Wednesday, January 24, 2007

feminism: the remix

My talk with Marcia last Saturday was interesting in terms of subject matter but, perhaps even more so, in that it was a unique opportunity for a multi-generational conversation between curators and artists in a gallery space. Anne, Marcia and I reflected sadly on how seldom this actually occurs. I lamented the art world's unfortunate favoritism for the young and trendy; as someone who's very young and fresh in the field of curating, I find the perspectives of people who have had a variety of experiences over a long career incredibly inspiring and humbling. I think it's important to be humbled alongside praise and encouragement. I really reveled in the unexpectedness of finding myself in the same room with Marcia Tanner.

We spent some time discussing the moment that feminism is at today and why there seems to be a serious re-examination of feminism in art right now. My sense is that there is an overwhelming feeling of worldwide crisis, a kind of contemporary 1968 moment which feels urgent and pleads for action. It seems to me that the resemblance of the contemporary moment to the tenor of the last few decades makes it a particularly appropriate time to revisit and reevaluate some of the ideas and theories that have been so central to the development of contemporary art, chief among them issue of identity politics. Marcia and I agreed that the notion that identity politics are "played out" is false, and they still very much bear weight on artists today, particularly women and artists of color. Although the conversation is far from over, "My place..." provided an invaluable platform from which to begin. - Jessica Brier

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