Monday, August 29, 2011

Entry #9

  • After reading Chapter 22, consider carefully the idea of Feminist Art.
  • In your educated/informed opinion, is any art created by a woman feminist art?
  • Some female artists have sought out the label of feminist artist and worn it proudly, while other have been surprised or offended to have it thrust upon them. What might be the advantages and disadvantages of such a label?

Feminist art expresses the unique experience of being female in a society where women have traditionally been viewed as less valuable than men. But not any art created by a female can be called feminist art. I think, for art by women to be considered feminist art, it has to address and / or express feelings, thought and emotions that are exclusive to women. A man could create art that can embrace the concept of feminist art but because of his maleness he cannot fully create the true representation of its meaning.

I think one advantage to labeling oneself a feminist artist is that it would allow the artist to ground herself in the strength of being female. It connects her to the powerful lineage of all the women who have come before her - their unique lives and stories whether those stories have been expressed through art or not. I believe this can be very empowering and that empowerment will be translated through the art to all how view it. And - other women may be empowered to create their own art.

The disadvantage of having one's art labeled as feminist art is that labels tend to limit and confine. Being labeled in any way - but especially as a feminist artist - can create barriers to the different ways the art can be seen, literally and figuratively. This could have the unfortunate effect of narrowing opportunities for the artist and her art which is dis-empowering in itself.

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