Welcome To “ARTZINE”
Today is launch day of my blog’s new feature “ARTZINE”
“ARTZINE” is a monthly art feature, where I will be sharing my experiences, thoughts and feelings regarding art.
I want to raise some age-old questions, that continue to be asked by each generation
as the face of art changes, and look at the new ways in which art is manifesting today.
To find out more visit the “ARTZINE” page
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Haifa Museum of Art & The Chicago Triangle
To launch my blog’s new feature, I thought I’d start by sharing my most recent artistic excursion. It was a visit to the ‘Haifa Museum of Art’, and it wasn’t at all what I was expecting.
The museum has an on-going project called “Chicago Triangle”, in which female artists are invited to create new a work as a tribute to another woman of their choice.
The project was designed to mark the 40th anniversary of the start of Judy Chicago’s work on “The Dinner Party”.
First opened to the public in 1979, it consists of a triangular table set with 39 place settings, each representing a female figure chosen for their influence, or contribution to history, in various fields. Another 999 women are represented by their names on floor tiles.
“The Dinner Party” was considered to be a milestone in the changing position of women in the field of art.
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Here are some of the exhibits on display as part of the Chicago Triangle project.
Artist: Sigalit Landau
Work: Lot’s Wife (2013)
Info: Traditional corset, standard cup size 42,decorated with lace and suspended in Dead Sea water.
A Tribute To: Lot’s Wife, the biblical character turned to a pillar of salt as she looked back at the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah.
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Many aspects of woman are represented in the project, but what was sad, was that so many were negative. Self harm, domestic abuse, enslavement, neglect, mutilation and emotional violence to name just a few.
I’m not a stranger to modern art and I’m certainly no prude, still I was surprised by the sheer volume of female genitalia on display, albeit vintage. No debate, no warnings, no age restrictions. Just the same open, honest and beautiful image of the female body from a very revealing angle, with various messages stamped over it.
“Don’t Want Your Abuse”
“Don’t Want Your Beauty”
“Don’t Want Your Tragedy”
“Don’t Want Your World”
All the way to …
“Don’t Want Your Zoom”
Painted 148 years ago, this image is still so controversial that it is banned on Facebook.
Wikipedia, fortunately, has no such censorship.
So if you want to see it in it’s natural state and read it’s history just click on the image below.
The Artist: Pnina Reichman
The Work: Refusal From A to Z (2014)
Info: 26 small stretched canvas prints of Gustave Courbet’s “The Origin of the World” (1866) each stamped with a different word or phrase.
A Tribute To: Joanna “Jo” Hiffernan, who was most likely the faceless model for Courbet’s painting. Chosen to represent all the nameless women whose only position in the history of art was as objects of desire.
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Almost wherever you would expect to find a light switch, there you would find one of these small statements of female liberty. I must say, I was very impressed. I’m not sure such images would be so easily displayed in the UK or the US, but here they are in Israel, in the Middle East. I am an enthusiastic supporter of the quest for humans to reclaim their bodies and to have autonomy over them.
We watched a video diary of self-harm …
The Artist: Noa Sadka
The Work: An option for body, text, biographical diary and reflexivity as I’ve found there, in the work of 15 American artists
I didn’t mean it to be expressive (1998)
Info: DVD – 31 Minutes
A Tribute To: 15 female American artists from the 60’s and 70’s, who have interested, influenced and impressed her in the course of her artistic career.
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I could see a look of bemusement on my husband’s face as we wandered through the exhibits. When I quizzed him about it he said that his overall impression was one of insanity and he was obviously quite disturbed.
I mused over the word ‘insanity’ for a while and started thinking about what drives women to such despair. How in this modern world we consider ourselves so evolved and yet still women are abused & enslaved world wide. Of course it’s not just women that are suffering, but they represent a whole sub-order of human life that is feared & hated at a very primitive level. Their very bodies, from which they cannot escape, are used against them in myriad ways. Self -abuse, then, could possibly be one way in which women may try to reclaim their bodies, prostitution could be another.
The following work is a statement about violence against women …
Artist: Hannan Abu Hussein
Work: Resin (2014)
Info: 288 concrete-cast hanging knives
A Tribute To: Nawal El Saadawi, an Egyptian writer and political activist, who campaigns against honour killings and the practice of female circumcision.
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There was also a lot of more traditional art forms.
This one looks at those women who for religious reasons must bathe fully clothed …
Artist: Orli Mivrag
Work: Untitled (2013)
Info: Oil on canvas
A Tribute To: Hendrickje Stoffels, a long-term companion of Rembrandt’s and the model for his, “A Woman Bathing in a Stream”.
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This one celebrates females, real and imaginary, from different cultures …
Artist: Jenifer Bar Lev
Work: Alien Kiss 6, Peter-Wendy (2012)
Info: Acrylic on canvas
A Tribute To: Women of the world
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… as well as this rather interesting deviation from the ‘norm’ …
This video has a complete lack of movement, other than the occasional shuffling of the horse.
It is a strangely hypnotic piece.
Artist: Hila Ben Ari
Work: The Mute (2014)
Info: Video – 3:12 minute loop
A Tribute To: Amalia Kahana-Carmon, an author, who’s stories are concerned with the emotional, economic and physical vulnerability of women.
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It was a very interesting experience, and I enjoyed my visit immensely.
I left with many FAQ’s, about art, freshly stirring in my mind.
One of them will be the subject of next month’s post.
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For this month’s contributor’s …
What did you think of the “Chicago Triangle” project?
What do you think of the concept of feminist art?
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Do you have something to share this month?
Your post can be anything from an image of your favourite work of art
to a full scale essay of your opinions. The choice is yours.
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Include “ARTZINE” in your title and tags so that other readers can find it
and link back to this post to be included here.
And remember it’s all for fun, you don’t need to be an artist or an expert, you just need to turn up to take part.
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Next Month on “ARTZINE” …
Sunday, July 6th – What is Art Anyway?
Take a look at what’s happening in the art world this year …