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Five (failed) attempts at a feminist revolution

Householder, Johanna (2008) Five (failed) attempts at a feminist revolution. In: Art Institutions and the Feminist Dialectic Symposium, 3 Dec 2008.

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This discussion will draw upon histories, or at least stories, of performance and other transient art practices by women in Toronto from the late 70's to the present. Instances and questions about performance, re-performance, and re-embodiment have special significance for feminist practitioners. Performance art has also had an important effect on how we approach contemporary art, and how performative gestures infuse contemporary institutions.

The unruly bodies of women and performance artists have made work outside, inside alongside, in opposition to and in complete ignorance of the mechanisms and institutions for the collection and exhibition of contemporary art.

The world famous artist-run centre movement of Canada developed in part in order to allow publics to intersect with this work and other new and otherwise marginal practices. Throughout the 80's feminist artists continued to work in anew forms and forge new contexts; the Womens' Cultural Building is an example. Subsequently the archive of the WCB was exhibited, and the construction of this exhibition may be an interesting case study.

I replaced the word ephemeral with the word transient in the title of this discussion because as many times as I have heard performance art referred to as ephemeral, I've never quite believed it. Fairies and wood nymphs are ephemeral, posters, leaflets and flyers may be ephemeral, my car keys are ephemeral – but performance is corporeal "meat joy", and sometimes demanding, and therefore its intersection with an institution is protean.

Item Type: Conference/Workshop Item (Speech)
Uncontrolled Keywords: art pedagogy, feminist teaching, performance, political art, radical democracy
Divisions: Faculty of Art
Date Deposited: 12 Jan 2017 18:09
Last Modified: 20 Dec 2021 16:32
URI: https://openresearch.ocadu.ca/id/eprint/495

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