Among other questions Linda Nochlin asks in her book Women, Art, and Power, and Other Essays published in 1988 is “Why have there been no superstar women artists?” The recently released documentary film !Women Art Revolution asks a similar question.
Nochlin's answer is that "… the arts, as in a hundred other areas, are stultifying, oppressive, and discouraging to all those, women among them, who did not have the good fortune to be born white, preferably middle class and, above all, male."
Lynn Hershman Leeson, the producer of !Women Art Revolution, filmed nearly 13,000 minutes of interviews with the major players of American feminist art over the past 42 years - a huge task of which this 80 minute film is only the tip of the iceberg.
On previewing it a few weeks ago, I was excited to hear the major players of the feminist art movement interviewed over the span of this culturally dynamic period of time, and to hear their stories in their own words. I was especially struck by the insightful, intelligent voice of curator Marcia Tucker. I thought immediately to email her and begin a dialogue but alas discovered in the closing credits that she has since passed away.
But that brings us back to the merit of the film itself. This is a time capsule for the words and thoughts of these brave, determined women, many of whom played an important role in shaping the art world as we know it.
On the animation side of the arts, the Tricky Women Festival in Austria has just released a new book TRICKY WOMEN – AnimationsFilmKunst von Frauen/Women in Animation. I’m very much looking forward to writing a piece on it so stay tuned. The book includes a collection of essays by and on women involved in animation and includes a DVD of award winning short films.
Many thanks to Natalie and Raymond Stern for bringing my attention to the !W.A.R film.