Lorenzo Pereira Several months ago, my colleague wrote an article about feminist art. There are huge differences among feminists and feminist artists. For example, liberal feminism and feminist artists who accept this form of feminism insists on equal opportunities for women and men both in society and in the art. Still, there are many other movements within feminism that influenced modern political and social thought, as well as art.
Second-wave feminism, radical feminism, postmodern feminism, post-feminism — these are all diverse range of opinions and ideologies within feminism. Dallas Contemporary has organized an exhibition entitled Black Sheep Feminism: The exhibition is curated by Alison Gingeras, and it examines the work of four radical feminist artists active since the s.
Joan Semmel, Anita Steckel, Betty Tompkins and Cosey Fanni Tutti each fearlessly confronted sexual ethics, gender norms, and the tyranny of political correctness; and all four artists faced censorship for the explicit sexual content of their work.
Opinions on the sex industry are diverse. Feminists critical of the sex industry generally see it as the exploitative result of patriarchal social structures which reinforce sexual and cultural attitudes complicit in rape and sexual harassment. Alternately, feminists who support at least part of the sex industry argue that it can be a medium of feminist expression and a means for women to take control of their sexuality.
The exhibition at Dallas Contemporary opened on January 16 and will be on view until March 20, Certainly, the first feminist art practices were the product of more liberal approaches towards feminism, while later on, we witnessed a penetration of radical feminist thought into contemporary art practice.
The art movement where radical feminism was popularized was performance art. Performance art was finally recognized as an art form in its own right in the s. Highlighting the important contributions of women artists, it shows that artists drew from feminist politics to create works.
Scroll down to learn more about radically sexual feminist art! She had a long career as a stripper and in the fields of pornographic film and magazines, stemming from a desire to incorporate her own image into collages she produced in this period.
This willingness to deliberately and consciously participate in the process of commercial image production has inspired a number of visual and performance artists. Some of her performance art work has also drawn on her experience as an adult performer. Fanni Tuttti immersed herself directly in the UK porn business, posing for over 40 magazine spreads. In her London exhibition Prostitution at the Institute for Contemporary Art, she claimed the images she created as a sex worker as her own art — provoking a public outrage that reached the chambers of the British Parliament.
She was also the founder of the arts organization The Fight Censorship Group. She created a series of artworks concerning erections, in defense of which she said: If the erect penis is not wholesome enough to go into museums, it should not be considered wholesome enough to go into women.
Pornography or Feminist Art? Tompkins in particular explored the extreme edges of feminist politics and sexualized imagery. She elected to render the images in extreme close-up, using vintage pornography stills as her source material. Rather than idealize the act of fornication, by having one body or the other exude dominance or beauty above the other, Tompkins equalizes both figures by showing only their genitalia, in congress. For the latest works by Betty Tompkins, please visit her official website.
She is best known for painting large scale, realistic nudes of her own body as seen from her perspective looking down. During the summer of , while teaching at the Maryland Art Institute in Baltimore, Semmel began painting what she calls the idea of myself as I experience myself, my own view of myself. Before that, she had quite famous erotic series of paintings depicting heterosexual couples having sex.
For more beautiful paintings by this great artist, please visit the official website of Joan Semmel. Still, even today, the radical feminist art exists, and there are a number of artists creating so-called sex-positive feminist art. These artists want to wrest female sexuality and its representations away from the clutches of patriarchal control, and in order to accomplish this, they use aesthetics as a method for explorations of objectification and empowerment and the personal and the political.
One of these artists is Leah Schrager. In her work she photographs, appears in, augments, and markets her own image. She is a proponent of considering the artistic value and merit of selfies, emphasizing the fact that selfies provide the model full legal and economic control over her images.
Lea Schrager has had a lot of interesting projects. Take a look at her official website. Naomi Elena Ramirez - Body as the Primary Element Naomi Elena Ramirez is a multidisciplinary artist whose work embraces and fuses visual art, performance art, video art, contemporary dance, and the process by which the different mediums can inform each other.
She has developed a practice of generative graphic scoring: A choreographic method that filters the process of making live performance through the mediums of photography, drawing, collage, and notation. The method is generative, in that the score precedes the choreography rather than recording it and requires an embodied creative reading: In order to read the script one must dance the script.
As a dancer her body is her medium. Within the field of visual art the historical and cultural implications of the female form, its representation, sexualization and objectification complicate its depiction. Within the field of dance and performance the body is the primary element. This socio-historical conundrum stifled the full expressive use of her body as a visual artist, the body being an essential element of her work. You can find more info about the work by the artist on the official website of Naomi Elena Ramirez.
Zanele Muholi is a visual activist who tries to bring light to the importance of black lesbian women in South Africa. Cosey Fanni Tutti courtesy of theguardian. Photograph, Dallas Contemporary courtesy of theguardian. All Images used for illustrative purposes only. Never miss a story again.