Contemporary Art and Feminism
On March 30 I had my first feminist public speaking gig (well…since the mock debate on abortion in 5th grade). I was invited to be the youngest panelist for “Beyond the Waves: Feminist Artists Talk Across the Generations” at the Sackler Center for Feminist Art at the Brooklyn Museum, the bookend to a month of exciting events for Women’s Art History Month in New York put on by the feminist art gallery A.I.R.
But as I took the podium, first talking about GIRLdrive, then about my own feminist-infused artwork, I began to feel proud to be representing my generation. After announcing our publishing deal, I got a round of applause that turned me as red as those exit lights. And even though I ended on an ambiguous, slightly admonishing tone (asking the audience to reconsider the ungrateful daughter paradigm, and come up with new language to describe gendered artworks), I was surprised to find an enthusiastic crowd waiting to compliment me when I stepped down. Maybe the reason why open dialogue between feminist generations is so hard is that we are all so afraid of hurting feelings, of misspeaking.
The panel taught me a lot. Feelings are for sissies.
Don’t open your heart: open your ears, and you’ll hear a whole lot more.
*Our forthcoming book will have a section devoted to art and feminism. It will include interviews with curators, artists, art critics and historians on the state of women in the art world. Look for upcoming blog entry snippets with the likes of: Linda Nochlin, Amy Galpin (of Woman Made Gallery), Kat Griefen (of A.I.R. Gallery), Joan Snyder, Joan Jonas, Carolee Schneemann, Mira Schor, Susan Bee, Faith Wilding, the Brainstormers, a Guerrilla Girl, and many more!