For Ana Laura Aláez, who represented Spain at the 2001 Venice Biennale, being an artist enables her to take charge of her own identity and independence as a woman. She came of age during the political and cultural repression of Francoist Spain. In Aláez’s words: “If I had allowed myself to listen to the people around me, I would have been imprisoned by their reality. I think my intuition told me that art could fight back against the authoritarian and institutional language. But above all, I would allow myself, as a woman, a very different role to the one that society sought to impose on me.” Aláez fights back through sculptures, installations, performances, videos, photographs, and sound pieces. She unflinchingly foregrounds a fierce femininity and unabashed sexuality, while both elevating and undermining work traditionally associated with women.