Veravenus – Salamanca


Organized by Estudio de Comunicación

Curated by Lorena Martínez Corral

official selection: Darya von Berner, Charles Sandison, Eugenio Ampudia and Juan Lopez.


Darya von Berner / Old Facade of the University of Salamanca

Patio de Escuelas,

37008 Salamanca


acknowledgments: Jesús Castillo Oli, Fundación Santa María la Real.


“In the old tradition (…) the woman must remain in the distance, not close, and must not question the male ego, sublimated in the hero.” (“The Awakening of the Soul”, David Hernández de la Fuente).


Only after the mid-twentieth century — with the exception of some notable precedents — do women become recognized as producers of meaning and knowledge, on an equal footing with men. But they are still absent, as shown by the Bechdel test (1985) as well as others, which measure the active presence of female characters in the cinema and the importance of their roles. Applying this test to the University of Salamanca’s historical facade, it is established that of the 26 human representations (not counting angels and fauns), 21 are masculine and 4 or 5 are feminine (according to the different investigators): a visibility of four to one.

At the beginning of the sixteenth century humanistic normalization imposed social structures that, in hegemonic terms, legitimize and naturalize what we now judge as historical inequalities, and among these, the subaltern condition of women. It is at this time that the Renaissance façade of the University of Salamanca was designed, inspired largely by Greco-Roman mythology. The myth of the great goddess of love in the Mediterranean, Venus Genetrix, the mother goddess, does not allow a reductionist interpretation. Inanna-Astarte-Ishtar-Ariadna-Aphrodite-Venus, is a network, a myth, an incursion into a patriarchal world that opens to a primordial feminine. Now, at the beginning of the 21st century, this primitive myth has the potential to make visible, not so much that ancient world —of which we can hardly gain much further knowledge, but above all a world, which is ours, in which women are missing.