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Feminist Art History- Final Exam Notes AHS 265-1

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Feminist Art History- Final Exam Notes AHS 265-1 AHS 265-1

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Here are all of the notes covering everything we have went over in class. The vocabulary for each section/artist is listed at the bottom. But, the definitions should be highlighted in the text with...
Feminist Art History
Dr. Natalie Phillips
Study Guide
feminist, Art, history
50 ?




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This 14 page Study Guide was uploaded by kmschemmel on Monday May 2, 2016. The Study Guide belongs to AHS 265-1 at Ball State University taught by Dr. Natalie Phillips in Spring 2016. Since its upload, it has received 13 views.


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Date Created: 05/02/16
Exam 4-FINAL Feminist Art History Week 1: - Guerrilla Girls: o Told time and time again that they could not be artist because they were women. So they got together and were going to fight this. They called out publicly known galleries and protested, etc. thus leading to them to have to hide their identity so they would not get kicked out or banded from museums, etc. o Founded in 1985; started in response to a specific event o “An international survey of recent painting and sculpture” at Museum of modern art. New york (MOMA) – survey implies that is was going to be a comprehensive work that was going on in the world now- very few women in the show- which made them mad. Of 169 artists there was only 13 women.  Curated by Kynaston Mcshine:  “Any artist who isn’t in the show should rethink his career” o Guerrilla vs. Gorilla  Started out as a mistake with spelling from other people, but then they took on that mistake and enhanced it to create their image- got “Guerrilla” mask (Guerrilla is actually from Guerrilla warfare) o They made poster that brought awareness to this problem within museums and made them funny and sarcastic, but supported their statements with evidence/proof. - Barbara Kruger o Creates magazines that display famous people to draw peoples attention to them but then they have contradicting headlines portrayed all over them- o Barbara Kruger, Your Comfort is My Silence  Magazine type layout. Image with a text that is kind of splashed across the surface. Even though they are one liners- they provoke a lot of discussion and thought. o Imagery is preappropriated. They take the images from other work (like the Guerrilla Girls) and then add their own text to it. o Communist Propaganda Posters:  Her color palette and aesthetic comes largely from these propaganda posters  To catch your eye, and use the propaganda to tell you what to believe rather than let you choose.  That women are being fed this type of propaganda, to do this and that and look that way, and are set to certain standards- bringing awareness to this through posters that resemble the communist propaganda o Barbara Kruger, Thinking of You  Image of a person pricking their finger (gruesome imagery) and then contradicted with the saying o Barbara Kruger, I Shop Therefore I Am  Comes from Rene Descartes, “I think therefore I am”  So instead of being defined by your brain and therefore your thought she had her defined in a consumer way  Women start to get some attention- but commercial reasons to sell things = linked to shopping now. Have the power of purchasing these products but now associated with a shallow and materialistic side. o Barbara Kruger, Your Gaze hits the side of my Face  She is well aware of history of art and the history of the gaze  Has the bust of a women, and is unable to return the gaze = powerless. o Barbara Kruger, You Invest in the Divinity of the Masterpiece  Trying to say that history of art is above anyone  Refers to people of history like Michelangelo - Hannah Wilke: o Hannah Wilke, Starification Object Series  Referencing beauty rituals of scarring the body  Questioning the ideals of beauty, and represents things on the women that reference these scars from history  Poses in model like/star positions  Self-portraits with objects on her  Meant of a sort of parody of how these women are representing and the poses of models that objectify the female body- meant to undermine them  Kind of like the Feminist art programs, cunt cheerleaders and how they create a parody of an issue to bring awareness to it  Wearing little mini vaginas all over her body- chewing gum  Metaphor of an American women- chew her up, get what you want out of her, spit her out, and get a new  Didn’t come across to a lot of people as a successful parody, due to she is like the ideal women and what they should look like= they thought it was vain/ narcissistic/ flaunting her body; and that she was showing off how gorgeous she was. o “Venus Envy”  Her female version of penis envy (idea that women somehow by nature are born lacking the phallic)- and why are men born lacking the female part o Hannah Wilke, Hannah Wilke Through the Large Glass  Largely a criticism and parody of the female nude throughout history  The Large Glass- made my Marcel Duchamp  Another title is The Bride Stripped Bare by her Bachelors, Even  Bizarre mechanism version of the female nude (the weird machine) and the bachelors are the mechanical forms below and are trying to win over the women above- that shoot glass bullets at the bride= the one that lands of the bride represents sexual intercourse  However none of the bullets hit the women, so it is a bizarre metaphor for masturbation  He took away the pleasure of looking at the female form- purely about the mechanics of it  She uses Duchamp’s work to further create a parody of a strip tease with the large glass in front of it.  Makes sexual poses, and Venus images with images that a symbolic of masturbation in front of her o Hannah Wilke, Intra-Venus Series  She did when she was very sick with cancer  Reference to the drugs she had to take, but also to Venus the goddess of love, etc.  She does the same thing she did in her other work but she was not as beautiful- causing people to react very differently  Images of her going through cancer treatment  Photographs herself just like she did before, but now her body is marred by the sickness and significantly changing the meaning of the images for the viewer- more petty and subjectified rather than objectified  She was criticized when she was beautiful and even when her looks changed significantly due to cancer - Ana Mendieta o She married, minimalist sculpture Carl Andre, a very powerful artist o 1985 Naked by the window: book about their marriage, etc. o She went out the window and onto a deli – causing her death  Story that they were arguing, Ana was naked in the apartment, the doorman heard them and heard no don’t before she fell out the window, but Carl said that he was in the other room when it happened. But, known that Ana was afraid of heights, etc.  Lingering suspicion of the murder of his wife, but was not accused of it o Her works of art, foreshadowing her violent death o Ana Mendieta, Untitled 1973  Her body makes an impression in the ground- kind of like a foreshadowing of her death o Women’s Action Coalition (WAC) “ Carl Andre is at… o Ana Mendieta, Facial Hair Transplant  Took a series of photographs of herself with facial hair where men would get it  She transplanted the hair from her friends face to hers  Symbolic transfer of power, taking masculine symbol from them and applied it to herself  Looks borrowed though, not made for them, not natural  Questions what defines what it means to be a man, a women, and the standards of beauty o Ana Mendieta, Silueta Series  She uses body and earth art  Looks like impressions of her body in the ground/sand  Called “earth body sculptures”  Calling on ancient fertility symbols (Women of Willendorf- Paleolithic art) – praising the reproductive forces of women, and their roles as mothers/creators. Channels the power these women had.  Sometimes she used her actual body in them rather than an imprint- her body blending into the tree behind her  Reference to natural working of the earth- has plants growing up onto her body- can be symbolism of death, life, etc.  Some can read as violence (gunpowder) o Sara Ann Ottens, University of Iowa, 1973 (died)  She was raped and murdered, very violent murder  A football player was accused of her death; got off with 5 years  She was killed in her dorm room, and he left the evidence and everything in her bathroom, etc. o Ana Mendieta did a performance piece over Sara Ann Ottens death to raise awareness, and question why the guy got off so easy, etc.  Ana, Mendieta, Untitled (Rape Scene) 1973  They recreated the scene and invited her professors and fellow students to see the violent act that had happened  She did this project as a grad student at that same university  The women on the table held her position or an hour o Blood/Sacrifice themes  Did a series of paintings (painting/performance) and called them Body Tracks, she would take red paint and take her body and spread it down the canvas, etc.  The dragging of her hands across the canvas references back to Yves Klein (drug women across the canvas) and Shigeko Kubota (Vagina painting)  Ana Mendieta, Untitled (Death of a Chicken)  Performance where she killed a chicken, and let its blood spurt on her  Sacrificed the chicken and used its own blood  She is Cuban and makes a lot of reference to that heritage: Santeira= Yoruba culture (from African slaves) and Catholicism o Focus on bodily fluids and using them in art; a very embodied religion o Sacrificed chickens  The chicken blood flowing on her body is a metaphor of equating it with women’s identities of themselves and their duties as a women but the violence placed on them as well o Making visible the hidden violence o Such as with chickens, we eat them all the time and don’t think about the action that takes place to enable that, so the sacrifice in front on people sheds light upon what we are really doing o Ana Mendieta, Blood and Feathers  3 key components to this performance – all symbolic  Poured blood all over herself o Reference to sacrifice  A flowing river behind her o Symbolizes sustaining life, references to water breaking – giving birth; cleansing and ritual;  Stuck feathers all over her body o Like she becomes the chicken- she is the sacrifice  Shines light upon the violence upon women that is hidden - Marina Abramovic o Marina Abramovic, The Kitchen V, Carrying the Milk  A performance piece where she is standing in a kitchen  Point of performance: hold bowl of milk out in front of her as long as she possibly could, while the camera records it  She lasted 12 minutes and 43 seconds.  Reference to history- Vermeer, The Milkmaid  Ties to womanhood and domesticity  Contemplation on women’s work and labor- how a lot of the duties they do are a lot harder than what they seem to be  Underestimation of labor of women Week 2: o The Artist is Present  One of her pieces that pushed her to her limits  Watched the video! o Rhythm 5  She draws a star/pentagram on the floor (wika, matriarchal religion) she set it on fire and begins walking around the work – a piece about sacrifice, sacrifice of herself for her art  She begins cutting off her hair, her fingernails and toenails, etc. and throwing them into the fire  She then went to the middle of the star and laid down  She is very interested in how the audience plays a role in the art. She accidently became unconscious due to the fire taking up all of the oxygen. Eventually the fire started to take over and that is when the audience decided to intervene  Started her push with altered states of mind o Rhythm 0  It pushed the audience- like a mass hysteria – they crossed the line in a scary way (kind of like cut piece, but exaggerated extreme)  She stood in a gallery for six hours  There was a table and the audience was to use an object off of it on her how they wish. She is the object and during this period she took full responsibility.  She is giving you this power, but should you take this power?  Most of the audience ended up being men, which set up a different tone for the piece  She becomes more and more scared as the performance goes on and very violent and almost out of hand  Towards the end someone actually pointed a gun at her, but then someone took that gun away  Some of the actions included cut her clothes, putting rose thorns into her, stabbing a knife in-between her legs  After she moves, she becomes a subject rather than an object and they run away, realizing what they’re doing  Audience, catch themselves asking question, was she asking for this? (Same questions that arise with sexual violence) o Abramovic and Ulay, Imponderabilia  They stood naked in a very narrow space of a door, and to get into the gallery you would have to squeeze in- between them  Puts the audience in a weird position and interact with the art  Complicated because had little time to decide whom they were going to face when pass through, male or female  Men may have faced the girl to show that they were not gay, etc. but may have changed throughout time- about being macho, and man- like, sexuality  Girls is a little more complicated – may have been more about power (may feel threatened if face the guy)  Reproformances of this piece now is often done with two of the same gender rather than one male and one female: therefore creating the problem of not having to mentally choose and takes away a lot of the meaning of the original piece. - Orlan o Orlan’s Performative Transformations of Subjectivity by Tanya Augsburg (ARTICLE) o Often considered a shock artist but she is actually a very smart artist o Her real name in Mirielle Porte – choose Orlan (French plastics company) o What she is trying to do is to take down that biography is important to art making. Take down the celebrity aspect of art making. Everything that is exposed to the public is part of her art o Saint Orlan: she presents herself under disguise as her o Also references a lot to martyrs (Christian, gives up life for a cause) and relics (held in a reliquary, a physical remnite of a saint – bone, hair, etc. a miraculous reminence of these saints). reliquary (beautiful place where relics are stored) o Reliquary- Orlan does an art piece of herself over this subject- her fat particles; make metaphor between the life of an artist (give up life for their art) compared to the life of a martyr o Orlan, Documentary Study: the head of Medusa (1978, Neue Galerie/Sammlung Ludwig, Aachen)  Used her own body as part of the performance of the exhibition  The Medical Gaze: Women’s bodies as “medicalized and pathologized” – the way we view woman’s body in a medical way- women’s body by their very nature are caused by sickness and as wrong  Hysteria: late 19 century- diagnosis for women= women who were too emotional, etc. (considered toxic even to themselves)  The Femme Fatale: dangerous women  The vagina Dentata: the toothed vagina  Freud and Penis Evvy  Even though bodies are whole they believe that women always feel like they’re lacking (the presence of penis)  Lacan and “lack”  Believe that women are always lacking  Medusa and the Gaze  Freud likened the women (anatomy) as Medusa- seen as demon who turns men to stone and takes away their power  She talking two head on “rumors/beliefs” of the women body.  Uses real menstrual cycle blood o Orlan, Louvre Performance, 1978  Commentary on the representation of the women’s body as the female nude  Nudes throughout history of females are idealized and sexualized (no hair on body besides the head) even though they never shaved anything at that time.  She therefore became interested in the Control of women’s bodies  She wears a black coat, reveals her dress underneath, removes a triangular portion of the dress in her pubic region, was fake and she removed it to reveal her bar genitals, took paint and palette an began covering up her genitals with the paint as though it was a fig leaf ..  On one hand art sexualizes and shows the genatalia but beautifully and flawless, whereas on the other hand the genitalia are covered up with fig leafs and seen as wrong to look at or show  Performance in front of old sexualized artwork of naked female o Orlan, Measurements  Decides to reclaim public space as her own  Wore her trousseau –gown she is wearing- marriage gown  Gets it very dirty during performance  She goes around city and measures it (Orlan-corps =measures with her own body length)  On her hands and knees (relates to pilgrimage and saint like – sacrifice on way to church, etc.)  She measured churches, convents, and museums; she also ‘measured up’ the legacy of other artist with her own  Public space: The Agora, Athens- men owned and dominated this area back in the days- women were not allowed her  She is trying to grapel with this idea- that women were always told where they were supposed to be and how, etc. by men and couldn’t control it for on their own.  Virgin/Whore dichotomy  Women could only be one or the other (virgin mary or the sinful woman)  Relates to this with her clean gown and then at the end through her measuring journey it becomes dirty o Orlan, The Kiss of the Artist  She would sit in a chari in front of her own nude body  Bring awareness to the virgin/whore dichotomy  You would pay to get to kiss her, the coin would go front her chest down to the vagina  The Virgin mary: to resemble the pure woman  The white lilies resemble fertility and purity along with the Virgin Mary herself  Le Baiser de l’Artiste: to kiss; in slang= to “fuck”  Trying to represent the image of the prostitute  The kissing booth portion of the piece was so eye catching that many forgot about the rest of the piece. = Became problematic  Audience reaction:  Women o Told her she was brave, brought her champagne, and encouraged their men to participate  Men o Tipped her in their own currency, reluctant to pay the full price, came back several times, kissed her nose in return for being kissed by Orlan  Gustave Courbet  Created piece known as “Origin of the World”  Objectifies the female body: like a severed body- no head or arms or full portion of legs- is just focused on her reproductive organs and one of her breasts.  Orlan, Origin of War  Orlan’s take on Gustave Courbet’s Origin of the World  Orlan, Attempting to Escape the Frame  Her representation reflecting over past paintings where the women are framed, so this is o The Abject  Designates here precisely those unlivable and uninhabitable zones of social life which are nevertheless densely populated by those who do not enjoy the status of subject” Judith Butler  There are people who are marginalized o The Reincarnation of St. Orlan, begun 1990  Series of 9 performances  Took the form of plastic surgeries, in which she took on nine of them  In each of the surgeries, she would take a facial feature from a famous beautiful woman from history and apply it to her own.  Mona Lisa’s forehead for her androgyny  Eyes of Dianna from School of Fontainebleau for her refusal to obey men  Venus’s chin for her associations with fertility and creativity, etc.  It is a performance, she has famous French stylist dress the surgeon’s, she painted the room, she was awake during the surgeries and talks to the audience, and had a live web feed of the surgeries  She exerts incredible power over the room and situation in which one is normally not in control of, due to being asleep,etc.  “The Technological Gaze” (on video) she has this medical and technological gaze upon her but still overpowers all of that and takes control of the room  “Orlan considers herself both subject and object” : she was awake which allows her to remain a subject during the procedures but she is also an object due to her having no feeling of what is going on. (She uses pain killers)  Refers to a new mirror stage: with her performances and how she can view another side of her body through these procedures without feeling a thing.  Her point to get across is that people/men in society want women to act and look a certain way but if you would put all those features together you would get a sort of monstrous looking creature= these standards of beauty is absurd  “Fetishization of body part” – everyone should have certain parts but not everybody’s face fits these standards of proportion. o Orlan, Omnipresence No.1  Documentation (additional works of arts) of her surgeries  Underneath is the ideal image of her results and above are the healing stages of her surgeries  To remind us how incredibly violent these surgeries are o Orlan, Self-Hybridizations  She kept wanting surgeries, one of her male surgeons quit on her because he didn’t want to make her ugly, so a female surgeon did a couple for her.  Eventually she had to stop, due to health risks so she instead did artworks she called self-hybridizations where she would manipulate the way she looked through artworks.  She questions other cultures standards of beauty compared to our vision of beauty.  Such as how they would wrap cloth around babies head so it would grow in a cone shape and file there teeth to a fang  Other cultures put gold coils on their neck - Cindy Sherman o Largely a photographer, doesn’t identify as a feminist artist or even an artist but more identified to film o All of her work seems to deal with identity o A Cindy book:  Started out as a real thing, but photos in her photo album and was interested in identifying and declaring herself  Was inspired by this in her later years and was in an exhibition called THAT’S ME – THAT’S NOT ME  They are not self portraits, but her taking on the identity of somebody else o Cindy Sherman, Doll Clothes  Film project that featured her as a paper doll, she would take on and off these doll clothes- and how our identity can be taken on and off and changed o Cindy Sherman, Untitled (Film Stills)  They feature her, but she is always playing different roles  They create a great amount question and personality within these women and the story they create  Occasionally in some of them, you will see the wire that is attached to the cable release- she seems to very consciously expose this- trying to indicate to the viewer that these are construction and made up – a jarring exposure to reality- and abrupt the idea that this is reality, that it is just her dressed up o Cindy Sherman, Untitled (History Portrait Series)  She took famous woman and exaggerated and disrupts them.  She pokes fun at women whom were represented throughout history- to expose the artificiality of the images- they are not real women they are made up and fake – not reality  Ex. Virgin with one bare breast, Botticelli portrait  Exaggerates features of the women to disrupt their beauty  She works on a massive scale- not typical of women o Cindy Sherman Untitled (Doll Series)  Uses masks that have a realistic look to them  Sometimes there are suggestions of violence portrayed on the dolls; sometimes even the placement suggest eroticism  Call to mid a lot of questions to the way the female body has been representing through art ---------------------------------------------------- Vocabulary: Guerilla Girls: Guerrilla vs. Gorilla: Kynaston Mcshine: “An international Survey of Recent Painting and Sculpture”: Museum of Modern Art: Barbara Kruger: Mademoiselle Magazine: Communist Propaganda Posters: Rene Descartes: “I think therefore I am”: Hannah Wilke: Venus Envy: Ana Mendieta: Earth-body sculpture: Sara Ann Otters: Santeria: Carl Andre: Women’s Action Coalition: Marina Abramovic: Ulay: Vermeer: Orlan: Martyr: Relic: Reliquery: The Medical Gaze: Hysteria: Penis Enry: Jacques Lacan: Trousseau: Orlan-corps: The Abject: The Technological Gaze: “the fetishization of body parts”: Cindy Sherman: none


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