Exquisite Acts & Everyday Rebellions: 2007 CalArts Feminist Art Project Offers a Multi-Generational Perspective on Today's Feminist Concerns
Feminism makes a comeback at California Institute of the Arts (CalArts) and other Southern California art schools, universities and galleries this spring.
At CalArts, Exquisite Acts & Everyday Rebellions: 2007 CalArts Feminist Art Project will explore feminism and the arts from their roots in the Women's Movement of the 1970s to contemporary strategies for feminist practice.
Exquisite Acts & Everyday Rebellions is part of a constellation of feminist programming that coincides with WACK! Art and the Feminist Revolution, an international retrospective of feminist art from 1965-1980. The exhibition opens on March 4 at the Geffen Contemporary at MOCA in Los Angeles.
Exquisite Acts & Everyday Rebellions includes a week-long exhibition of work by CalArts students, faculty and distinguished alumni, a performance/workshop series, a lecture series, film and video screenings, and a symposium featuring guest artists, activists and curators.
With the student-organized Exquisite Acts, feminism's next wave joins with previous generations to explore current issues of feminist practice in art and society.
Participants in the Exquisite Acts symposium include artists Andrea Bowers, Dorit Cypis, Mary Kelly, Martha Rosler and Faith Wilding, and WACK! curator Connie Butler. Laura Owens, Judy Fiskin, Martin Kersels, Francesca Penzani and alumni of CalArts pioneering Feminist Art Program are among the artists in the exhibition.
While, WACK! presents a survey of work up to 1980, Exquisite Acts brings feminist practice into the present. "We wanted to partner with MOCA to continue the conversation initiated by the WACK! exhibition," said Audrey Chan, student co-organizer of the Exquisite Acts symposium. "We formed a collaborative group to develop events that reflect the younger generation's desire to communicate with feminists of different eras and within the current CalArts community. The goal of the project is to understand our roles, as artists and citizens, in shaping the future of feminism."
CalArts played an influential role in the women's movement of the early 1970s. During that time, the Institute housed the unprecedented Feminist Art Program and Women's Design Program, which created the first large-scale public feminist art installation Womanhouse, in downtown Los Angeles, and published the influential anthology Anonymous Was a Woman. Other influences include the Feminist Art Workshop (FAWS) and the 1998 F-Word conference at CalArts.
CalArts will host a number of events, concurrent with WACK!, at REDCAT in downtown Los Angeles. Programs include Where Did Our Love Go? -- a week-long series of classic and contemporary feminist film and video screenings curated by Bérénice Reynaud, a talk by activist artist and critic Martha Rosler, and a performance by legendary dancer and artist Yvonne Rainer. CalArts is also hosting Feminaissance, a conference on experimental women writers, at MOCA.
Classes at CalArts will also reflect its feminist legacy. One example is the class revisiting, A Simple Case for Torture, Martha Rosler's ground-breaking 1981 video. Students will examine current media and adapt strategies from Rosler's video to address today's issues. Ms. Rosler will also participate as a visiting artist.
For More Information:
Schedule for Exquisite Acts & Everyday Rebellions: 2007 CalArts Feminist Art Project
Where Did Our Love Go?
Martha Rosler in Conversation
WACK! Art and the Feminist Revolution
CalArts and other Los Angeles-based schools and organizations participating in feminist programming will list their events in the Calendar area of the Feminist Art Project website:
The nation's first art institute to offer BFAs and MFAs in both the visual and performing arts, CalArts is dedicated to training and nurturing the next generation of professional artists, fostering brilliance and innovation within the broadest context possible. Emphasis is placed on new and experimental work and students are admitted solely on the basis of artistic ability. To encourage innovation and experimentation, CalArts' six schools-Art, Critical Studies, Dance, Film/Video, Music and Theater- are all housed under one roof in a unique, five-story building with the equivalent of 11 acres of square footage in Valencia, California, just 30 minutes north of downtown Los Angeles.