Saturday, August 29, 2015

!Women Art Revolution Review

Image Copyright 2015 Lynn Hershman
September 1 to 15, 2015 will be a Directed by Women Global Viewing Party. You can party too, in your own home by watching some of the films on the Directed by Women website. You can follow on twitter @DirectedbyWomen. I started partying early. Thursday I got my copy of !War Art Revolution and watched it that night. Lynn Hershman Leeson had a video camera and she used it to record thousands of hours of the women artists who came through her living room during the Feminist Art Movement. The documentary is breathtaking in its scope, coverage, music and story. Guerilla Girls, Vietnam, campus police violence, historical context from the late 60s, early 70s, women artists missing from art history. Hershman's voiceover sets the stage "the personal became political and the very personal became art." There is footage of the debate in the U.S. House of Representatives about a bill introduced to ban Judy Chicago's 1979 art installation The Dinner Party from exhibiting in Washington D.C. A bill, begob! The heartwrenching quote from one woman (I'll post her name when I watch the documentary again.)

I don't think feminism successfully changed the structures through which art is made, sold, displayed, written about.

The 2013 documentary Finding Vivian Maier makes this clear in present tense. An exhibit of Maier's photographs was offered to major museums that declined for reasons we all now know as what I call assplaining. We don't exhibit dead artists, we already did a woman exhibit, our schedule is locked.

There is still work to be done.

Here is an excellent review of !War Art Revolution by Elisabeth Subrin. You can watch the documentary on iTunes: include the exclamation point or it won't show up. I want more of this type of film, and I'm going to get those. Directed by Women will be my source for watching and learning more about women filmmakers, and consequently women's history. There are 7,429 women directors in the database so far, and you can help build the resource list. There are 6,493 films by year, and you can help grow the knowledge base. Grow the love!

No comments:

Post a Comment