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Simone de Beauvoir: “You aren’t born a woman, you become one”

12. May 2017 – 28. August 2017

Special Exhibition in the Context of Change of Scenery 2.1

Is women’s empowerment an old hat, an out of date discussion, or a project of yesterday? Didn’t the category of gender disappear long ago? Do we still want to transcend Beauvoir’s men today? Hasn’t the idea of a superior gender been superseded? If you look around Europe and the world today, this concept of gender is simply reiterated, or has never been questioned at all. The negation of women’s empowerment also affects the rights of other minorities. The homosexual emancipation has always been strongly linked to the women’s movement. It is time to dust off the Bible of feminism, to question and ponder its contents. It is a powerful book, which aided in the successful circulation of existentialist ideas. The book was a best seller and a success around the globe. Like all basic texts, sometimes it is read too extensively, but also too little. A plea for the freedom of every individual no matter what kind of social status or gender identity. It is an invitation to freedom, to take responsibility for one’s own existence. Reading Simone de Beauvoir is by no means nostalgia. Her existence is somewhat antiquated in some places, with her texts from the year 1949, but in her arguments Simone de Beauvoir remains as always as ever. Do not forget: “It is not a natural law that the side of emancipation gains.” * So, we ask you to read Simone de Beauvoir. Take Simone de Beauvoir to heart. Make Simone de Beauvoir’s ideas of freedom a reality!

* quote by Volker Weiß

This exhibition is dedicated to Fräulein Hermine Wagner

Who was Fräulein Wagner—or to be more exact, the bluestocking woman named Hermine? She was the first emancipated woman that crossed my path. She was a burly woman with light facial hair, and was tough on the outside, but soft on the inside. A kind-hearted person, but still proud and stubborn. It has been said that she would always carry an umbrella with her as a walking-cane, and would use it to beat men she found to be ignorant. Men were known to have kept their distance from her. As a culinary apprentice of hers, she tried in vain to thrill me for music. She loved operas. I had my first musical experiences with her. Unfortunately I was already lost to film and cinema. She insisted on the use of “Fräulein” when addressing her. This exhibition is dedicated in her memory.