unexpected encounters

I recently published this collaborative review essay on feminism and art  in the Australian Feminist Studies Journal with the lovely Agnieszka Golda. Our aim was to begin a discussion about where feminism sits in our individual teaching practices, in addition we wanted to survey how feminism was being understood and approached by our students. It was exciting to hear about how textiles practices have transformed since the 1970s, and realise how much this very material of materials contained so much that I have been thinking about. Not much of these rich conversations made it through the final edit but they are there, in the margins.

Agnieszka Golda & Martin Johnson, Inferno Wonderland (installation detail), 2012, mixed media, installation size 460cm x 640cm x 460cm. Photographer Martin Johnson
Agnieszka Golda & Martin Johnson,
Inferno Wonderland (installation detail), 2012, mixed media,
installation size 460cm x 640cm x 460cm. Photographer Martin Johnson

Feminism AND Art: Unexpected Encounters

Books Reviewed:

  • Susan Best, Visualizing Feeling: Affect and the Feminine Avant-garde, I. B. Tauris: London and New York, 2013.
  • Katy Deepwell (ed.), Feminist Art Manifestos: An Anthology, KT Press: London, 2014.
  • Eleanor Heartney, Helaine Posner, Nancy Princenthal and Sue Scott, The Reckoning: Women Artists of the New Millennium, Prestel: Munich, London, New York, 2013.
  • Amelia Jones (ed.), The Feminism and Visual Culture Reader, (2nd edition) Routledge: New York and London, 2010.
  • Helena Reckitt (ed.), Art and Feminism, (Abr Rev Up edition,) Peggy Phelan (survey) Phaidon Press: New York, 2012.

Current students of art are as fascinated by the cult of personality surrounding Marina Abramovic as they are deeply moved by the cancer diaries of Hannah Wilke. The ongoing ramifications of local identity politics, the crippling evils of power, the increasing encroachment of conservative nationalistic discourses, and the ongoing manipulations of global capitalism, which in effect never did collapse, all mean art cannot move forward without feminism. Instead we need to constantly revive, revisit and review the practices of both art and feminism. Each of these books is a model of how feminism continues to encounter and transform art and itself.

Given the grievances of mainstream publishing, (and Taylor and Francis are better than most) the first 50 people who follow this link can access it for free!

http://www.tandfonline.com/eprint/tCmUPwHV6Be2x9htUUBC/full

Susan Ballard & Agnieszka Golda. “Feminism and Art: Unexpected Encounters” Australian Feminist Studies, volume 30, issue 84, 2015, pages 199-210.
DOI: 10.1080/08164649.2015.1046713