Monday 22 February 2016

Aotearoa New Zealand feminist art timeline

Yesterday afternoon I went looking for something to do with a feminist art project in New Zealand - I actually forget what now - on the internet. And is common with New Zealand art topics - but especially with this one - I found nada.

So I had a little rage on Twitter, which was all very nice and generated some lovely back and forth, but ultimately unproductive
So I sat down last night, like the lapsed art historian I am, and racked my memory and shook down the pages of the internet and made a start on something I've been intending to do for awhile: the Aotearoa New Zealand feminist art timeline on Wikipedia.

Now, I know that it is incomplete, has thus far no mention of gender politics or intersectionality, and does not reference Pasifika artists. It badly needs a list of the significant artists (and the ones who time has already forgotten) who engaged with feminist topics and or viewed their own practice in this way. It lacks most of the main publications of the 1980s and 1990s and is woefully lacking in the 2000s full-stop. But I plan to chip away at it, because (dear reader, a hushed tone here) I think I would like to maybe make this a book one day. God knows we need one.

So approach this seedling with some gentleness, and please feel free to send me information that should be added (properly referenced, of course).


Inga Fillary said...

Hi Courtney,

I am a feminist artist of NZ just finishing my studies and I share your consternation at the fact that we seem to have forgotten or glossed over almost the entire movement in our art history. I took some papers on women artists in the 90s, but they all focussed on the Americans. My work is on the social and cultural construction of gender - media portrayal of gender, rape culture, pornography... real issues, which are important and current in our society, but there's no artistic movement to be found? No one is tackling this stuff? What the hell's going on?
I know you posted this some time ago, but I'd be very interested to hear how you got on and what you uncovered.

Inga Fillary

Courtney Johnston said...

Kia ora Inga

My take is that all the issues you describe - and more - are informing art making and art writing throughout Aotearoa at the moment. Perhaps though they've yet to be gathered curatorially into books or thematic exhibitions?