DREAMGIRLS is an exhibit exploring what being a woman means to women in the 21st century. “dream.GIRLS” is a touring showcase of 15 artists from around the globe. The exhibition includes photographs, installations, performances, and paintings. (See individual artist profiles and host venues.)
A woman alone, a woman without a family or without a man by choice is to this day regarded as a social taboo. Whether she has chosen to be alone or is alone just at the moment or alone for life, she will most certainly be judged. To the outside, she is a damsel in distress, she is frigid, the mysterious stranger, the temptress, social pariah or Cinderella. Rarely is a woman alone viewed as just that, a woman alone.
On the contrary, the image of the individual woman in fashion or as portrayed by the media shows her to be provocative, placid or flirtatious, implying she has an already internalized concept of how to be a single woman. She stares at us from the page and sees nothing: offering everything, embodying nothing. This travesty in society, media and amongst women themselves is a far cry from women’s reality.
The sisterhood of womankind is rife with contradictions and conflict. We are capable of loving and hating each other with equal passion. Our closest girlfriends become the strength in our limbs, the air in our lungs, the love in our hearts. And yet there is no crueler judge than a woman considering her own faults or those of other women. Certainly, there is unique vindictiveness, an unforgiving criticism that women reserve explicitly for their own kind. It is exactly this dichotomy upon which dream.GIRLS seeks to cast light: exploring this tempestuous love/hate affair that is equal parts comedy, satire, and tragedy.
The artists in Dream Girls present stories, dreams, and fantasies concerning their relationship to other women, themselves, their loved ones and society. They draw from the collective unconscious, myths, taboos, and their own lives to create a compelling new perspective on womanhood in contemporary culture. The artists do not wish to portray themselves as a feminist exhibition or movement, nor are the Dream Girls a political group or collective intent or interested in misanthropic attitudes. Rather, the group focuses on an honest and intimate portrayal of women.
The exhibit traveled from the Kahitsukan, Kyoto Museum of Contemporary Art to the National Gallery in Prague as part of an international exhibit titled "Tina B."
Kirsten Kempfer’s photograph “Dorothy Complex” shows a flatteringly lit young woman taking a photo of a second woman. The photographer in the image complies with the media norm as an example of ideal womanhood. She is well dressed, her back beautifully toned and muscular, her posture relaxed and confident.