Friday, July 13, 2007

Women In Art.

Given my double majors at York, it seems appropriate to post this youtube video.

I've stolen it from my friend's livejournal, reshpectobiggle. When I first saw it, I thought it was kind of creepy how over the years of Western art, that all these images of women could morph so easily into each other. I guess that's partly what they mean when they throw around that ubiquitous buzzword "hegemony" in university classes.

As reshpectobiggle also pointed out when she originally posted this, how many of these paintings(many of them deemed canonical)were done by women? My powers of identity not being that great (hey, I'm a studio major, not a history one)I thought I recognized a Mary Cassatt in there. But if my experiences in art history classes serve my memory correctly, I'm pretty sure the majority of the work in this collection is done by old white guys. I definitely thought I saw a Matisse in there. MAYBE there was a Elisabeth Vigee-Lebrun in there too, but I would have enjoyed seeing a few Frida Kahlos. A couple of Audrey Kawasakis would have definitely charged up those passive gazes, that's for sure.

Ah, the powers of morphing technologies.


Rachel said...

I'm just intrigued by the focus on symmetry that's there, and how expressionless so many of the faces were... it was quite creepy to stare at them all for that long.

Also, I think there's a kind of symbol of female faces that gets used - especially with the eye-nose-lips thing that gets distilled right from the renaissance to when they move into the matisses and picassos, and is still there right through art nouveau and out the other side. I think I could draw a 'beautiful' face with four lines, at this stage in art history. It's a weirdly cartoony approach.

So how does one identify as 'feminine' if your face isn't, say, symmetrical, or, perhaps, doesn't conform to that iconic form?

Electric Furr said...

I think that's one of the problems with this montage. It totally sets up this standard in both visual art and aesthetics that becomes very exclusive over time (and with constant proliferation of the same type of iconography). Notice also, how there wasn't any ethnic diversity amongst the models, either?

We gots to shake that shit up!