Untitled, 1978

Clemen Parrocchetti, Untitled, 1978; Embroidery, tempera on cardboard; 50 × 64 cm / framed: 54.6 × 68.6 cm

The Italian artist Clemen Parrocchetti (1923-2016) was an active participant in the feminist liberation movement in Italy in the 1960s and 1970s, a period that is still considered one of the most heated moments in the country’s history in the fight for women’s suffrage. This translated into a strong visual grammar of domestic labor, using techniques like sewing, cross-stitching, and embroidery as subversive tools of denunciation and protest.

By using such “modest materials”, drawn from the confines of feminine domesticity, Parrocchetti critiqued and contested female subjugation and objectification. In many of them, feminist slogans or manifesto-like statements can be found alongside breasts, lips, and vaginas – those sites of the female body where patriarchal violence concentrates, and from where women’s protest unleashes.