Last week there was a show Welcome Home curated by Sofia Arreguin and Valerie Shusterov held at CalArts in honor of the 40th Anniversary of Womanhouse —the 1971 groundbreaking art installation and performance space curated by Judy Chicago and Miriam Schapiro, co-founders of CalArts’ Feminist Art Program.
Welcome Home is a group show representing over 30 female artists with works of different media coming together to voice the modern feminist perspective. – Sofia and Valerie.
Some of us had a discomfort with the concept of it being an only woman show. And put a parallel/ complimentary show titled Femme For All (at CalArts), which was put together in an open call for discussion on feminism through art. A collective and collaborative show displaying various voices and positions in an open dialogue about current feminist issues.
I believe when ideas are re-created in a different time and an evolved community, their place needs to be understood in the community then (period they were created in), and a similar experience needs to be shared now (in the time and society you are re-generating the experience). Also, while I went through the Welcome Home show, there was a high heterosexual energy that the show generated. And also a singular structure of power. While the Femme For All show was more fluid, and topical.
A critique which could be put in this situation, I sited while re-reading the preface of Gender Trouble by Judith Butler.
It was and remains my view that any feminist theory that restricts the meaning of gender in the presuppositions of its own practice sets up exclusionary gender norms within feminism, often with homophobic consequences. It seemed to me, and continues to seem, that feminism ought to be careful not to idealize certain expressions of gender that, in turn, produce new forms of hierarchy and exclusion.