They began hacking through art history’s centuries-thick testosterone crust of male domination in 1985. This year’s Estrogen Bomb is a challenge and visible call to arms for a feminist (art) world.
Let us present the art world’s troublemaker and nagging conscience since the 1980s – Guerrilla Girls! Lots of growling Rs in that name… and for good reason. Today, after #Metoo, the activist group might not feel quite as ground-breaking as when it was first formed. And that’s because now something is actually changing. Members have come and gone through the years, but the group is still very active. Irritatingly active for the patriarchy that still largely dominates the various institutions of the art world.
Guerrilla Girls attacks with humour, facts and spectacular visualizations in the form of posters and stickers in the public space, most protesting power hierarchies and gender and ethnic biases. The group also exposes corruption in art, film and popular culture.
Through their interventions, the group uncovers how museums and the art market’s dominant galleries and power-holders consciously wield tools of inequality, marginalization and pure speculation to secure their total influence over the art scene and its money flow.
The work of Guerrilla Girls spans a broader realm than the art world alone, however. The group works actively to combat various forms of discrimination and to support human rights for all regardless of gender.
Guerrilla Girls members can be anyone, anywhere in the world. This visible invisibility is a tool that infuses the group’s work with a suspense and apprehension that keeps prospective target groups on their toes – no one in patriarchy’s power circles is safe.
After the activist group’s call to action this summer to make the world a better place with more oestrogen intake, something else awaits. The next move is always secret until the group suddenly strikes. The only thing we know for sure is that the Guerrilla Girls, just like with their slogan in Örebro, won’t be nice in their next intervention. But they will make weighty facts troublesomely clear.