Are violence and the capability to use violence a matter of gender? Is “female” an equivalent 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?
The Museum of Military History is addressing this topic in a scientifically sound but nevertheless playful manner. The exhibition calls into question supposed certainties and contrasts current notions of femininity and masculinity with history. More than 1000 exhibits and works, such as paintings, sculptures, photos, drawings, scientific studies, surgical equipment, uniforms, diaries, weapons, vehicles, everyday items, archaeological finds, audio documents and films, illustrate surprising interdisciplinary perspectives and provide an exciting and perceptive panorama with regard to the contrast between gender and violence. 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 call into question the common expectations for places of German military tradition.