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Andrea Bowers

Andrea Bowers’ (b. 1965, Wilmington, USA) Radical Feminist Pirate Ship Tree Sitting Platform (2013) is animated by a call for resistance and activism. In 2011, Bowers was arrested in California for tree sitting, an act of environmentalist civil disobedience in which protesters sit in a tree, usually on a small platform built for that purpose. During this act, which aimed at preventing native oak woodland habitat from being clearcut, the artist met a veteran tree sitter who had spent the last six years living in old growth redwoods in California. As Bowers notes, upon asking the activist for his fantasy tree sitting platform: ‘All of my frustration, insecurities, and inequalities of living in a patriarchal culture flooded over me with his two words: Pirate Ship. I was immediately annoyed and unamused, of course. A typical man, I thought. Somehow it was so obvious yet, I would have never thought of that.’ Built with the veteran tree sitting activist, the work stands as a symbol of solidarity. An extract from the 1996 essay ‘Sin Big’, by controversial pioneering feminist Mary Daly (b. 1928, Schenectady – d. 2010, Massachusetts), fills the ship’s sail: ‘Ever since childhood, I have been honing my skills for living the life of a Radical Feminist Pirate and cultivating the Courage to Sin.’ This essay is a battle cry for Bowers, who was struck by Daly’s explanation of the origins of the word ‘sin’ deriving from the Indo-European root ‘es’, meaning ‘to be’: ‘When I discovered this etymology, I intuitively understood that for a woman trapped in patriarchy, which is the religion of the entire planet, “to be” in the fullest sense is “to sin”.’

Artworks

  1. Andrea Bowers, ‘Defense of Necessity’, 2003. Acier, tissu, fils. Collection Mudam Luxembourg. Donation 2023 – Gaby et Wilhelm Schürmann avec le soutien des membres du Cercle des collectionneurs du Mudam Luxembourg. Vue de l’exposition ‘Cabinet of Threads’, Galerie van Horn, Düsseldorf, 12.04 – 01.06.2013 © Photo : Wilhelm Schürmann, Herzogenrath
    Andrea Bowers Defense of Necessity, 2003

    Acier, tissu, fils
    Collection Mudam Luxembourg
    Donation 2023 – Gaby et Wilhelm Schürmann avec le soutien des membres du Cercle des collectionneurs du Mudam Luxembourg
    Vue de l’exposition Cabinet of Threads, Galerie van Horn, Düsseldorf, 12.04 – 01.06.2013
    © Photo : Wilhelm Schürmann, Herzogenrath

  1. Andrea Bowers, ‘Radical Feminist Pirate Ship Tree Sitting Platform’, 2013. Bois recyclé, corde, mousquetons. 203 x 749 x 152 cm. Collection Mudam Luxembourg. Donation 2023 – Gaby et Wilhelm Schürmann avec le soutien des membres du Cercle des collectionneurs du Mudam Luxembourg. Vue de l’exposition ‘A Model’, Mudam Luxembourg © Photo : Mareike Tocha | Mudam Luxembourg
    Andrea Bowers Radical Feminist Pirate Ship Tree Sitting Platform, 2013

    Bois recyclé, corde, mousquetons
    203 x 749 x 152 cm
    Collection Mudam Luxembourg
    Donation 2023 – Gaby et Wilhelm Schürmann avec le soutien des membres du Cercle des collectionneurs du Mudam Luxembourg
    Vue de l’exposition A Model, Mudam Luxembourg, 09.02 – 08.09.2024
    © Photo : Mareike Tocha | Mudam Luxembourg

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