Where in museums women are often the subject of a work of art, as a muse, the WOMXN. project focusses on the point where women have been given the lead. How do they see themselves? How do they want to be portrayed? What is relevant in their eyes?

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For the WOMXN. project photographer Sebiha Öztaş has selected 23 women for the strength they radiate and their social contribution to the city of Rotterdam. The title refers to women’s more inclusive spelling; also of people who identify as women.

You may wonder whether it is necessary to focus exclusively on women. After all, women can be seen everywhere: women work in different positions, women are represented in magazines and in the media. But if we zoom in more closely, we see that the percentage of women who make art, or who are photographers, is considerably smaller in museums. Women are often the object of the artist. Beautiful women are usually used for the sale of products, for example to sell fashion or to emphasize what the ideal of beauty is. Of course it is an honor to look beautiful in a picture and to be someone's muse, but a woman is much more than that!

In this project, the women have been given control over the way in which they want to be portrayed, how they want to express themselves and what inspires them. Because who decides what is relevant? For that inspiration, the people portrayed chose a photo from the Gallery of Honor of Dutch photography. The result shows a wonderful variety of unique women.

WOMXN. opens on Wednesday, March 8, 2023, International Women's Day, and can be seen on the 1st floor of the museum until autumn.

Sebiha Oztas

Sebiha Öztaş is a creative, open-minded spirit who uses her photographic skills to convey social and documentary photography in a stimulating way. Born in the Old West in Rotterdam, her philosophy 'all people are one' was shaped by the multicultural character of the neighborhood. Her passion for photography, which resulted in a flourishing professional career as a photographer, started in her childhood. At the age of thirteen she got hold of her first camera and never let go of it. Her aunt Zehra, an avid photographer, was her biggest example. These years of experience are the driving force behind Sebiha Öztaş' perfectionism and passion as a photographer.

WOMXN. was initiated by Handan Aydın, in collaboration with Sebiha Öztaş. The exhibition is part of the project From all of us, for all of us, in which the Nederlands Fotomuseum explores ways of collaborating with different groups. This project was made possible by Fonds 21.

Gebouw Las Palmas Statendam 1 (Wilhelminapier), Rotterdam +31 (0)10 203 04 05 info@nederlandsfotomuseum.nl

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