The Guerrilla Girls Confront Diversity At Whitechapel Gallery

Posted October 10, 2016 at 11:46 am in Art, News

THE hackles of those anonymous  female activists from New York, the Guerrilla Girls are raised again. This time, the feisty culture-jammers have set up camp inside the walls of the Whitechapel Gallery in London with a new campaign, “Is it worse in Europe?” The group, who have not exhibited in Britain before, launch their new show with a deluge of witty posters and a bold-faced banner across the façade of the gallery.

The group has been raising awareness about racism and sexism for three decades using posters, stickers, billboards and banners which combine humour with punchy, data-driven slogans derived from their extensive research. Considering the British Prime Minister, Teresa May’s recent pledge to curb the sway of the rich and powerful, the Guerrilla Girls’ present demand seems timely, “Are museums today presenting a diverse history of contemporary art or the history of money and power?”

Guerrilla Girls, activism, art, Whitechapel GalleryGuerrilla Girls, Do women still have to be naked to get into the Met. Museum? 2012. Courtesy the Guerrilla Girls

The Guerrilla Girls began campaigning for equality in the arts from 1985 following the onset of the Women’s Movement in the 1970s. They fervently maintain that, “You cannot tell the story of a culture without all the stories in it”.

This year, the group asked 383 European Museums to each fill out a questionnaire about diversity but only a fraction replied. At this exhibition, comments made from the participating institutions are incorporated in ten newly commissioned posters and the lists of those who didn’t are resigned to the gallery floor.

Guerrilla Girls, activism, art, Whitechapel GalleryGuerrilla Girls 2015. Photograph: Andrew Hindraker. Courtesy the Guerrilla Girls

by Miranda Charalambous

The free exhibition, Guerrilla Girls: Is it even worse in Europe? is on until March 2017 at the Whitechapel Gallery,  77 – 82 Whitechapel High Street, London E1 7QX

Tel: +44 (0)20 7522 7888

Front page image: Whitechapel Gallery Guerrilla Girls Commission: Is it even worse in Europe? (2016). Photo: David Parry/PA Wire

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