text by Francesco Bonami
biobibliography and technical cards edited by Ilaria Bonacossa
pages: 150
format: 9,5 x 21 cm
date of publication: September 2004
binding: paperback
images: 61 col., 27 b/w
languages: Italian/English
isbn 9788877571878


The catalogue was published on the occasion of the Non toccare la donna bianca. La liberazione delle diversità exhibition held at the Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo in Turin from 17 September 2004 to 8 January 2005. The title of the volume and of the exhibition is a quotation from Marco Ferreri’s film shot in 1974 to represent the power of Western civilisation and its oppressive and conquering attitude in a provocative manner. The exhibition at Fondazione Sandretto, curated by Francesco Bonami, is a reflection on the artistic role of women in a society shaped by male identity. The book, which constitutes the exhibition catalogue, aims to investigate this reality through the creative language of nineteen women artists whose works include installations, drawings, videos and photographs, mixing heterogeneous languages used to interpret the theme of women artists’ freedom in contemporary culture: “Each of these artists comes from places or belongs to social communities where the role of women is questioned or where society has been violated, by war, violence or political collapse. [...] Nineteen points in a symbolic landscape from which a certain kind of male power seems to be missing or perhaps has been uprooted and replaced with an alternative energy. So if these points do not have a sexual gender, their resistance to any kind of control makes them united in the complexity of the female point of view.” (Francesco Bonami)

The book has been produced maintaining the creative layout specially conceived by the artists who have interpreted the pages dedicated to them in an autonomous and original way: a series of images follow one another without interruption, in a lively alternation that sees the works of well-known artists such as Shirin Neshat juxtaposed with those of emerging ones such as Maja Bajevic, a performer of Bosnian origin who transfers the tragic experience of war and exile on to video, or the Israeli Carmit Gil, whose Bus installation, made from the metal grilles of a city bus, is the materialisation of the terrible nightmare of the attacks.

Accompanied by a text by the exhibition’s curator Francesco Bonami and by the entries for each work files and including a biographical and bibliographical appendix, the catalogue offers an original interpretation of the selected works of Micol Assaël, Maja Bajevic, Berlinde De Bruyckere, Marlene Dumas, Ellen Gallagher, Carmit Gil, Fernanda Gomes, Lyudmila Gorlova, Mona Hatoum, Michal Helfman, Emily Jacir, Koo Jeong-a, Daniela Kostova, Senga Nengudi, Shirin Neshat, Shirana Shahbazi, Valeska Soares, Nobuko Tsuchiya and Shen Yuan.