'Why Have There Been No Great (wo)Men Artists?' was the first in the series of regional exhibitions that are being organised as a part of the 'Perceptions' programme. The exhibition showcased pieces that are a part of the British Council collection of UK art, as well as works of Montenegrin female artists.
'Why Have There Been No Great Women Artists?' was a question asked by Linda Nochlin in 1971, opening up a series of issues concerning art history canons that have been neglecting, marginalizing and ignoring women's voices and positions within the complex art world.
Although the question was raised nearly half a century ago, it is still globally discussed, not only among artists but also among much broader social constellations. Despite major shifts in women's emancipation and struggles for equality won over the past hundred years, the contemporary society has been repetitively producing norms of patriarchal social and political relations that keep women in unequal economic, educational and cultural positions. This, of course, is being reflected in contemporary artistic and exhibition practices which remain continuously concerned with the so-called women's issues.
It is therefore not at all surprising that the first exhibition of Perceptions project, which was opened in the National Museum of Montenegro in Cetinje, was entitled Why Have There Been No Great (Wo)Men Artists? – pointing to the necessity of reconsidering one of the key provocations for understanding not only the art, but also past and present social relations within the region.
The exhibition consisted of works by Abigail Lane, Anthea Hamilton, Camilla Løw, Celia Hempton, Clare Strand, Elizabeth Price, Gillian Wearing, Helen Chadwick, Laura Aldridge, Lubaina Himid, Madame Yevonde, Rachel Whiteread, Sarah Lucas and Tracey Emin, as well as Adrijana Gvozdenović, Anka Burić, Brigita Antoni, Gordana Kuč, Irena Lagator Pejović, Jelena Tomašević i Lenka Đorojević.
The themes of these ambitions and innovative exhibitions have been proposed by curators of five museums, in which they will take place. In the National Museum of Montenegro, its curator Natalija Vujošević will present the unique way in which she explores the topic of gender equality in the museum's collection.