Amendment.
Nasty Women Dublin will launch on ThursdayAugust 3rd with the exhibition continuing until August 12th. Follow the exhibition and events programme in more detail on their Facebook and Instagram accounts.
Words by Aubree Calderwood.