Thursday, May 31, 2007

Bay Ridge Blogger Doesn't Dig Brooklyn Museum Feminist Art

Judy Chicago

This post over at the Bay Ridge Blog jumped out at us because it raises the always-provacative issue of museums and the art they display. The museum in question is the Brooklyn Museum and the blogger takes issues with the Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art. There is background here. The blogger had almost joined the museum in 1999, but opted not to after the Virgin Mary art issue in the Sensation exhibition. So, when he went back to join up recently he found the Sackler Center and opted not to join again. He writes:
What the hell is "feminist art"? It sounds like something joyless, thin-lipped, and political. Wiki describes it this art movement as referring to "the efforts and accomplishments of feminists internationally to bring more visibility to women within art history and art practice. Corresponding with general developments within feminism, the movement began in the 1960s, flourished throughout the 1970s, and the effects of it continue to the present. " That's the positive spin. But this is a separatist and exclusionary strand in the artistic universe. I don't think its particularly interesting to men --or women. And this is to be a permanent collection, sharing the museum with the art of ancient Egypt?

Sorry, I won't support this.

The museum's a fine space, despite the amateurish turns they've taken over the past decade. I do want to visit soon. Target Stores hosts a free "First Saturdays" program once a month. I may visit next weekend. If they ask me for a contribution, I'll say "no". Go ask Elizabeth Sackler!
Our own issue with the museum is that its collection tends to be too eclectic to cohere and that it tries to show to much in too little space, drawing attention away from some genuinely important work in its collection. We rather like the Sackler Collection ourselves and we love Judy Chicago's "The Dinner Party."

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2 Comments:

Anonymous Miss Heather said...

What I am about to write is probably a waste of my time, but I am going to do it anyway. Here we go.

Speaking as someone who is:

A. A female
B. A female with 2 art degrees
C. A female with 2 art degrees who happens to be the THIRD generation of female artists in my family

I have a pretty strong opinion about this. I personally do not care for Judy Chicago, but I understand the significance of her work.

As for feminist art being "exclusionary", that is the most laughable fucking thing I have ever read. The reason the feminist art movement evolved was because female artists were being excluded from galleries and museums by a "good old boy's network of (surprise!) MALE gatekeepers. Many of these gents harbored sentiments not unlike this chap who hails from Bay Ridge. (Which, by the way, I would like to state for the record that I am VERY GRATEFUL that I reside on the other end of Brooklyn from this dude.)If this guy wants to see who's really guilty of exclusion, he should look in the mirror.

It depresses me to no end that there are still men that have this mentality. It's 2007. The world is no longer a place run by and for white males. Get over it.

1:49 PM  
Anonymous Jeanne said...

Miss Heather said it much better than I ever could, but I will add the following to dude-from-Bay-Ridge-who-thinks-he-knows-what's up:

OH NO YOU DIDN'T!

(And I say that as a feminist, an art historian, and a woman who also comes from a long line of creative and artistically gifted women.)

I'm inclined to agree that Judy's dinner party is a bit out of date now, but it was groundbreaking at the time. I'm just happy to see that it's on display somewhere (it was in storage for ages.)

10:52 PM  

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