Monday, July 2, 2007

That's Wack!

WACK! closes July 16 so if you haven't seen it yet, you should stop by the Geffen Contemporary in Little Tokyo and see this important exhibition of feminist art during the late 1960's and '70's. I had been meaning to see Wack! since it opened in March but finally had some time off from work (not by choice but by circumstance) and used one of the afternoons off to see this incredible collection of feminist art. I came of age in the period following this group of second wave feminists and looked at these works as ground, the foothold that supports female artists today. In school, we studied these works. We used their language but we questioned and even poked fun at the anger and the frustration--how quaint those pre-global, pre-internet (pre-photoshop) times were! We were the Gen-X third wave feminists tip-toeing across the millennium and we could love our whore just as much as our Madonna because these foremothers had punished themselves enough for all of us and now we were all cleansed and Amen.

But seeing the exhibit and these works as a whole movement rather than selected female pieces was awe-inspiring, difficult, powerful, thought-provoking, and joyful and wrought with pain. This is life and art and the personal was, and I think still is, political. This exhibit argues that these female artists not only influence current female artists but contribute in a profound way to the foundation for all contemporary art, period. No pun intended.

If you can't see the exhibit, you can check out the website:

The only thing that was weird was the high-anxiety guards in the Geffen. They have at least one posted at every corner of the space and they follow you around and kinda stand next to you when you are viewing the work like they are guarding a prison and you are the prisoner who might revolt. It added a very strange touch to seeing this exhibit.


havemycake said...

i am so sad i no longer live in little tokyo. i would love this exhibit. i would love so much that's going on there. although there's a lot to love a.b mississippi, believe it or not, though i can't say, i dunno, the blog feels somewhat profaned these days, now that i had to take it all down and change it & blah...maybe i'll get more into it again after life calms down (post summer? autumn's always a time to be reflective...)

um, i really like what you have to say in this post. it's interesting how people with the same intention, that being to empower women, have such different notions as to what that entails. same as people everywhere have different notions about dignity, respect, selfishness, self-entitlement, etc. Personally, I like to desecrate the sacred--bring it to a level where I can work with it.

this part is great: "we could love our whore just as much as our Madonna because these foremothers had punished themselves enough for all of us and now we were all cleansed and Amen"...and you were once jealous of my writing? Jeez...

Amie said...

Wow thanks. I have been feeling pretty low lately. So, your complimenting my writing is an honest boost. If you are in Los Angeles, you have to take a look around downtown. I am sure you won't recognize it. I barely do and I drive by it every day. I think this exhibit might travel after it closes here so maybe it will make it somewhere near your world. I am still thinking about it weeks after seeing it.