Jan 7, 2010

Women and Art: Contested Territory


This book written by Judy Chicago and Edward Lucie-Smith. It has been the most influential book so far on my artwork. All women, artists, art historians, and anyone who just enjoys artwork should read this book!

"Thanks in large part to the efforts of female art historians, the problematic subject of rape has been introduced into the art dialogue, though not yet at the level of discourse which seems appropriate for such a significant subject, especially given the way in which images of rape – particularly those reproduced in the mass media- continue to impact upon many ordinary women’s consciousness. I once heard a story about a graduate art history class during the late 1970’s, when feminist awareness was just beginning to develop among female art practitioners. The professor was discussing a Rubens painting which featured abduction and implied rape. His focus, however, was upon the brushwork, which he was rhapsodically praising. Quietly, one female student murmured to another, ’but isn’t that a rape?’, a question which quickly started circulating around the room at an increasingly audible level until one of the students burst out: ’Isn’t that a rape?’, followed by her outraged cry: ’If that’s a rape, how can you sit there, discussing the brushstrokes?” (Chicago, 95-96) “Certainly it seems important to acknowledge that one reason this art is so troublesome is that the subject matter is presented in what might be best described as beautiful packaging, which I suppose helps to explain how the aforementioned professor could be seduced into ignoring the content in favor of the brushwork.” (Chicago, 96)

Many of my pieces have since been about unwrapping the 'beautiful packaging'.

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