Monday, March 26, 2007

The Face of Feminism?

Roberta Smith writing in the New York Times poses the question ‘is there such a thing as feminist art?’ Commenting on the ‘Global Feminism's’ exhibition at the Brooklyn Museum Roberta poses some interesting (and perhaps long overdue) questions as she probes a subject not without it’s um... controversial elements!
Personally I dislike ‘isms’ almost as much as I loath most kinds of labels. To pigeon hole something is to limit it or to stamp upon it some manner of maker’s seal of approval. Of course there is plenty of art influenced by feminine thinking just as there is art inspired by love and sex. Yet we don’t refer to such as sex or love art or perhaps lovism!

However this is not to decry the quality nor the impact of much of the art featured. Some of these images (which includes the above work from the disturbing "Bind" series of 2001 by Ryoko Suzuki) brilliantly succeed in shocking the onlooker which in turn acts to focus our attention on an issue too readily swept from view. No they’re not pretty. They’re not indented to be. Indeed they are repellent. For me such brutal images are legitimate when presented in the context which inspired them. This is neither Political Correctness nor point scoring to beg crumbs from the critics table. Alas, some of these pictures are sadly all too real. I simply don’t believe they should be branded or presented under the blanket banner of feminism.
Catch you later