Cherchez la femme

Wig, Burqa, Wimple

Exhibition Cherchez la Femme

Headlines and swimwear, headscarves and demonstrations, fashion shows and papal audiences – how much religiosity secular societies can tolerate was explored in this exhibition. In the 1950s and 1960s, style icons like Grace Kelly wore the headscarf as a fashion accessory. Today, religious context is the main reason why women cover their hair. These traditions go back to ancient times, when status and fashion determined which women were veiled. Hair was still regarded as too intimate to be shown publicly for many cultures.

Gebäudeplan mit Markierung des Libeskindbaus
Where

Libeskind Building, ground level, Eric F. Ross Gallery


Lindenstraße 9–14, 10969 Berlin

Cherchez la femme - ARTE Exhibition Trailer (in German)
©ARTE GEIE - Auszug aus Rendez-Vous Kultur

Today, women in Judaism and Islam find new ways to combine their religious traditions with a modern lifestyle. Conflicts in masculine societies are inevitable; the boundaries of what is acceptable are under constant negotiation.

The Cherchez la femme exhibition presented a wide range of ideas and opinions regarding head and body coverings. Traditional ideas were juxtaposed with current fashion, religion with secular societies.

How do those who are often ignored in the heat of the debate describe their own situation? Whether complying with a strict Islam, or secular Muslims, religion as a private matter or wearing a headscarf as a sign of cultural self-determination – diverse women’s voices were heard in the exhibition. Rounding out the exhibition were works by Jewish and Muslim artists. Each of these women deals in her own way with the forces at work between tradition and participation in society and current social discourses.

Four video stills of a woman removing veil after veil

Undressing/Soyunma by Nilbar Güreş, 2006; courtesy of the artist and Rampa Istanbul, photo: Nicole Tintera.
In her video performance Undressing, Nilbar Güreş (b. 1977) reflects on the situation in Austria, where Muslim women who wear headscarves are often reduced to the role of a silent puppet of their faith and de-personalized. As Güreş removes veil after veil she recites the names of the women in her family.

Credits

Curators: Miriam Goldmann, Naomi Lubrich
Exhibition design: büroberlin

Media Partner

Logo: Wall AG
Logo: arte

Exhibition Information at a Glance

  • When

    31 March to 27 Augst 2017

  • Where

    Libeskind Building, ground level, Eric F. Ross Gallery
    Lindenstraße 9-14, 10969 Berlin See Location on Map

Gebäudeplan mit Markierung des Libeskindbaus
Where

Libeskind Building, ground level, Eric F. Ross Gallery


Lindenstraße 9–14, 10969 Berlin

Monday Movies for the Exhibition (3) Cherchez la femme Show all

Cherchez la femme

Films related to the exhibition theme that were screened at the Jewish Museum Berlin.

Mustang

19 June 2017
Turkey/France/Germany 2015, directed by Deniz Gamze Ergüven, 97 min, Turkish with German subtitles

Doubt

22 May 2017
USA 2008, directed by John Patrick Shanley, 104 min, English with German subtitles

Arranged

3 April 2017
USA 2007, directed by Diane Crespo, Stefan C. Schaefer, 92 min, original English version

Events Accompanying the Exhibition (4) Cherchez la femme Show all

Cherchez la femme

Events for adults and kids related to the exhibition theme.

Religion. Fashion. Empowerment.

29 June 2017
Talk and Panel Discussion: Reina Lewis, Professor of Cultural Studies at the London College of Fashion, takes a critical look at the relationship between religiosity and fashion.

The Dress of the Unfaithful Wife

9 May 2017
Artist Andi LaVine Arnovitz and Amy K. Milligan, Professor for Jewish Studies and Women's Studies at the Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia, will speak about women and sexuality in Judaism.

Guided Tour for Adults

31 March – 2 July 2017, by appointment
Guided tour and discussion for adults about women’s dress codes—between tradition and social inclusion

Guided Tour for High-School Students Aged 14 and Older

31 March – 27 August 2017, by appointment
Guided tour and discussion about women’s dress codes—between tradition and social inclusion

Judaism

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Islam

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Fashion

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Religion

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