13.07.2023 - 24.09.2023
exhibition | photography

On Rape - Histoire de la misogynie, Chapitre Deux


Viewer discretion is advised. This exhibition explores the topic of sexual violence and includes graphic depictions that may be triggering for some visitors.

Artist Laia Abril continues to expand her visual archive on the systemic control of women’s bodies across time and cultures by focusing on institutional rape through a series of conceptual portraits that, supported by testimonies, symbolize the different cultures of systemic rape – within marriage, in the church, in the army or at school. Of her new work, the artist says:

The project points to the widespread institutional rape culture in societies around the world. I have developed this work by exploring the links between myths, power and law, and notions of masculinity and sexual violence. […] It shows the extent to which society still blames victims of sexual assault while normalizing sexual violence….

The On Rape exhibition consists of a collection of photographs, objects, and testimonials. The project is conceived as a veritable installation, with its spatial arrangement at its heart. These interconnected elements do not offer a linear or chronological approach but rather allow several levels of reading. By creating bridges between history, places, and cultures, Laia Abril reminds us of the universality of the tragedy of rape.

Laia Abril

“There is a predominantly patriarchal outlook.”

Born in Barcelona in 1986, Laia Abril initially studied journalism at university, before moving to New York and devoting herself to photography. Today, she is developing a multidisciplinary body of work – taking the form of installations, books, web documents and even films – that is both engaged and exploring intimate themes such as sexuality, eating disorders and gender and its inequalities. Since 2016, she has been building a long-term project, entitled A History of Misogyny. A poignant series divided into chapters “On Abortion”, “On Rape” and “On Mass Hysteria”. Her work has been exhibited internationally – at Rencontres d’Arles (2016), PhotoIreland (2018), and the Finnish Museum of Photography (Helsinki, 2019), and has received numerous awards: Prix de la Photo Madame Figaro, Foam Paul Huf Award, Prix du Livre Aperture/Paris Photo… They have also entered public and private collections (Musée de l’Élysée, FRAC Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur, FotoColectania, and, in 2021, the Centre Pompidou).

Press review

Laia Abril: the photographer bearing witness to rape

In a devastating exhibition, the Spanish artist depicts the clothes of rape victims – women, girls, and some men. She talks about how her work reveals an epidemic of sexual violence – and how she copes.

Laia Abril, archiviste de la misogynie

La Galerie Les Filles du Calvaire, à Paris, présente le deuxième chapitre, consacré au viol, de « A History of misogyny ». Dans ce projet au long cours, la photographe espagnole Laia Abril explore la violence faite aux femmes.

Mit Bildern die Sprache wiederfinden

Sexuelle Gewalt lässt die Opfer oft stumm zurück. Mit ihren Arbeiten zwischen Dokumentation und subjektiver Erfahrung will die Künstlerin Laia Abril solche Erfahrungen erzählbar machen.

  • Free admission

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