Monday, March 31, 2008

Feminist Art

Yesterday, after seeing the PS 1 feminist show, I went to panel discussion "Beyond the Waves: Feminist Artists Talk Across the Generations." The talk included the fine artists and critics Carolee Schneenmann, Mira Shor, Brynna Tucker, Susan Bee, and Emma Bee Bernstein. I was looking for answers, but like any good thinking, the talk led me to more questions.

First, I want to note, among the topics discussed -- and they made a point of recognizing them -- were racism, gender, ageism, feminism, sexism, transgender, and so on. As usual, disability was the glaring absence. We have entered a culture where artists will speak about transgender BEFORE disability. I think the problem is not maniacal. I think that people tend to focus what is on their radar. I think people with disabilities (and their problems) are still very oppressed in our society -- so that even the most sensitive thinkers aren't aware. I find this to be a problem.

The question I asked was what makes the WACK show a feminist show a feminist show? I felt like there is no answer -- even the artist who attempted to address the question weren't sure. That brings me to my further question -- what is feminism and am I one?

My understanding is that feminism is about treating women equal and supporting their decisions. If this is true, why is there so much devision and oppression BY women going on? Let's pick on the suicide girls for a minute. I have read that they believe they are dispelling myths about feminine beauty. Oh really? After a short cruise through their photos I am pressed to find a black woman, a disabled woman, a woman with small boobs, a woman who weighs over 105 and a woman without an enormous amount of makeup on. I'd like to see a naked overweight black lady with one arm. Of course, then, they'd label it 'fetish.'

1 comment:

Sommer said...

And that's just one problem with the suicide girls!