This course addresses feminist performance art through the lens of the art historical and the contemporary, with constant consideration of how historical concerns continue to manifest in the present. Feminist performance art of the 1970s quite specifically pulled from political actions surrounding the women’s movement, including active protests and collaborative consciousness-raising sessions. We focus on the work of artists such as Hannah Wilke, Ana Mendieta, Adrian Piper, Martha Wilson, and Suzanne Lacy, as a way to understand how their work reflects the multiple positions of feminism, and therefore operates as a reinforcement of the “personal as political” that sits at the center of feminist art. Throughout the course, we assess how and why feminist performance art incorporates questions of gender and sexual identity, as well as racial, ethnic, and class based concerns, and the reasons why feminist performance art is a particularly strategic way of addressing political interests. As performance is already a subversive act, in that it aims to destabilize absolute truths regarding the body and social categorizations, it may be viewed as a considerable tool for questioning and dismantling perceived rules that regulate social relations and bodily expectations.
November 12-December 3, Fridays 6-8pm CET