Violence against women occurs in both developed and underdeveloped countries with femicide being one of the extreme outcomes. Femicide is defined as the killing of women and girls because of their gender, where outrageous acts of violence are visible. In Mexico, the most publicized case of femicide was “Las Muertas de Ciudad Juarez” (dead women of Ciudad Juarez), in a northern town close to the U.S. border. These crimes are surrounded by impunity and lack of interest from society, which allow them to spread and be normalized or viewed as a type of social cleansing.
Melissa Wright has introduced the term “Public Women”*, to identify non-domestic females with a negative connotation, implying that those on the streets are considered as prostitutes, regardless of whether they are going to work or school. This implication is used by the government and media to blame the victims instead of their murderers; therefore, they are taking the responsibility away from the perpetrators.
The pieces presented in this term exhibition address this issue, employing the garments as bodies, and the embroidery as an invasive procedure. The pristine cleanness and unique essence of the garments, against the mechanical torture that the needlework applies, equate the violation of the privacy of these female bodies. As well, the title of the exhibition revolves around the idea of something without a name or that has no right or claim for a social status, thus being ignored. Also, “Unnoticed” refers to the limited visibility of the matter because of its unpleasantness and the urge to spread awareness.
* Wright, Melissa W. (2006). Public Women, Profit, and Femicide in Northern Mexico. South Atlantic Quarterly, 105:4, 681-698. DOI: 10.1215/00382876-2006-003