Today is the first day of summer, aka Summer Solstice. Historically we should celebrate with a ritual or ceremony, but now, individual like me would go outside the studio building, inhale some sunlight and then head to a museum to finish the huge exhibit that takes more than a day to see.
I spent 4 hours finished 86% of the Wack! show from MOCA LA. I wish I had the world of time to sit thru each video screening. For quite some time, I think my past life was in the 60's or 70's. I become so moved when I see feminist art that address relationship issues and/or utilizes craft materials. It probably came from the happy memory of my childhood, when mom was sewing, sisters doing quilt and knitting. A hobby meant braiding and drawing to the little me. An image of a woman working on a sewing machine directly associates to the female relatives in my brain... this is when art swarms up strong emotions, the public expression experienced on a personal level.
If you are a sensitive person having relationships with other human, this is a good show for you. It is an enriched and well-researched show which has a lot to offer. In 2003, when I was working in Judy Chicago's Envisioning The Future program, Judy told us to get familiar with the feminist art so we don't repeat what have been done already. I don't think I can read enough to stop myself from repeating without this show.
Indeed, a lot of contemporary artists benefit well from feminist artists. Neto's use of materials reminds me of Nengudi's works. Artists documenting themselves have forerunners like Hannah Wilke and Suzanne Lacy. Eleanor Antin's Domestic Peace opens the conversation between artists and their families/friends. Monica Mayer's "El Tendedero" broke down the barrier between authors and readers, giving us courage to invite audience to interact with our creation and become part of the work.
I can't leave here without mentioning two pieces. Carolee Schneemann's Interior Scroll was the first piece of art by female artists that was introduced to me by my sister. At the age of 19, I first felt that she's strange, then I grew to admire her, like her. Now as an artist, I can't help applauding every single time I see this piece! Faith Wilding's Crocheted Environment is the spot in show where I had hard time leaving. This piece looks absolutely gorgeous in a black low-lit room~
Lots of people have negative impression towards feminist art. I have to say that some strong pieces might have been picked up to generate the story. The whole movement was manipulated in the same way as other cultural misunderstandings, like a lot of world citizens assuming African Americans must play basketball and sing well, whites must be well educated and wealthy, Latinos only do labour jobs, Chinese women are submissive, Americans recycle, artists starve... Media posses powerful force when it comes to brainwash, or some called, educating the public. It is time we reintroduce the movement that redefines the definition of contemporary art and forgivingly embraces all genres which provide freedom for all artists nowadays.