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Elizabeth A.Sackler Center for Feminist Art

Lilibeth Cuenca Rasmussen

Copenhagen S,
Denmark

Lilibeth Cuenca Rasmussen (b.1970 in Manila) lives in Copenhagen Denmark. Works primarily with video and performances. With consummate style and an almost voracious curiosity, she navigates the interspaces between different kinds of realities and extremes. Between the perfect staging of music videos and the raw reality of documentaries. Between personal confessionals and political commitment. Taking her own Danish-Filipino background as her point of departure, Lilibeth Cuenca Rasmussen displays a keenly honed sensitivity, almost like that of an anthropologist, to the narratives that exist in and between a place of birth and home country. She gathers, adapts, and universalisms these narratives in her both critical and humorous approach to central issues such as identity, gender, and social relations.Lilibeth Cuenca Rasmussen is a graduate from The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts (1996-2002). She has contributed to a wide range of exhibitions in Denmark and abroad. In 2004 she received the Danish Art Council’s three-year grant.

Feminist Artist Statement

My consiousness about feminism got stronger when I was about 30 years old. At the same time I got a child, and I got out of art school. It actually changed my works in a different direction. Since then they have had more focus on gender issues, and it has been important for me to do works about women. I realized that being a mother and a female hard working artist at the same time wasn’t as easy as being a man. Women simply have to work harder to achieve the same level as their male colleagues. We are raised within a patriarchal society and traditions, so boys and girls are raised differently by their parent(s). It takes time and understanding about that men and women are different, we think and act differently, but this shouldn’t be a barrier to equality. I believe that in order to achieve a dialogue and understanding about feminism and equality, it is important to find a “language” that can be understood by both gender. This is one of my aims in my works. I want to show an image of a strong woman with attitude, and who serves her point of view in a direct way. A woman, who is proud of being a woman. I am not concerned of using my femininity and sensuality in my works. My character is dual and contains male and female values. Feminism is simply a fair play, that concerns both gender. It isn’t about competition, excluding or battling, but something which have advantages for both sex. The feminist from the 60’s have done hard work for us. Unfortunately both men and women today are afraid of the word feminism because of the 60’s. They were men haters and at the same time they tried to be as men. I don’t know if they could have done it differently then? Anyways as a woman today I am greatful for their struggle. But we have unfortunately not achieved equality and I must say that women simply have to work harder to gain the same as men. It is important to continue their work, even though with different means today.

<p>The Artist´s Song</p>

The Artist´s Song

Which artists make art history and who decides this? What are the rules of the art game? A historical and critical view of some of the most innovative Art pieces made in this century.

Refrain.
There are so many artists in this wide world.
And many of us just won’t get heard.
Better to learn to deal with rejection.
When critics and curators have made their selection.

There are so many artists in this wide world.
And many of us just won’t get heard.
I want to take part in art history, too
but you can only do, what feels right for you.

The Artist´s Song

Which artists make art history and who decides this? What are the rules of the art game? A historical and critical view of some of the most innovative Art pieces made in this century.

Refrain.
There are so many artists in this wide world.
And many of us just won’t get heard.
Better to learn to deal with rejection.
When critics and curators have made their selection.

There are so many artists in this wide world.
And many of us just won’t get heard.
I want to take part in art history, too
but you can only do, what feels right for you.

Absolute Exotic

The rap is about what it’s like to be an exotic object because of my ethnic appearance, and that I often meet men, who chooses ‘ethnic dark girls’. It is a reverse race discrimination, so to mean discrimination in a positive way. I want to point out the existing hierarchy and race discrimination between different ethnic groups in society depending on where you are. E.G. in Denmark it is cooler to be African or Asiatic rather than a Greenlandic or Muslim. The social status of a foreigner
would be different elsewhere, in the U.S. or in Greece.

Refrain.
So hip to be a nigger
puffy lips, hips, tits and figure
he chose that half nigger lass
Mulatto with balloon ass

Asia is out of fashion
fed up with competition
Used to feel I was special
now I am universal
sick of being a target
of this ethnic supermarket
sick of being a target
in this ethnic supermarket

EgoSong

In EgoSong the artist herself poses in a sun suit; a singing metaphor for the egotism and self-absorption that appears to take on an ever more prominent position as religion and driving force within the western world. An ironic social commentary, which also points to the paradox that egoism, depends on external validation.

Live performance.
Refrain.
Call it a Freudian slip
So wonderful to be on an ego trip
Affection is stimulation of my soul.
and pleasing my EGO is my goal
I do worship the flavor of grace
I subsist on attention and praise
How to handle responsibility
When selfishness is the utility.

Cock Fight

Installation view from The Ego Show Statens Museum for Kunst, CPH. One projection shows a documentary about the Filipinos national sport Sabong, Cockfighting. On the opposite side is a music video about macho identity. Also as one channel projection 3 minutes.The performer is dressed as a cock but at the same time she is a woman and plays with her female sexuality. She is rapping about how proud she is being a cock. The lyric play with the word cock in its dual meaning. This piece is about macho identity and the stereotype image of a man, as being proud, a player and very occupied with his hobby.

House of Hope

For hundreds of years, serious political struggles have been transpiring between Muslim and Christian Filipinos. The Abbu Sayyaf, a Muslim terror organization, is fighting for an independent Muslim state in the Sulu area and on the Island of Mindanao. The marine area known as the Sulu region is one of the most dangerous bodies of waters in the world, with sporadic policing at best and an extremely high incidence of open piracy.
I was not altogether comfortable about finding Sea Gypsies on my own in the Sulu region. Fortunately, I was able to make contact with The House of Hope and enlist their aid in my investigation. The House of Hope bought up a parcel situated by the seaside in Cagayan D’oro, on Mindanao, exclusively for purposes of helping the Bajau tribe, more specifically, for purpose of helping those people who wish to be part of the community. A crew of three volunteers runs the place. These individuals do not wish to appear in this film, nor do they wish to offer any comment. Regarded from the viewpoint of the Filipino Muslims, help from The House of Hope can be interpreted as a political maneuver specifically targeted against Islamisation. On the other hand, Christian Filipinos are skeptical about a Christian church offering assistance a Muslim tribe when there are plenty of poor Christian Filipinos who would be happy to be on the receiving end of such benevolence.

Family Sha la la

I gathered with my family with the intention of teaching them this group dance. We practiced for 8 hours and eventually everybody almost got it. I learned the choreography in the Philippines from children who danced to “Sha la la ” in the streets and private parties.

We are brought up in certain patterns in a family structure, but we grow up as different individuals.

Family Compositions

The photo session shows all possible 720 combinations a family of six members can be part of: 6X5X4X3X2X1 = 720.
The pictures were taken on the same day and went on for twelve hours. It is my own family.

This work touches on the concept of family unity and different relations in between each family member.

Artist Talk

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Contact

Kirkhoff Contemporary Sturlasgade 12b
Copenhagen S, 2300
Denmark

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Text, images, audio, and/or video in the Feminist Art Base are copyrighted by the contributing artists unless otherwise noted. All rights reserved.