A commentary on the way women and girls experience violence worldwide, Off the Beaten Path: Violence, Women, and Art is an exhibit of work by thirty contemporary artists currently on display at Art Works for Change in Oslo, Norway. For those of us not geographically located in the northern European country, the exhibit is also available for viewing online, and brings together the stunning and thought provoking work of artists such as Mona Hatoum, Eve Sussman, Jung Jungyeob, and Susan Plum.
Beginning with the construction of female identity, the exhibit explores conformity to and resistance against gender roles; the myriad ways violence is expressed on women's bodies; silent endurance of female pain; the culpability of communities who choose to stand by as spectators; and the way women support one another, individually and collectively. Off the Beaten Path is a grotesquely beautiful reminder of the persistence of gender-based violence that spans such things as tradition, culture, age, religion, country of origin, and monetary privilege. It is also a call for action against the global pandemic of hostility toward women.
Be saddened and inspired by viewing this collection. Then work for change by following the links in the exhibition's Take Action section at the end of the virtual tour.
Devastation can only continue so long as we allow it. We are all responsible—and we are all devastated.