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Red Umbrella Struggles

International Group Exhibition
18 April 2019 - 23 June 2019

                                                            Red Umbrella Struggles


The Red Umbrella Struggles is an international group exhibition that revolves around the controversial and multifaceted topic of sex work. The show takes its inspiration from two newly commissioned projects by Edith-Russ-Haus’s 2018 Media Art Grant holders, Petra Bauer and Daniel Jacoby. Both artists are interested in investigating the topic through strategies of collaboration and dialogue.

Rather than merely representing and picturing sex workers and their industry, the artists of this exhibition, through means of conversation, move the emphasis from voyeurism or victimization to questions of dignity and rights. In acknowledging that sex workers are experts on their own lives, these artist projects look at how the complexities of gender, migration, and labour are involved in this battlefield of ideologies.

The various political and moral discourses on sex work tend to deprive sex workers of their voice and pose difficulties to their attempts to differentiate and shape their own identities. Red Umbrella Struggles pictures the social struggle of this marginalized profession, which is mirrored in the mutual support likewise involved in the artist collaborations. The title of the exhibition references the international symbol of the sex workers’ rights movement, the red umbrella, which was first used in 2001 during a performative event organized by the Slovenian artist Tadej Pogačar for the 49th Venice Biennale. The Red Umbrella March was part of Pogačar’s complex and long-running participatory project Code:Red, which researches and discusses various aspects of sex work as a specific parallel economy. The project, which started in 1999 and is still ongoing, is represented in its entirety within the framework of the exhibition.

Red Umbrella Struggles pictures artists’ attempts at dialogue, listening, and understanding in relation to sex work and sex workers through a variety of mediums, including photography, archival materials, installations, and documentaries.


Artists in the exhibition: 

Petra Bauer
Daniel Jacoby
Louise Carrin
Tadej Pogačar
Lilla Szász
Ditte Haarløv Johnsen

Edith-Russ-Haus for Media Art, Katharinenstraße 23, D-26121 Oldenburg, Tel.: +49(0)441/235-3208, Fax.: +49(0)441/235-2161
Opening Hours: Tuesday - Friday 14:00 -18:00, Saturday - Sunday 11:00 - 18:00, Monday closed
Ein Ausstellungshaus der
Stadt Oldenburg