Local/Global Dynamics in Feminism and Contemporary Art
This event is open to students, artists, academics and curators interested in feminism and contemporary art. The small fee is to cover the cost of catering for lunch and tea/coffee.
Katy Deepwell (founder and editor of n.paradoxa: international feminist art journal and Professor of Contemporary Art, Theory and Criticism, Middlesex University)
Giulia Lamoni (art historian, Investigadora FCT, Instituto de Historio de Arte, Lisbon)
Ebru Yetiskin (curator, Associate Professor in Sociology, Media Theory, Digital Humanities. Istanbul Technical University)
Emanuela de Cecco (art critic/art historian, University of Bozen-Bolzano, Italy)
Martina Pachmanova (art historian, Associate Professor, Katedra teorie a d?jin um?ní, VŠUP/UMPRUM v Praze, Department of Art Theory and History, Academy of Arts, Architecture and Design in Prague)
The conference will be organised through speeches, panel discussions, breakout sessions on particular topics and a discussion of attendee’s posters (see the invitation to all attendees, below).
Writing in 1990, Elspeth Probyn argued that it was important to differentiate the concepts of locale, location and the local in order to address the broader questions of knowledge production and subject position in “where and how we may speak” – as well as a means to draw on a rich legacy of feminist thought from Adrienne Rich to Gayatri Spivak.1 In the production of artworks and in the analysis and presentation of the works of women artists in an international art world where globalisation, post-colonialism and a diasporic cultural politics have been predominant for two decades, this differentiation provides a starting point for this conference. Feminist questions about the politics of location; feminism’s role in countering “objective”/ “dominant” forms of knowledge, canons and historical agendas; as well as differentiating between speaking as women or Woman (as split and non-identitarian in her identifications) will be considered. Feminism has, for some time, argued that it can progress by “acting locally, thinking globally” in tackling women’s issues, often bypassing the question of the national en route to global comparisons on a world stage or by directing its critique at localised forms of nationalism. Feminism nevertheless has also to counter perceptions of itself as homogeneous, when it is actually heterogeneous and scattered in how the position of women artists is theorised globally, and how women artists as subjects, both represented and representative and neither singular nor stereotypical, are written about. Acknowledging that individually we may speak from a location, about a locale and address local concerns requires more than personal caveats, it necessitates a commitment to dialogue and exchange as well as to hearing and engaging with other voices in the world who represent different realities/locations as well as diverse theoretical positions to our own.
This conference has been organised with the aim of building new and shared understandings across generations and geographies to think about where feminist debate in the visual arts is positioned today, especially given the current “popularity” of women artists in museums, biennales and galleries, as well as its directions for the future. The conference aims to address how different local concerns appear internationally and how locales may produce different understandings (locations) which may be productive for a stronger local and global dynamics within and across feminism(s).
Breakout sessions will examine histories of women’s film and video work; women performance artists; activism in the visual arts; women artists working with sound; rethinking domesticity and women’s labour; and rewriting histories of contemporary art and feminism, amongst other topics.
All of the above approaches have been central to the work of the journal, n.paradoxa for the last 20 years and this conference addresses the work of feminists, artists and researchers who have helped to create n.paradoxa: an international feminist art journal in a visual display of former contributors’ comments. In its 20 years of publication, over 400 women artists, writers and curators from more than 80 countries have contributed.
Elspeth Probyn ‘Travels in the Postmodern, Making Sense of the Local’ in L. Nicholson (ed) Feminism/ Postmodernism (Routledge, 1990) pp.176-189