Katy Deepwell - On the Paradoxes of Feminism in Relation to Contemporaty Art
Thursday 3rd May, 6 p.m.
Academy of Arts, Architecture and Design in Prague
nám. Jana Palacha 80, Praha 1
In this lecture on methodological questions in feminist art history/criticism, I would like to outline the paradoxes that feminists writing about women artists now encounter and reflect on this history of this in relation to my own location, education and political concerns as a feminist writer and editor of n.paradoxa – which was the only international feminist art journal in the world on women artists for 20 years, 1998-2017! I aim to examine some aporias or blindspots in dealing with the many contradictions facing women writers when they address the work of women artists and attempt to present their writing or the women artists’ work as a contribution to feminism or to feminist thought.
The central paradox hovers around whether their work will add to or simply underwrite women artists gaining a larger slice of the existing pie (entering the art world, which Lucy Lippard regarded as ‘not-feminism’) or – as an alternative - working out how to change the recipe (perhaps so the 99% may eat!) by offering a different kind of pie to the world, ie changing the art/ world/ values.
The impact of globalisation in the art world in the last 30 years combined with the actual rise in the volume and presence of women artists on the world stage offer contrasting strategies: from new neo-liberal assessments of “success”, “greatness”, “empowerment” in corporate models of feminism which “add women to the picture” versus recognition of “moments of resistance” or “voices from the peripheries” that now require greater critical scrutiny of what feminists are advocating as “of interest” in the political choices and role models they offer in their scholarship. The talk will advocate that our frameworks require substantial revision in the light of these developments.