30. aprillil kell 17.00 Teadusete Akadeemia saalis (Kohtu tn 6)
Did I just dream it or was there once a feminist revolution in art and art history?
Aesthetic reflections on the politics of memory in Art History and its futures
The temporality of the moment of feminist intervention in art and art history has become problematic. We can certainly sketch the beginnings with a series of publications and significant exhibitions. But that has tended to privilege a few countries and one language at the site of ‘ the origin’. What kind of historical mapping do we need in order to understanding the international temporalities and contingencies of the emergence of gender as a critical question in art histories worldwide?
At a certain premature point, however, a discourse of endings emerged. Feminism was over, some declared in the 1990s with more wilful intent to injure a still fragile potentiality than with genuine historical accuracy. Feminism was not then and is not now ‘over’ precisely because its temporalities intersect with other historical reconfigurations of cultures worldwide that are constantly emerging.
None the less, in the Anglo-Euro-American field, feminism’s companions in radicalising critical thinking and critical making in art such as postcolonial, queer or internationalizing tendencies continue to be considered intellectually significant and academically glamorous. But feminism has been wished away, being represented as a tired, uninteresting, spent, and certainly an unsexy drag on the search for the new directions in the fields. Why and how has this division of the field of critical interventions occurred so that gender alone is being cast into the dustbin of unwanted histories?
My lecture will explore the politics of memory as a problem in the sociology of our discipline in historical perspective in order to explore the nature of the resistance feminist interventions pose to the political unconscious of art history, to its gendered imaginary, and to the psychic investments it preserves. Sometimes it feels as if the radicality of feminist challenges were but a dream of beginnings overshadowed by a new nightmare of institutional and intellectual foreclosure. Why should we revive the dream, brush away the nightmare and recognise that feminism is still becoming?
Far from being a minor irritant that can conveniently be forgotten as we reconsolidate the fantasy of the artist-hero and art history becomes ever more attuned to markets, money, dealers and collectors, a revisiting of the great questions posed by means of the ‘woman question’ (Nochlin) might turn out to be of fundamental significance for art history in its present ‘sickness’.
Loeng toimub inglise keeles ja on avatud kõigile huvilistele.
Kitty Zijlmans (Universiteit Leiden) – Potatoes, Ears, Passports, Homes. What can be the contribution of artistic research to World Art Studies?
Loengusarja toetavad: Eesti Kultuurkapital, Briti Nõukogu, Ameerika Ühendriikide Suursaatkond Tallinnas