Broadsheet, The Blog

Two Lady Artists with Bees in Their Bonnets

21 July 2007

Double X Art

Ad Hoc Vox Holds Panel: Man Schools Feminists on History; Gallerist Saddened; Young Women Silent

Wednesday night both This Broad and That Broad attended the Ad Hoc Vox, Double X Art Panel on Feminism at Brooklyn Fireproof. This Broad promptly fled the heat, as her dear friends were too lame to effectively save her a seat, even after she had been held up in midtown after the explosion. We suck, and we apologize. Thus, it has been left to me to report that the whole thing wound down just as it was really getting going.

As part of a general discussion, Deb Kass was the undisputed highlight of the panel, giving a broad personal and historical perspective on feminism and painting (of particular interest to me). Wendy Olsoff of P.P.O.W., made a valuable contribution with remarks often ending with “and it makes me sad,” referring to the current role and value (or lack thereof) of women in the art market. General remarks were made that are by now very familiar regarding the art market, the devaluing of women's work and, of course, the double-whammy of being female and over-30. Oh, the horror!

Astonishingly, aside from the very able moderator Colleen Asper (one of the panel’s organizers along with co-founder of Double X Art, Jennifer Dudley), and the delightful Art Fag City's Paddy Johnson (who will be weighing in on her own experience), the younger women, were virtually silent. What’s up ladies?! You have to speak up. Especially because NO ONE satisfactorily answered the question I went to hear addressed: Why the hell are young women so invested in disassociating themselves from feminism? Danica Phelps took a stab at it, but I’m not convinced that it’s as she conjectures, that women want to think that we’ve moved on. I think, as was pointed out to me later, there are too many associations with the Goddess and peasant skirts and unshaved legs… still.

As someone who falls squarely in the middle of these two generations, I would really like to hear something more convincing. Katy Siegel gave a few illuminating remarks on the subject, based on her experience as a professor at Hunter with international students who feel feminism is a “white, middle class” movement that doesn't speak to their concerns as they are more interested in identity, politics and economic issues. Um... excuse me, but last time I checked, those were all feminist concerns.

While the presence in the audience of members of the Brainstormers demonstrates that some of the young ladies are able to see the big picture, fighting for the advancement and empowerment of women with humor and sass, I would still really like to hear from people who were there as I remain,

Yours truly, flummoxed,

That Broad

Labels: , ,

03 July 2007

Go Ball Fem-what? The Occasional Toddler Perspective

The other day my mommy took me to the Brooklyn Museum because she said she wanted to see an important art show before it closed, and she said she would show me a whole lot of art by women artists and we would have a great time. I was very excited to go to the museum because I thought there were going to be really big dinosaurs there, like there were the last time we went to the museum. My first warning should have been when I noticed that the woman at the ticket counter glanced at me and said something to my mommy about the content in the show possibly not being suitable for small children, but I followed my mommy's lead and paid her no mind. I was very excited about the museum because I got to push the elevator buttons (not once, but twice!) to go to the floor where I thought the dinosaurs were going to be.

At first I was a little confused because I didn't see any dinosaurs at all, but I didn't mind seeing lots of naked women, especially the booby-feeding pictures. I think my mommy must have thought that those were the images the museum staff was referring to, and I shared her disdain at that bourgeois attitude. But as we walked through the next room I started to feel very upset. There were a lot of really unpleasant images of women being hurt in all these different ways. My mommy picked me up and hurried us through that room but the next room was no better, and neither was the one after that. Then she tried to appease me by spending some extra time in a dark gallery with a video of a funny brass band following a woman walking down the street, but by this time I really didn't like being in the dark rooms in this scary place, even if I was getting to watch a giant TV, and I refused to walk anymore and made her carry me because I wanted to go home, and I know because she tells me all the time that I'm getting to be a very big heavy boy and she has a hard time carrying me for long periods of time. So after just a couple more minutes my mommy said we could go home now and I could tell she felt really bad because she said she didn't know that the art was going to be like that. But I guess this "feminist art" term that I hear my mommy use so much actually describes a lot of stuff that is really ugly and violent and mean. But I can't figure out why that should have to be the case.

In any case, it's going to be a while before I let my mommy take me to the museum again.

UPDATE: Apologies for not captioning that image above:
Ryoko Suzuki, images from the Bind Series, 2001

Labels: , ,