Saturday, November 14, 2009

Ugggg -Two Steps Forward and One Step Back

Here are a few charts from the book After The Revolution: Women Who Transformed Contemporary Art. I know we can't literally blame everything thats ever gone wrong on the Bush administration but looking at these charts I feel like I could form a pretty good argument that the downward spike of shows and books by female artists in the 2000s had something to do with the mind set our country fell into in this last decade.

Gallery Shows By Male and Female Artists

Number of Museum Shows by Male and Female Artists

Number of Monographic Publications of Male and Female Artists


fallenV said...

someone send liz peyton this book!

Unconscious and Irrational said...

how come? at least she's having shows.

fallenV said...

yeah, i don't know what i was trying to say with that comment... sorry!

it's a bummer that so much is/has been written about opening up contemporary art to its gendered other but seeing stats like this just goes to show that there is still a great amount of obstacles facing cultural parity. I wonder what it is that allows for this broad cultural psychology that so bizarrely allows for these numbers to grow but maintain the same ratio?

Unconscious and Irrational said...

I think it might have something to do with the fact that when things start doing better to a certain point. Like 3 women to every 5 men are having show...everyone considers that good enough and then there is a lot of backsliding. When including women or people of color is seen as going out of your way to be p.c. and/or do "whats in style" it will obviously be met with if not a backlash than a laziness that creates a backslide when people stop paying attention.

I think our generation has a big problem with this because we've been able to take a certain amount of ease for granted when for my mom's generation they were still fighting pretty hard for a place in the art world. Its so soon that there isn't a system or history yet thats stable enough to securely include an equal amount of women. Lucy Lippard said something once about how we wouldn't really know what female art is until female artists had been able to look to at least a couple of generations of female artists as their inspiration. That may be an essentialist view of there being "women's art" but I think theres something to seeing yourself as part of the picture. I think we're getting there but including women and seeing them as equal needs to be an instinct and not still an afterthought.

Of course with that ratio thing there is also the issue of 3 women to 5 men showing being seen as fine. But thats still not equal.

I thought about titling this post "Sausage Counting"