(Sorry I couldn’t find bigger photos, click them to make them bigger though)

Rebecca Belmore, Vigil, 2002 (stills from a video of the performance)

Mourning/remembrance/healing performance.

This was a direct reference to the Pickton murders (murders of Indiginous women in Vancouver), which made it a public ritual with political end. The features of the performance were: scrubbing the streets, her arms covered with names of missing women, ripping a flower through her teeth, nailing her dress to a telephone pole and tearing out of it until she was left in her underwear (as recreation of dehumanization process and sexual violence inflicted upon them), and spoke the women’s names.

Her performance brought the women alive again and simultaneously, addressed the invisibility of their absence (they were not given enough priority in the media and in police investigative efforts because of their low status in society as Indigenous women and as sex workers). 

Mona Hatoum, Corps Étranger, 1994
This complex piece is composed of a cylindrical space with padded walls where the viewer is invited to enter and see a video of Hatoum’s internal body. As such, she makes use of indispensable medical imaging technology (that without, the work would not exist). Hatoum uses the strategy of abjection in displaying the internal cavities in a way that has the effect of swallowing up the viewer. The abject destabilizes boundaries.
The work also features aspects of biotourism (the transformation of bodies into landscapes and rendering the rendering of the invisible visible – her inner anatomy would otherwise remain foreign to her and to viewers but it becomes visible by generating images of the body’s inner architecture through visual mapping of her internal organs as well as her external shell – her skin) 
There is a physical space one enters but immediately, the viewer feels like a force is pulling him/her in to be engulfed as we are given a perspective from above. She reveals the body’s unknown interior. Another layer of meaning has to do with the interaction of our bodies and her body: as we enter the cylindrical space, we become the foreign bodies entering her body. Another layer of meaning: relates the exploration of the foreign to her identity as a foreigner. Hatoum is a Palestinian artist (born in Lebanon but she is of Palestinian origin). 

Mona Hatoum, Corps Étranger, 1994

This complex piece is composed of a cylindrical space with padded walls where the viewer is invited to enter and see a video of Hatoum’s internal body. As such, she makes use of indispensable medical imaging technology (that without, the work would not exist). Hatoum uses the strategy of abjection in displaying the internal cavities in a way that has the effect of swallowing up the viewer. The abject destabilizes boundaries.

The work also features aspects of biotourism (the transformation of bodies into landscapes and rendering the rendering of the invisible visible – her inner anatomy would otherwise remain foreign to her and to viewers but it becomes visible by generating images of the body’s inner architecture through visual mapping of her internal organs as well as her external shell – her skin)

There is a physical space one enters but immediately, the viewer feels like a force is pulling him/her in to be engulfed as we are given a perspective from above. She reveals the body’s unknown interior. Another layer of meaning has to do with the interaction of our bodies and her body: as we enter the cylindrical space, we become the foreign bodies entering her body. Another layer of meaning: relates the exploration of the foreign to her identity as a foreigner. Hatoum is a Palestinian artist (born in Lebanon but she is of Palestinian origin). 

Hello Tumblr Feminist Community! (Please reblog)

I have a proposition for you all!

I am a Women’s Studies student at McGill university in my last semester. I’m taking a course called “Feminist Periodical Culture” (think feminist zines and magazines) this semester and I need your help!

An option for our final project is to create our own zine so what I was thinking is to create a feminist tumblr zine. 

I have loved the feminist tumblr community ever since I got tumblr and I think it would be interesting to go from digital to print media instead of the other way around. Submissions can be anything: text, drawings, original images, poetry, etc. Obviously everyone will be fully credited and I’ll send a copy of the zine to you for free in the mail. =)

I’m not sure yet when I will stop accepting submissions, but it will be far away from now because the project isn’t due until the end of the semester.

If you have any questions or submissions either message me on tumblr or e-mail them to tumblrfemzine@gmail.com

THANK YOOOOU!

Long hiatus is almost at an end!

Hello all my lovely followers!

I’m sorry that I haven’t updated in awhile. The end of last semester was sort of intense for me but I have some time now to put up new artwork so expect more soon! =)

Louise Bourgeois, Femmes-Maisons, 1945-1947

I know one image is shown twice, but I wanted to show the other one that is attached to it. Also, click the images as always.

Bourgeois was influenced by the Surrealist movement at the time of these paintings. They explore her own history as well as issues of femininity, psychoanalysis and communication. Apart from maybe the image of the stairs leading up to between the breasts of the figure, they all provoke feelings of anxiety and imprisonment; what Lucy Lippard has called “uneasy spaces” that conjure up themes of containment and the desire to escape. (For example, the fragmented torsos which can exemplify a lack of freedom)

Is Bourgeois suggesting here woman’s acceptance of her place in society, or is she conveying the tension that arises between contentment in domestic confinement and a desire to break free of traditional roles? 

Without faces, none of the women has an identity. Only the various styles of their houses differentiate them. Some figures seem to fight their containment, while others accept it. In addition, while all the houses have windows and some have doors, implying accessibility, Bourgeois does not tell is the windows and doors are open or closed, locked or unlocked. Although the women’s sexual organs are exposed to whoever wishes to exploit them, their minds are closed off from all outsiders by the houses on their heads.

In each case that a man or a “masculine” principle is undermined by a danger from “the feminine”, the response is the same: to preserve masculine power by imposing negativizing gender stereotypes on the Other and putting them at a safe distance, in a lesser category. This gambit has worked for a long time, and the self-claimed masculine control of culture has been so successful that many women - including high-profile artists such as Helen Frankenthaler and Georgia O’Keefe - have not wished to be perceived as a part of a female interest group, reluctant to be associated with a subgroup countenanced by the patriarchy as lesser.
From the introduction to Reclaiming Female Agency: feminist art history after postmodernism

mylifeasafeminista:

Frida Kahlo, Self-portrait on the Borderline Between Mexico and the United States

I love this painting so much!  I’ve been thinking about it all day and wanted to share some of my thoughts about it on here…

Through this amazing work of art, Kahlo communicates so many ideas about nationalism, culture, identity, and economics.

As the American flag burns up in smoke stacks rooted to the concrete slabs that represent both industrialism and capitalism, Kahlo stands with one foot rooted on each side of the border.  To the left, we see Mexico with a natural connection to the Earth (plant roots and soil), a strong sense of culture, and a wide range of color.  Kahlo keeps the Mexican flag close to her body and holds strongly onto her own sense of Mexican identity.  To the right, the United States is artificially connected to the ground through electric wire, pointing to the prioritization over capital and profit above nature and life of all kinds.  The stark contrast between left and right indicates how that same contrast exists between American and Mexican identities & cultures during this time period.

Although Kahlo created this painting in 1932, many of her ideas and messages are still very relevant today.  One thing that does really stand out to me is how the Mexican side of the border is now starting to resemble the right side of this image, through the implementation of a structural adjustment program, the presence of multinational corporations, and the establishment of hundreds of factories.  Although there is a significant effort by American forces to eradicate Mexican culture and history, I ultimately believe these attempts will not succeed.  As this painting, and many of Kahlo’s other pieces show, the roots that connect someone to the earth and to their ancestry are too strong to destroy with factory lines or sky scrapers.

(Reblogged from mylifeasafeminista)

I guess for tonight, I’ll play up the Abramovic love. =) EXCEPT. This is something very different from the other pieces I’ve posted by her.

Marina Abramovic, The Lovers - The Great Wall Walk, 1988

This is an excerpt from the book Whack!: Art and the Feminist Revolution:

"After [Rhythm 0], Abramovic’s attitude toward her work changed and she became less interested in her own passivity and more interested in using spectatorial energy to create bodily change. In her collaborative works with Ulay, her professional and personal partner for thirteen years, Abramovic explored the dynamics of heterosexual coupling, the nature of love and desire, ad the edge of trust and morality. 

In 1988, they marked the ending of their personal and professional collaborations by beginning at opposite ends of the Great Wall of China and walking for three months in order to meet as the center to embrace and say good-bye. The piece exposed the labor involved in generating a touch capable of loosening a once-loving embrace. “

The audio of the piece in Abramovic’s own words is really interesting: http://www.moma.org/explore/multimedia/audios/190/1986

Marina Abramovic, Rhythm 10, 1973

In this piece, Abramovic once again explores the dynamics of pain, violence and self-destruction. In the first performance of this piece in 1973, she recorded the “rhythmic melody” of the sounds made as she plunged a knife rapidly between the fingers of her outstretched hand, changing knives each time she stabbed her hand- rather than the surface on which her hand rested- until she had used many knives.

Playing the tape back, she repeated the performance using the recording as a “score” to duplicate the same actions and injuries as the same moments. At once a feat of extraordinary concentration and a scene of repetitous self-mutilation, Rhythm 10 amplifies the way in which women sometimes engage in self-sabotage.

From foot-binding to obsessive dieting, diverse cultural energy has been dedicated to deforming women’s bodies, often with women’s own masochistic consent.

Another one by Renee Cox!

Renee Cox, Kiss, 2001

This short video has many undertones to it. On the one hand it is subverting the idea of females being passive to a man’s activity. And on the other hand, there are post-colonial undertones as the male is white and the female is black. 

This was a part of Cox’s photographic exhibition entitled American Family. This is what she has to say about this exhibition: “When I turned 40 the “Catherine Deneuve Syndrome” set in. In France a woman’s sexuality is allowed to mature, whereas in the United States women are only allowed to be sexual beings until age 39 and then are relegated to the background. As a result my series American Family was created. The body of work was a rebellion against all of the pre-ordained roles I am supposed to maintain: dutiful daughter, diminutive wife, and doting mother.” 

Ana Mendieta, Untitled (People looking at blood), 1973 (Click the images. The blood kinda gets cut-off)

She reproduced a scene of a crime by smearing what looks to be blood on the ground. Then, as people passed by, she documented their reactions. 

She wanted to depict traces of violence in public places and create a conversation about violence and women. The blood draws attention and directly implicates the spectator with the crime because they see, but don’t do anything about it. 

Renee Cox, Yo Mama’s Last Supper, 1996 (Click the image)

I’ve shown Renee Cox before when I posted the Hottentot Venus 2000. This is another of her works that she’s famous for. It shows her in the position of Christ, flanked by 12 black men acting as the apostles from Da Vinci’s famous painting.

This is a direct response to how there are no depictions of people of color in classical masterpieces. Cox, with a third wave feminist’s perspective, attempts to make history more inclusive.

This is different from what we’ve seen so far, isn’t it? =)

Rosa Bonheur, The Horse Fair, 1853-55 (Click the image)

At a time when landscapes and still life were increasingly popular, Rosa Bonheur painted animal paintings and every day life. She was supported by two art dealers who sold her paintings as decoration for the middle class. Unlike many artists, especially women artists, at the time, she was actually making an income.

Bonheur is known for being against marriage for she thought it would make her lose her independence, and she believed that trousers “led to an independence of spirit”. For this particular painting, she went to the horse fairs as a man to sketch.

If anything, I’m trying to expose as little of myself as possible.

Cindy Sherman, on why her work is not self-portraiture (via welovecindysherman)

I’m sorry I didn’t update yesterday. I’ve been quite busy with school work. I’ll get a couple of posts in by the end of today though. =)

(Reblogged from welovecindysherman)