For the first time in long time, I found something worth seeing at Three Rivers Arts Festival. It is the film that tells the history of the feminist art movement: !Women Art Revolution.
For over forty years, Lynn Hershman Leeson collected hundreds of hours of interviews with visionary artists, historians, curators and critics to reveal their strategies to politicize and integrate themselves into the male-dominated art culture of our time.
There is a great segment on The Guerrilla Girls, anonymous artists who emerged as the consciousness of the art world holding academic institutions, galleries, and museums accountable for discrimination practices.
Another important segment explores the impact of The Dinner Party, a massive ceremonial banquet by Judy Chicago, commemorating thirty-nine important women from history. You can see this feminist art icon of 1970s currently on long-term display at the Brooklyn Museum of Art.
The film illustrates innovative thinking about the complexities of gender, race, class, and sexuality and watching it now, an understanding that all kinds of change is possible with determination and vision.
Coincidentally, I also saw The Word of God: Helène Aylon, The Liberation of G-d and The Unmentionable currently on display at the Warhol Museum through the end of this month. Helène Aylon is a New York based eco-feminist artist. Aylon focuses on how G-d has been confined by human translation in the Hebrew Bible by highlighting passages that offend her feminist and humanist outlook. “I highlight over words of/vengeance, deception, cruelty and misogyny,/words attributed to/G-d/… I do not change the text/but merely look at this dilemma.”
Both the movie and the exhibit express the anger and injustice of male domination. While the film is encouraging and insightful, Aylon’s work is sad and limited.
Aylon writes, “I ask when will/G-d/ Be rescued from/Ungodly projections/In order to be/G-d?” Alyon needs to take heed from the feminist art revolution to further transform her art into the politics of action that make real and lasting change.