Issues
Issue #92
“Feminisms” Issue One
With: Julieta Aranda, Kaye Cain-Nielsen, Pilar Villela Mascaró, Griselda Pollock, Renee Gladman, Mary Walling Blackburn, Elizabeth A. Povinelli, Elvia Wilk, Mirene Arsanios, Élisabeth Lebovici, Giovanna Zapperi, Irmgard Emmelhainz, Angela Dimitrakaki, Chus Martínez, Ewa Majewska, and Simone White
In ten seconds, how many synonyms can you think of for the word “power”? And then, just when you thought that you finally got the hang of how the power structures around you function, they seem to be coming undone. But are they really coming undone, or is the current that’s pushing and pulling at them not much more than a massage, a way to keep them up to date that stays only on the surface and is not able to touch the center. What is feminism, precisely? What are feminisms today?...
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14 Essays June 2018
In their quest for equal rights, organized women have been ridiculed, underestimated, murdered. But suddenly … it would seem equality is within their reach. Film characters portraying fighting women, TV amazons, state ministers, CEOs: the image has been created. But no, they are barred from universality; their difference is still perceived as contingent, anecdotal, not constitutive of humanity. —Francesca Gargallo, Latin American Feminist Ideas One eye closed. The tree moves....
1. For forty years my feminist project has involved creating concepts with which to think about the challenges posed by the encounter of feminism with art, and art with feminism. This was not an encounter that was to be anticipated. In the 1970s, art did not expect feminism. At the very same time, the emerging Women’s Liberation Movement, as we knew ourselves at that moment of intense social and political activism, did not place art high on its list of priorities. At best artists...
I began the day wanting to bring into convergence three activities of being—what I’d seen, what I’d read, and what I’d drawn—and to say about these acts how they made lines in the world that ran alongside other lines, and how all these lines together made environments of the earth, where I could put my body and you could put yours, and these would be lines always entwined because there was little if anything you could say or make without calling forth other lines, and this was how you knew...
Sticky Notes, 1-3
Mary Walling Blackburn
1.1977 The video editing suite sat directly across from 1607 Broadway. My mother’s boyfriend was editing a sequence of two figures fighting with long sticks. They were aiming for one another’s heads. Each man, in turn, carefully swung his fragile skull away from a baton, and then a baton toward another fragile skull swinging away. To the right of the screen was a window. From a certain low angle, at a standing vantage point several feet from the sill, the video sequence and a...
1. In The Human Condition in 1958, Hannah Arendt wrote a cautionary tale of two forms of alienation—from the earth ( Gaia ) and from the world ( Cosmos )—that threatened to annihilate not merely some humans, not merely all humans, but to unleash an atomic holocaust on all life. In Arendt’s compressed social historiography, this dual alienation was the result of the slow transformation of the classic Greek understanding of the human condition ( vita activa ). For the Greeks, the...
1. A biologist enters mysterious territory on a mission to comprehend the incomprehensible. Together with three colleagues—an anthropologist, a psychologist, and a surveyor—she crosses an imperceptible border into a region known as Area X. They are the twelfth expedition to cross the border. They are all women. Jeff VanderMeer charts Area X's impossible terrain in his Southern Reach trilogy. The first book of the series, Annihilation , flirts with various genre conventions but...
It is in this way that I did not become a mother; it is in this way that I bore my children. —Jamaica Kincaid I am deregulated. A language for which no jurisdiction applies. My past is dirty. All pasts are dirty, though some are filthier than others. I’m of the filthier kind (sorto). I sit in a greasy bank account somewhere in the British Virgin Islands. I live here, amid a slew of luxury resorts, spas, and white tourists lathered in sunscreen, trailing iridescence in infinity...
Maso and Miso in the Land of Men’s Rights
Élisabeth Lebovici and Giovanna Zapperi
Feminist Affects Let’s face it: we were in shock after reading the infamous, collectively authored column—aka “Deneuve’s text”—published in the French newspaper Le Monde last January, defending the (male) right to “disturb” as a way to dismiss women’s struggles against sexual abuse. 1 As a response to the Weinstein affair and the emergence of the #MeToo movement, a group of one hundred women, mostly high-profile professionals from the fields of art and culture, argued in favor of...
Apostrophe is not only the condition of love but an ideal of self-encounter. For the addressee, you are willing to make provisional clarities. For the addressee, you are willing to perform an openness that’s an optimistic brokenness. If you’re lucky, you’re a topos in your own world, although without the apostrophic phantom you cannot exist in the world … If language could pull it off … that is the hope of love. —Lauren Berlant 1 La lutte des femmes sera collective ou elle ne sera...
Understanding art as a field (of socialized human action) defined by contradictions bears on how feminism is organized as political practice within this field. Notably, some of art’s contradictions are not experienced exclusively by feminism, but also by emancipatory politics at large. Nonetheless, thinking about contradictions in relation to the specificity of the feminist struggle in art—a struggle that has carried on, in its various forms, for at least half a century—might help put into...
You may write me down in history With your bitter, twisted lies, You may trod me in the very dirt But still, like dust, I’ll rise. —Maya Angelou (1928–2014) 1. The Carriers and the Systems I am under the impression that when a woman reaches a certain position, all the privileges that this position has implied historically are already gone. It is very often the case that a woman’s arrival at a high level of influence within an organization is also an indicator of...

The transformation of the public sphere by women who do not hesitate to show their affect, who speak with and/or without sense, who supported the man they love as long as they could and obeyed their father as far as they were socialized to do, amounts to another inclusion of women into a sphere where they do not belong. An audience might have had mixed feelings when looking at those twelve women performing Ophelia in quick succession, but one thing definitely became clear to every viewer: in those given conditions, we cannot win. Whether we are big or small, old or young, passive or aggressive, or both, we can’t win in a game whose rules have been written within a patriarchal script, one in which we don’t belong. There is only one thing to be done: we must turn the tables of the social staging of the public sphere, undermining its gendered, normative framework.

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