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Sister acts: when the avant garde met feminism – in pictures

With 200 works by 71 female artists, a new exhibition of pioneering photography was ‘too quiet and poetic’ to be properly appreciated in the 1970s

A Portfolio of Models, 1974

The French philosopher Simone de Beauvoir once declared: ‘One is not born a woman, but rather becomes one.’ In other words, social conditions are what give rise to the construction of femininity. Many female artists used role play to explore what it meant to be a woman in the 1970s. These artists disguised themselves with makeup, wigs and facial expressions, using these tactics to debunk cliches and stereotypes