How did Mozart become a cyber feminist?
During the winter of 2017 and spring of 2018, the museum of art in Gothenburg presents an exhibition with the name Mozart’s Ghost. It is a progressive art exhibition where the main focus is feminism, internet-art and resistance. Many of the works focus on sexism, racism and economic inequality while others focus on the internet technique and its aesthetics.
A cooperation between several different artists such as Silvia Bianchi, Petra Cortright and the art collective 0s +1s has to lead to four galleries in the art hall being filled with screens reflecting different aspects of the internet, then and now.
Cyberfeminism, which is mainly what Mozart’s Ghost is about, is a movement created by feminists moving in internet circles. The term was coined in 1994, when “third-wave” feminists started theorizing, criticizing and exploiting the internet, cyberspace and new-media technologies in general (the first-wave feminists, the suffragettes, fighting for women’s suffrage and the second-wave, the 70s-feminists, fighting for equal rights for women). Internet was at the time a male-dominated platform and the cyber feminists wanted a possibility for women to share that platform. Some even went as far as to talk about cyborgs substituting the different sexes creating a new human identity. However, this is still for the future to determine. The cyber feminists were sure that the internet would bring them out of the darkness and trusted into the internet dominated future where they knew all the answers would be found.
Today there has become a fine line between reality and digitality, more abstract than ever before. The internet is shared by all genders, however, it has not solved all our gender inequalities. Mozart’s Ghost reflects the inequalities and injustice of the internet. With #metoo-movement still circling it has never been a more accurate time for an exhibition such as this one.
On the ninth of December to the fifteenth of April Mozart’s Ghost will be shown divided into three parts. The first part, The Body concerns the relationship we have with our bodies and how our bodies are represented in the media. How is the selfie culture affecting the way we look at our bodies? What do our growing skills in reducing, embellishing and making desired curves more prominent do to us and our society?
Then comes the second part, The Digital Room from the 30th of January to the 4th of March. The internet is a place where we can socialize and inspire each other, but it is also a place for conflicts, fear and constant exposure. Many of the artworks exhibited in the digital room will present different perspectives of this, but they also focus on the digital aesthetics.
The third part, Identity will be shown from 6th of March till the 15th of April, when the exhibition ends. This part brings up the possibility we have to be whoever we want with help from the internet. This thought has always exhilarated, scared and fascinated and is more relevant today than ever before. This, since we use extremely many different social networks. The third part of the exhibition features only one artist which is Amalia Ulman, who with her nine works have twisted and turned on the subject of internet identity.
I myself visited Mozart’s ghost on a rainy day in December and I must admit that when first entering the dimly lit room I was not that impressed. The room was filled with scaffolds, holding up big screens with giant, pink, moving butts and role plays that looked like they were from at least 2007. It was not at all what I had expected, very much how art often presents itself. I was under the impression that more of the fine arts would be shown. The art presented is however done so in a new and modern way.
So what was it that these screens wanted to communicate? I had absolutely no idea, and still today I probably don’t. The art collective 0s + 1s’s archive installations were very interesting. One consisted of a big net (symbolism!) where several different papers were hanging and you also had the possibility to listen to the content. Two other projects were films with themes concerning both the military and women’s role concerning public space.
I would say that Mozart’s Ghost really is an exhibition to be visited many times. Both for more understanding as well as for the different parts of it. The mix of every art piece gives many impressions and really does provoke one’s mind.
Lying on a giant mattress facing a giant butt carved to perfection did not make the exhibition any clearer. It is said to be a symbol of femininity and its artificiality. Sure, this reflects the obsession the society has seemed to have gotten for butts. However, it only shows how the society wants the butts, and how the internet can help to create that ideal. I think that it would have been much more interesting if butts with cellulite, fat and less perfectly formed cheeks were to be shown. That mirrors the reality, which I think our digitalized world sure could have some use for.