The Expostas project calls for reflection on the urgent need for re-appropriation of public space by
women, as artists and as a collective represented. And, who said that the street “is not a place for
Expostas is formed by:
Til Diacritico, entity formed by Lorena Arévalo, Cristina Navia and Susana Maceiras, has been in
contact for years with Vanesa Álvarez, artist and graphic designer. From this meeting are born
different collaborations and confluence of ideas that end up maturing in the Expostas project.
Vanesa Álvarez is a brilliant creator who already participated in the previous calls for “Vigo, ciudad
de color” with different murals, both individual and collaborative. She was the creator of the image
of Rosalía de Castro at the Casa de Galicia in New York and is the forerunner, along with Marcos
de la Fuente, of the Kerouac Festival, a poetry festival that connects Vigo and New York.
This project is, therefore, a product of the synergy between a group of women with experience and
training in sociology, gender, design, communication, mural art, participatory art and artivism,
which gives Expostas a sense beyond what ” urban “, beyond what is represented.
That urban art is a predominantly male discipline is something that does not surprise anyone. The
usual, when we ask an urban artist about this fact, is that he shrugs and responds with an
apathetic “yes, it’s true”. In this way, the members of the collective accept, without seeking an
explanation, that it is indeed difficult to find women who, in their field, enjoy their same level of
recognition. If this difference is due to a question of disinterest on the part of potential female
artists, or the direct consequence of the absolute male predominance in the closed and cohesive
group of urban artists, it is a subject on which it is worth reflecting, if Well the answer seems clear.
And, what arguments could I use, beyond the obvious: that the field of urban art, like other artistic
disciplines, found predominantly dominated by men? And this is not due, of course, to the fact that
there are no excellent women artists capable of replicating them: the works of art made by women
represent 65% of the total production of contemporary art, while the market visibiliza mainly the
work of the men, according to data offered by MAV (Women in the Visual Arts) after studying the
presence of women in the latest edition of ARCO. Thus, far from recognizing herself as a creator,
the woman seems to be relegated to the eternal role of the inspiring muse.
For this reason, it is necessary to vindicate the role of women in the international mural creation,
not only because, as indicated, there are great creators whose work deserves to be recognized,
but because the only way to provide a feminine vision of the world is to do so. through the eyes
(and hands) of a woman.
It is not only interesting, if not necessary, to analyze how the nature of female representation in
contemporary art in general, and in urban art in particular, is approached traditionally. The
importance of analyzing the representation of women in urban art, and of looking for forms of
figuration that contribute to the empowerment of women through art, is that images are effective
tools of creation, reproduction and transmission of meanings. The construction of reality known by
the collective imagination is carried out jointly through the acceptance of the transmitted images.
The transmission of a false image generates a false belief, which will end up being socially
The potential of urban art as a driving vehicle and diffuser of meanings is unquestionable, given
that, due to its location (the public space), the messages discharged through the pieces acquire a
force and a higher draft the other plastic manifestations. This is due, fundamentally, to the two
facts: the first, its location, since a message broadcast on the street, without a doubt, has a
capacity of quantitatively greater impact than what a work reserved for the minority public that visits
a gallery or an exhibition hall. Second, and again, linked to the space in which the message is
inserted, the urban context re-signifies the piece, offering a conceptual framework that determines
the reading and what is extracted from it.
In many ways, women continue to be relegated to the private sphere of domestic life. A review of
the history of contemporary and more academic art (that whose pieces can be found in museums)
clearly shows the role that patriarchy grants to women, the representation of the daily life of that
“angel of the home” designed by capitalism liberal bourgeois and masculine: rooms, rooms,
furniture … elements of great symbolic load that represent the bond that the patriarchal society
drew between women and private space.
Hence the importance of making women visible on the street, not only as an artist, but as a reason
for creation.