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August 26th, 2011

Ms. Remembers Feminist Studio Workshop

When Feminist Art Went Public

The last article Ms. Magazine sent me to review was When Feminist Art Went Public. From the story:
“Young woman artist, Jazzmin Meins, entered the large room on roller skates, her body wrapped neck-to-knees in medical gauze. As she skated around in front of the audience, she slowly unwrapped the gauze—until she stood before us naked. Then she went into a crouch and laid an egg. Literally.

That was my introduction to performance art at the Woman’s Building in downtown Los Angeles, the first public center in the U.S. devoted to feminist art. It was 1974, a revolutionary time for the “second sex,” and when art met feminism the results were unlike what most of us had seen before: brash, raw,
in your face, stripped-down (performance artists often disrobed, the metaphor of self-revelation inescapable) and all about the brilliant and messy realities of being a woman.”

This was my favorite article of the three. I get nostalgic for the 70s even though I was just a little girl back then. But it’s things like the Feminist Studio Workshop that make me feel this way. How cool would it have been to hang out there-a bunch of female artists hanging out, supporting each other, encouraging each other to push their artwork? The article made it sound like a women’s artist cooperative, or at least that’s how I envisioned it while reading. In my non RV and non sex work life I’m an artist and this story inspired me. There’s several women artists I network with and like the women in the story we support each other. The article makes me want to do more with our small network.

The only downside to the story is the FSW closed down in the 90s. When I was reading it I got all excited-I wanted to visit this place. But then I payed attention and no it’s gone. But there is a retrospective happening that sounds awesome:
“If you missed those early days of feminist art—or if you miss them—you can catch up at “Doin’ It in Public: Feminism and Art at the Woman’s Building,” the retrospective that will fill
the Ben Maltz Gallery at L.A.’s Otis College of Art and Design from Oct. 1, 2011 through Jan. 28, 2012.”

This article is in the current issue of Ms., the Sex, Lies & Hush Money issue. You can subscribe here. More information on the retrospective can be found here.

Posted by Vixen in Activism

This entry was posted on Friday, August 26th, 2011 at 11:14 pm and is filed under Activism. You can follow any responses to this entry through the comments RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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