Visibility / Invisibility: Gendered (Re)Orderings

An Invitation to Participate

In a feminist exhibition  

Feminist work…involves reimaging the world we live in and working towards a liberated future for all. But how do we begin to imagine?

                                                          Olufemi, 2020, p. 6

You are invited to participate in a feminist exhibition titled Visibility / Invisibility: Gendered (Re)Orderings. The physical exhibition will be curated in museums and gallery spaces in Victoria BC and we will also develop a virtual exhibition. This exhibition offers a space to ‘imagine’, a space to use and think through stories and representations to explore, imagine, trouble, and/or reimagine the concepts of visibility and invisibility as experienced in our complex gendered world. Through a feminist lens, this living exhibition will showcase living gendered knowledge, imaginations, and experiences through agentic stories objects, artworks, images, belongings, and artifacts. In other words, exhibition topics and images will take different forms. The idea is open to interpretation and radical imagination!

Visibility and invisibility are central to the discursive and interpretive layers of the socio-gendered ordering of things or in more traditional terms: our social, political, and cultural structures. To be ‘visible’ is to be seen, present, clear, obvious, apparent, detectable, discernible, out, and noticeable. Conversely, to be ‘invisible’ is to be unseeable, indiscernible, undetectable, absent, unnoticeable, hidden, in, obscured, secret and inconspicuous. To be visible or invisible is not straightforward, not always a reconcilable opposite. Women in all their diversity and others who experience gender oppression are made – by their own hand or others — visible and/or invisible, discernible and/or indiscernible, clear and/or obscured, in and/or out, present and/or absent, noticeable and/or unapparent.

       Feminist stories and representational — objects, artworks, images, belongings, artifacts — in this exhibition will represent power, the power (or not) to portray, depict, symbolize, render, story, to be ‘subject’ or ‘object’ of one’s own story, life, and society. This means that women’s stories matter because they pop the top off of ideological, social, and cultural constraints, setting free voices and tales that had hitherto been silenced. Representations matter not simply as illustrative, nor as simply support a story. Rather, they function as important sources of knowledge construction and it is in this sense they can be understood as pedagogic, as feminist adult education. Rather than expressing a fixed meaning and providing a specific explanation feminist representational object allows us to explore multiple and sometimes contradictory experiences of visibility and invisibility.

       Participants wishing to take part in this exhibition will identify an object, image, artwork, belonging, etc., and speak to notions of visibility and invisibility, telling their own story, the story of someone they know, or musing on societal and cultural acts of making visible and invisible. Ideas can focus on (but are not limited to) femininity, masculinity, non-binary, identity, aging, social construction, deconstruction and reconstruction, violence, care, rendering, portrayal, absence, presence, inclusion, exclusion, violence, harmony, belonging, decolonizing, struggle, defiance, history, complicity, and other socio-gendered dynamics that have an impact on the lives of women and others across the globe who experience gender oppression. What story do you want to tell? What representational objects, artworks, etc. best enable you to show and tell a story of visibility and/or invisibility in a deeply gendered world? Examples can be provided if they would help to inspire your creativity because we do want creativity!


Photograph/Image: High resolution

Artworks or objects: Must be delivered and will be returned on an agreed-upon date (keep small and easy to mail)

Accompanying story: Maximum 450 words

First Date: February 01, 2024