is a center for contemporary art in Southeast Portland, Oregon. It is led by a desire to support artists, propose new modes of production, and stimulate the ongoing public discourse around art. 800 SE 10th Avenue. Open June 30–August 29, Wed/Thu 4–8pm, Fri/Sat/Sun 2–6pm, or by APPOINTMENT

Yale Union acknowledges that it occupies the traditional lands of the Multnomah, Chinook, Kathlamet, Clackamas, Tualatin Kalapuya, Molalla, and other Indigenous peoples.


(503) 236-7996

October 12–December 15, 2012

September 4, 2012, Portland, OR – Yale Union (YU) is thrilled to announce the exhibition of Marianne Wex’s photographic panels that comprise the book Let’s Take Back Our Space: “Female” and “Male” Body Language as a Result of Patriarchal Structures, to be presented for the first time in the United States.

Taking the form of an installation of large paste-up panels, MARIANNE WEX documents the ways that social hierarchy defines gender roles and the construction of self. From 1972 to 1977, Marianne Wex took thousands of photographs of people on the streets of Hamburg, Germany and categorized them by their body language, sorting the photos by gender and according to the specific positioning of arms, legs, heads, feet, and hands. The photo panels are organized thematically, grouped by posture, separating male and female, and incorporating occasional exceptions to the stereotypically gendered poses. Wex supplemented her street photographs with re-photographed advertisements, art-historical reproductions, mail order catalogues and other print media portraying gender difference in a male-dominated social structure.

Wex’s work is at once conceptual art and sociological documentation. It combines the art of photography and the appropriation of found images through a scientific approach in an attempt to arrive at a taxonomy of gender. The photo panels were shown for the first time in 1977 as part of the exhibition Women Artists International 1877–1977 at NGBK in Berlin, and following that exhibition, Wex published the work in an extensive book titled Let’s Take Back Our Space: “Female” and “Male” Body Language as a Result of Patriarchal Structures (1979).

Yale Union will exhibit Wex’s original photographic panels, in collaboration with the Bildwechsel Archive for Women in the Media Arts in Hamburg, Germany, where the panels are currently held, and participate in the archival preservation of this body of work, including the re-printing of the original book Let’s Take Back Our Space. YU will bring the artist to Portland to be present at the opening of the exhibition on October 12, 2012.

Marianne Wex was born in 1937 in Hamburg, Germany, and now lives and works in Höhr-Grenzhausen (Westerwald). She studied art at the University of Fine Arts in Hamburg and taught there from 1963 to 1980. In the late 1970s and early 1980s she showed her work in national and international solo and group exhibitions (e.g., at NGBK Berlin, Frankfurter Kunstverein, Bonner Kunstverein, and ICA London). Wex’s photo panels were shown in 2009 at Focal Point Gallery in London and in 2012 at the Badischer Kunstverein in Karlsruhe, Germany, which was Wex’s first comprehensive solo exhibition in Germany since the 1970s. Marianne Wex is no longer a practicing artist.


October 12, 6:30pm, at YU

Oct. 20, 8pm: The All-Around Reduced Personality (Redupers), a film by Helke Sander (1978), at YU

Nov. 3, 3pm: Chris Kraus, presented with Reed College, at YU

Nov. 6, 7pm: Jeanne Dielman, 23 Quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles, a film by Chantal Akerman (1975), at the Northwest Film Center Whitsell Auditorium

Nov. 18, 4pm: Avigail Moss, at YU

For more information please visit


October 12–December 15, 2012
Thursday–Saturday 1pm–7pm

Tours of the Yale Union Laundry building and library are available upon request with one week’s notice. Please call (503) 236-7996 or email

800 SE 10th Ave (between Morrison and Belmont)
Portland, OR 97214
(503) 236-7996

Amanda Clem, Communications
(503) 236-7996