The Hidden Truth: Intimate Partner Violence Revealed 2 Favorite 


Jan 21 2011



Louise Bourgeois is a well known French-American artist born in Paris in 1911. Much of her artwork is geared towards female empowerment as she puts focus on the trials and tribulations of what it is like being a woman in a patriarchal society. As a result, many people associate her with the feminist movement. This idea of feminism can be seen in some of Bourgeois’ artwork, which resembles women empowerment. Her piece of art titled The Accident portrays such sentiment, in which she seeks to bring awareness to the physical violence that occurs within the home.

There is an organization named Art Works for Change, which held an exhibition titled Off the Beaten Path: Violence, Women, and Art. This particular exhibition grapples with the overall problem of violence against women. Bourgeois’s The Accident is included in the exhibition. To examine, this piece of art sought to emulate the violence women experience behind closed doors and within the comforts of their own home. It draws attention to the issue of violence that women endure within intimate relationships. Although this is very prevalent, many women who experience such violence tend to mask their pain with a smile as shown by the woman in The Accident. Furthermore, this artwork specifically aims to challenge the dynamics of the patriarchal society in which women are dehumanized and treated as animals that can be owned or controlled.

Moreover, Bourgeois displays signs of feminism within The Accident and other art pieces as well. By demonstrating how the average woman experiences violence within the home, Bourgeois suggests how good women are at covering up the pain. In effect, this suggests the normalization of violence against women as victims are more prone to hiding their emotions and trauma. In addition to the idea of feminism, Bourgeois’ art piece closely relates to the notion of activist artwork or art activism. Before the Franco era, women did not have a real voice to advocate for women’s rights and issues. During and after the Franco period, women felt more comfortable and more compelled in advocating for women’s issues especially after the first wave of the feminist movement. Bourgeois contributed to the movement through the use of her artistic talents. The Accident is a great representation of what art activism is. The art piece tackles an issue, which is violence against women within the family. It also sheds light on the problem in order to bring awareness. In return, it evokes a social response or social change within society.

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