Hayoun Kwon, Kubo, Walks the City, 2021
Hexed, Vexed and Sexed
Nov 3, 2023 – Jan 14, 2024
West Den Haag
Den Haag, The Netherlands

The title Hexed, Vexed & Sexed points to the vexed freedom of women artists in the world today. It reclaims the Hex as a discipline of feminine intellect and politics, capable of transforming social circumstances from the inside out.

The Hex stands for irrepressible women’s power, often vilified as unreasonable, childish, or animal, but producing profound social effects undermining patriarchal control. The Hex implies responsibility and wisdom, a grounding in human affairs and in the materiality of the biosphere.

The Vex stands for the tension produced as women must make alliances across class and racial differences to carve out, foster, and build realms of relative autonomy under a system built to extract every drop of value from them. The Vex is what Haraway calls the Trouble, a realm that defies categorisation and frustrates the male gaze.

The Sex concerns the emancipation of full human beings, as it must attend to social obligations. Real sexual liberation does not exist where women’s roles in family relationships and in society in general are still constrained and overdetermined by what bell hooks calls white-supremacist-capitalist-patriarchy. The general sexual revolution is still before us, and if it ever comes it will be led by fully emancipated women. In the meantime, the legacy and reactionary actuality of patriarchy in its many guises have left traumatic scars on both men and women, impairing and distorting their association.

Encountering the mounting global interest in Korean culture, this exhibition conveys the experience of striving, thriving and surviving as Korean women, exploring through their art practices, all that they can be, challenging their own expectations and those of society Through the work of these pioneers, whose careers cover the entire post-Korean war period, from the 60s until today visitors can discern how the prospects, demands, and possibilities for women have been changing through several generations. This the second collaboration between West Den Haag and Alternative Space LOOP, building on the success of last year’s exhibition Simple Acts of Listening.

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