Friday, March 25, 2011

"Feminist Image Group: What Women Want" by Joe Nalven

Read the article here.


  1. I read the the article and it was generous of Joe and Anna to each take time out of their busy lives to do it. But, for me reading it brings up issues I think we need to address.

    First of all I think we having mistakenly used feminist in the group name,and we put it first, making it a central theme, we are now indelibly linked to this over, before, and in front of being artists. (As a conceptual artist I am also not comfortable being labeled an image artist).

    I fear we have shot ourselves in the leg (and I hope it’s just the leg and not the heart), and we did it to ourselves. Are we feminist over artists? Women over artists? If so, it goes to reason that men will be taken more seriously as artists. A man presents himself as an artist, not a male artist, just artist. If we are to be taken seriously as artist, we need to do the same. We are artists, not women artist, not feminist artist, we are artists, and as such we expect articles to be written about the art.

    Yes we are a group of women, and yes we are a group formed to support each other, but really, do we want articles about being feminist artists, or women artists? Don’t we want articles to be about our art? The article goes on and on about Joe’s class, a short conversation with Anna, and copies of the statements for some of the artists. There is no WRITING about the art.

  2. "There is no WRITING about the art."

    This is the crux of the problem that continues to plague the art community in San Diego. We need a bona fide and credible arts writer/critic to cover the scene with intelligence and relevancy. You can fill up as many "Sketchbook's" as you want, it will never compare to the likes of a Barbara Rose, Lucy Lippard, Chris Kraus, Anaïs Nin etc. etc.

  3. Lori and Picked RAW Peeled:

    I would be happy to do an article, as I've done before, about artists -- regardless of gender, age, artistic style, mindset, etc. The important thing for me is to allow artists a platform and to talk about their art and NOT to impose a framework on that art.

    This goes to my specifically avoiding the label or approach of an art 'critic.' I see this blog as an opportunity to do art 'commentary.' For me, the 'critic' sets her- or him-self up as knowing better. That is a challenge when the art world has become pluralistic -- what Danto referred to as the 'end of art.' What comes after post-modern? It's all a kaleidoscope, a cornucopia -- which makes it problematic to be an art 'critic.' I don't have a good answer to what such a person might be -- especially when I see the Wizard of Oz behind many of those writings.

    Joe Nalven

  4. Not sure what you mean by the Wizard of Oz "behind many of those writings." Anyway, what is being written here in SD is just that, commentary. I truly believe it does not help or inform the reader, there is an over abundance of "commentary" sans relevance or intelligence published on a daily basis. Trim the fat and get to the essence of what we're writing about - the art.

  5. What I meant by the 'Wizard of Oz' is that what art critics command/write often is like pulling back the curtain in the movie the Wizard of Oz and finding a pretty banal explanation. More bark than bite.

    However, you might want to read Douglas Martin's review (aka Baudelaire Shepherd) review of the What Women Want exhibit and my response to give a more accurate read on what my thoughts are. I'd be interested in your reaction to the contrast between art criticism and art commentary after you read those comments at SignOnSanDiego.