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July 10, 2014
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Greg Svitil | T: 202.370.0147
[email protected] | AMAmuseum.org

Femininity Beyond Archetypes: Photography by Natalia Arias of Colombia

AMA | Art Museum of the Americas
Organization of American States
201 18th Street, NW
Washington, DC 20006

On view Thursday, July 17-Sunday, October 5, 2014
Opening Reception Thursday, July 17, 2014 at 6pm

Washington DC - The OAS AMA | Art Museum of the Americas, in collaboration with the Nohra Haime Gallery, presents Femininity Beyond Archetypes: Photography by Natalia Arias of Colombia. This exhibition highlights themes closely connected with OAS values through AMA’s mission to positively impact discourse on social change through the arts. Arias’s work highlights themes central to the Inter-American Commission of Women (CIM), the first regional inter-governmental agency established to ensure recognition of civil and political rights of women in the Americas.

This exhibition features two of Arias’s series: Taboo (1999-2005) and Venus (2005-2010). Taboo exemplifies her departure from rigid discourses on femininity, where social values champion perfect physiques while religious ideologies dismiss the natural processes of women. The Venus series explores ways in which the notion of “Venus” has been interpreted throughout history. After the creation of the iconic goddess of love and beauty in Greco-Roman times,  Venus has been identified in a plethora of manifestations of femininity. Arias examines these long-standing ideas by reworking historical Venuses from those of ancient cultures to the present.

Arias acts to oppose traditional discourse on femininity in which natural processes are considered shameful or traumatic and beauty is based on a standardized formula. In resistance, her photography proposes a feminine discourse that highlights the beauty in the imperfection and the physicality of the female body, form, and physiology. Through her research, process, and execution, Arias seeks to empower women while at the same time challenging society to uphold perceptions such as sensuality, and fertility.

An exhibition catalog will be available, with introductory text by Adriana Ospina and a "Conversation with Natalia Arias" by Julia P. Herzberg.

The opening will be inaugurated by Andrés González Díaz, Ambassador of Colombia to the OAS, and Ambassador Carmen Moreno, Executive Secretary of CIM. The artist will be giving a gallery talk and walk-through following the inauguration.

This exhibition is presented with the Nohra Haime Gallery and with the support of the Inter-American Commission of Women (CIM), the Permanent Mission of Colombia to the OAS, the Embassy of Colombia to the United States, and the Friends of the Art Museum of the Americas. Educational programming will be presented in collaboration with CIM.