Thursday, February 22, 2007

Post feminism

The kind of artwork I do is nothing like what is written about in art magazines. I'm kidding myself when I think my labour intensive quilted cloth pieces will ever be taken seriously as real art. Today I read reviews of a Rosemarie Trockel exhibition in a recent ART FORUM magazine. She is of my generation and has created a body of work that is rooted in both domesticity and contemporary art theory. (like mine) Rosemarie Trockel's retrospective was entitled "(post) Menopause" and featured two new knitted paintings along with 30 years worth of very conceptual work. At any rate, I become saddened when I realize that quilts that are grounded in tradition (my art form) just don't cut it as "art" in the art world. I guess that if art world recognition is what I really want I will have to push my quilts over the edge. (like Rosemarie has with knitting). Why do I feel that this would be a betrayal to an art medium so rich in metaphor?

4 comments:

  1. I wouldn't be worried about what art critics think. They think a black canvas with a red stripe down one side is "art". But don't like landscapes and realistic animals because photography can do that stuff. Never mind the talent necessary to accomplish them. They do not like folksy kitschy work. Perhaps because ordinary people do like it and they have to be snotty and above the unwashed masses. You may not sell a quilt for a million dollars but you can bet that anyone who happens to own one of your works will use it or display it proudly and love it and hand it down to someone they love. It won't sit in a vault somewhere appreciating in value because some tightass somewhere declared that it was genius. I truly wish someone soon would point out that the emperor has no clothes and get that crap out there out of the art category and see where the true art is.

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  2. Jeannie, nice to hear from you.I actually like conceptual and installation work. That was not really my point. What I don't understand is why curators and critics cannot see that the traditional cloth quilt is loaded with a powerful language and is a very important art medium. I don't mean art quilts that look like abstract paintings. I mean art quilts that are like metaphysical surrealist collages but are also like the traditional bed quilts with coded patterns. Both.

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  3. Judy, without writing a disertation here, I'd take a guess and say it has something to do with male domination and hegemony rooted in historical and the impact of history in forming our views and personalities.

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  4. I agree it is sad that the bigwigs of the established art world don't view anything other than "conceptual" textile art as REAL art. However, I feel that our image as textile artists and textile art in general is improving gradually (although too slowly for my liking) and that one day textile art will be elevated to a better position. However I won't be holding my breath. But I will be carrying on producing what might be deemed as folky, kitsch, decorative or self-indulgent and anything else that pleases me and brings me the immense joy of self-expression through the medium of textiles. One can only stay true to one's personal influences and specific creative desires. If one strays from that for the sake of trying to gain prestige in a world of critics then it is much harder to maintain a sense of true (self)identity as an artist. Whatever category your "art" falls into being authentic is more important in my book than being loved (by the critics or any other art viewer).

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Thank you for taking the time to connect. Much appreciated.xx