War is for Men - Peace is for Women?

27 April - 30 October 2018


Are violence and the capability to use violence a matter of gender? Is "female" an equiva-lent to "weak" and "male" an equivalent to "soldierly"? Or is what is considered a typical male and female (violent) behaviour the consequence of societal rules and traditions which are subject to change? Like war, which arises from peace, and peace, which is not the ab-sence of violence, the differentiation between the genders is not as definite as we assume, believing in the dichotomy between peaceable women and violent men.

This topic has been in the focus of current debates.

With its exhibition "Gender and Violence: War is for Men, Peace is for Women?", the Bun-deswehr Museum of Military History is addressing this topic in a scientifically sound but nevertheless playful manner. The first time-spanning, historico-cultural and socio-historical exhibition since the reopening of the Museum in 2011 calls into question supposed certain-ties and contrasts current notions of femininity and masculinity with history, which knows various manifestations of the gender and violence issue. More than 1000 exhibits and works, such as paintings, sculptures, photos, drawings, scientific studies, surgical equip-ment, uniforms, diaries, weapons, vehicles, everyday items, archaeological finds, audio documents and films, illustrate surprising interdisciplinary perspectives and provide an ex-citing and perceptive panorama with regard to the contrast between gender and violence.

The associated project "Targeted Interventions", which is sponsored by the Kulturstiftung des Bundes (German Federal Cultural Foundation), gives the visitors a first impression of the special exhibition before they enter the Museum. In the outdoor display area around the building, at the façade, at the attic and on the ground floor of the new building designed by Daniel Libeskind, the works of contemporary artists from six nations deal with the topic of the exhibition. The installations made by Louise Bourgeois, Birgit Dieker, Sylvie Fleury, Steinunn Thórarinsdóttir, the Guerrilla Girls, Morten Traavik and Via Lewandowsky are prominent marks in the overall complex of the Museum, calling into question the common expectations for places reminding of German military tradition.



© MHM / Kunstwerk >Craisy Daisy< von Birgit Dieker