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

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