Thursday, February 1
10 a.m. – 10:30 p.m.
Lilia Moritz Schwarcz
10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
(mediated by Talita Trizoli, Universidade de São Paulo)
The game of hide and seek: the approaching/aborting of feminism in Brazilian art
This presentation will concern the motives that contributed to the repudiation of feminism in the visual arts in Brazil in the 1960s and 1970s. If feminism is the taking of a political stand in relation to the woman in society, it cannot be said that it had any place in Brazilian art in the period in question. All attempts at including the theme were totally rejected; at the very least it was covered up, concealed and disguised. The discussion will consider canonic works by Brazilian artists who, despite having dealt with questions linked to the question of the woman, avoided feminist discourse. During this period, feminism was approached tangentially, discreetly and shyly in the visual arts. Recently, however, it has been directly and frankly activated by a new generation of artists.
Being a woman is an eternal challenge
I am part of a generation of the 1960s that experienced the first surge of the feminist struggles. The work from my youth is marked by this. But this is not all I wish to talk about. Why not also make an oral report of what Brazil was, in the 1960s and 1970s, from the point of view of a woman artist (or simply a woman), also talking about my later experiences abroad: the United States, France, Greece, Latin America and this new/old current Brazil?
Revising the Second Wave: Black Radical Women, 1965–1985
This presentation will focus on the methodological framework of the exhibition We Wanted a Revolution: Black Radical Women, 1965–1985 (presented at the Brooklyn Museum April 21 – September 17, 2017), conceived as a historical corrective: a presentation of radical approaches to feminist thinking that were developed by women of color simultaneously with, and at times in opposition to, the more widely acknowledged views promoted by second-wave feminism. Because it is impossible to understand the complexity of the feminist movement in the United States and its emergence in this period of radical rebellion and cultural recalibrating without knowing the stories and priorities of black feminism, the exhibition was conceived to expand and revise the increasingly canonical history of feminism, describing the emergence of an intersectional approach to social activism and cultural production that continues to inform feminist priorities and practices today.
2 p.m. – 4 p.m.
(mediated by Lilia Moritz Schwarcz, MASP)
Connection: woman activist, lawyer and producer
In this presentation I will talk about my experience as a woman involved in the questions of gender and race. Due to the black woman’s isolation and lack of credibility in society, early in life I needed to develop a degree of responsibility and self-defense that no child should have, and I became an activist, lawyer and producer obliged to rise to every occasion, continuously challenged.
The jack-of-all-trades woman no longer lives inside me
The indigenous women of my generation debated very little, or not at all, about what our function was in a broad range of contexts. In the malocas [indigenous dwellings], in houses as maids, or even among our relatives, we work a lot. Many indigenous women, yet today, come to the city seeking better working conditions. What looked like a possibility for a better life became more of a situation of excessive work, without a clear understanding of why we were working so much. It is important to say that it is a common practice for Indian girls to come to work in the house of their white “godmothers.” Their relationship with their godmother, despite any appearance to the contrary, is devoid of affectionate feeling. Rather, it is a way of avoiding the payment of fair wages for the household work they do. By becoming a visual artist, I gained the emancipation that was previously denied to me.
DÉBORA MARIA DA SILVA
The Mães de Maio movement: against the terrorism of the State
I will talk about my activity as an activist and coordinator of the Mães de Maio [Mothers of May] movement, a network of mothers, relatives and friends of victims of violence by the Brazilian government (mainly the military police], formed after the Crimes of May of 2006. The pain and the mourning of the loss of our children, relatives and friends was transformed into a reason for us to combine forces and begin to work together. We fight for the right to truth, to memory, to justice and to full reparations for all the systematic violence against the poor, black and indigenous population. Our aim is to construct, in practice and through struggle, a truly just and free society.
Friday, February 2
10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
(mediated by Gabriela Barzaghi De Laurentiis, Universidade de São Paulo)
Why does it matter to call the Feminist Art Movement of the 1970s an avant-garde?
Avant-gardes produce strikingly novel art. They are radical, provocative, and self-reflective in form as well as in subject matter, as the examples of fluxus, conceptual art, and Viennese actionism illustrate. Inspired by the women’s movement and the conviction that “the personal is political,” many women artists of the 1970s undertook a collective endeavor without precedent in the history of art: to remake the “image of woman.” They deconstructed the image of woman that has served male artists throughout the centuries as a vehicle for their projections, stereotypes, desires, and fantasies. The presentation sheds light on formal traits and thematic concerns many of these works share and explains why it is high time for the “feminist avant-garde” to be included in the art-historical canon.
Looking Back at The Dinner Party
In October 2017, an exhibition titled Roots of The Dinner Party: History in the Making opened in the galleries of the Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art at the Brooklyn Museum where The Dinner Party has been permanently housed since 2007. In conjunction with this exhibit, the National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington, D. C. opened a smaller show, “Inside The Dinner Party Studio,” which explored my unique collaborative methods. The presentation will survey these two shows and look back at my journey from my early research into what was then an unknown history of women in Western civilization to the fulfillment of my goal of permanent housing. I will also discuss the ongoing impact of The Dinner Party which was seen by one million viewers during its worldwide tour from 1979 to 1988 and has attracted 1.5 million viewers since it has been at the Brooklyn Museum.
Reproductive Realism: Towards a Critical Aesthetics of Gendered Labor
The presentation will be on social reproduction and the negativity of women’s work as depicted in some particular feminist aesthetic gestures, which will draw on my current research on Leticia Parente, Margaret Raspé and Lynda Benglis’s 1970s moving-image works, as well as several contemporary works that take up “reproduction” in a more symbolic and institutional sense. Here I will be developing the speculative category of “reproductive realism,” which has two sides: an affirmative side that glorifies gendered labor, and a side that is sardonic, excessive or absurd, which I am addressing through some specific concepts of “negativity” and materiality immanent to the work, but also to Marxist feminist and gender abolitionist discourses, particularly relevant vis-a-vis current far-right anti-“gender” militancy.
2 p.m. – 4 p.m.
(mediated by Isabella Rjeille, MASP)
The feminisms and the construction of a philogynist world
Since the 1970s, the feminisms have not ceased to grow and diversify, raising the public’s awareness in regard to their questionings and the demands of women from different social and ethnic sectors, explicitly conveyed in new forms of political, artistic and cultural expression. While the various currents of the feminist movement have been gaining visibility, the ruptures in the transformations they produce in the social and cultural imaginary, with their intense criticism of patriarchal culture, are becoming increasingly manifest. Thus, feminist philosophy questions dualist thought and introduces the body, subjectivity, feelings and materiality in new ways of thinking and of relating to difference. This presentation is aimed at mapping the contemporary feminisms, highlighting the life potential inherent to their actions and interpretations, pointing toward the construction of other modes of existence based on ethics, philogyny and social justice.
Élever le soulèvement [Raising the uprising]
We will begin with the presupposition that not only in nature, but also in human life, nonrenewable energies exist and are used, such as the power of struggle, the power of waiting, the power of love. We will resort to the methodology of Michel Foucault and Carla Lonzi, focusing on the processes of subjectivization and the practices of freedom in the feminist movements, to design forms of resistance that are simultaneously sustainable and emancipatory for the subjectivities that drive them. To this end, we will develop the “human strike” concept, applying it explicitly to the field of feministic struggle and subjectivization. The human strike is aimed at what is affective, sexual and emotional in the position that the subjects occupy.
The Enigma of the Muslim Woman
Since colonial modernity, the representations of the Muslim woman have relied on both visual and textual economy of Orientalism, old and new. The veil as a symbol, as a material object, and as a threshold dividing the Orient and the Occident, religious and secular, traditional and modern, continues to purchase value in our postcolonial and neoliberal era. The enigma of the veiled Muslim woman has become a signifier for the threatening existence of a unified Muslim world stuck somewhere outside historical time. The desire to know what is under, beneath, behind the veil continues to conceal the will to knowledge over the Middle East, North Africa, and their diasporas. In this presentation, I argue that decolonizing such enigmatic representations of Muslim women requires a deconstructive approach by stepping out of such a threshold where power is masked.
Carmézia Emiliano began to paint in 1992, upon visiting a painting exhibition. On that occasion, she recognized that painting was the ideal channel for preserving the rich imaginary of the Macuxi people. Over the course of her 25-year artistic career, the artist has shown her work in Brazil and abroad, received awards from national and international exhibitions, and has had her artworks included in public and private collections.
Sackler Curator of the Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art at the Brooklyn Museum where, since 2009, she has curated and co-curated numerous exhibitions including We Wanted a Revolution: Black Radical Women, 1965–1985; Judith Scott – Bound and Unbound; Chicago in L.A: Judy Chicago’s Early Work, 1963–1974; and Materializing Six Years: Lucy R. Lippard and the Emergence of Conceptual Art. She has worked on projects examining contemporary practices through historical precedents, including the 2017 museum-wide project The Year of Yes: Reimagining Feminism at the Brooklyn Museum and Agitprop!.
Associate professor of art history at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, City University of New York. Her book Arte brasileira na ditadura militar: Antonio Manuel, Artur Barrio e Cildo Meireles (Duke University Press, 2012/Réptil Editora, 2014) was awarded the Prêmio Arvey of the Associação de Arte Latino-Americana. She curated Basta! Arte e violência na América Latina, at Anya and Andrew Shiva Gallery (CUNY), in New York, 2016.
Founded in 2004 in Paris, the collective Claire Fontaine published an anthology of essays entitled Human Strike Has Already Begun & Other Texts (Mute, 2012), and the books Some Instructions for the Sharing of Private Property (One Star Press, 2011) and Vivre, vaincre (Dilecta, 2009). In 2016, she organized and coordinated, in Paris, the meeting Work, Strike and Self-Abolition. Feminist Perspectives on the Art of Creating Freedom.
DÉBORA MARIA DA SILVA
Coordinator of the Mães de Maio movement, an organization formed by relatives of victims of state and police violence in Brazil and whose main aims include the struggle for memory, truth and justice for the Crimes of May 2006. She is a researcher with the Forensic Archaeology and Anthropology Center (CAAF) of the Universidade Federal de São Paulo (Unifesp) and an outreach public educator in partnership with Amnesty International in Brazil. With Clara Ianni, she authored Apelo, an artwork presented at the 31st Bienal de São Paulo, 2014.
A lawyer, businesswoman and mother. Alongside her companion, Mano Brown, she created the producer Boogie Naipe, responsible for the career of the group Racionais Mc’s. Since 2011 her work has focused on the empowerment of black women, who remain in obscurity and have the lowest salaries in the job market, regardless of their background and training. Dias also works as a coordinator of SOS Racismo at the Legislative Assembly of the State of São Paulo
Founding director of the Sammlung Verbund Collection, Vienna. The collection has two focuses: “Feminist Avant-Garde of the 1970s” and “Perception of Spaces and Places.” Schor has edited numerous monographs: Birgit Jürgenssen (with Abigail Solomon-Godeau, 2009), Francesca Woodman (with Elisabeth Bronfen, 2014) and Renate Bertlmann (with Jessica Morgan, 2016). In 2015 Schor edited the comprehensive book Feminist Avant-Garde of the 1970s.
A historian and professor with the Department of History of the Institute of Philosophy and Human Sciences of the Universidade Estadual de Campinas (Unicamp). A visiting professor at Connecticut College (United States) in 1995 and 1996 and at Columbia University (New York), in 2010 and 2011. She has published various books and articles, including A aventura de contar-se: Feminismos, escrita de si e invenções da subjetividade (2013); Do cabaré ao lar: A utopia da cidade disciplinar e a resistência anarquista – Brasil 1890–1930 (1999, 2014); and Os prazeres da noite: Prostituição e códigos da sexualidade feminina em São Paulo (1890–1930) (2008).
Professor of Gender and Women’s Studies at the University of California, Berkeley. She is the author of Between Warrior Brother and Veiled Sister. Islamic Fundamentalism and the Cultural Politics of Patriarchy in Iran (University of California Press, 2005), and co-editor (with Caren Kaplan and Norma Alarcon) of Between Woman and Nation: Nationalisms, Transnational Feminisms and The State, Duke University Press, 1999. Trained as a sociologist, she writes on postcolonial and transnational feminist studies, material and visual cultures of Islam, consumer culture and Middle Eastern cultural politics and diasporas.