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HELENA RECKITT: The F-Word



CRASH COURSE: Art and Feminism
The inaugural event of the Crash-course series, where we explore a major issue, theme or movement in contemporary art practice.
Sunday, April 2, 2006 at 2 PM
LEANOR AND ALVIN SEGAL THEATRE
TICKETS $5



The women's liberation movement that erupted in the late 1960's unleashed a wholesale critique of the art world. Exposing a system based on looking at women's bodies, while overlooking women's work, feminists revolutionized art as a political and aesthetic practice. Inspired by the theory that "the personal is political" women artists confronted taboos of sex, race, age, and class. The strategies they developed to do this were hardly homogeneous, and often contradictory, incorporating everything from psychoanalytic concepts of sexuality and vision, to collaborative practices, and domestic subjects and materials.

Helena Reckitt surveys key feminist artists, projects, and theories, from the late 1960's to recent work. While highlighting ongoing conversations between artists of different generations, she also notes the deep differences between women that marked the movement from the start. She concludes by assessing the legacy of feminism in contemporary art, looking at younger artists whose work recycles aspects of early feminism, implicitly, explicitly, and/or ironically.

Helena Reckitt is editor of the sourcebook Art and Feminism (Phaidon Press, London, 2001), with an introduction by Peggy Phelan. Reprinted several times, editions have recently been translated into French, Italian, and Japanese. Spanish, German and Korean editions are in preparation. With Josh Oppenheimer she edited Acting on AIDS: Sex, drugs and politics (Serpent's Tail, London, 1998). Current research interests include the legacy of feminism for younger artists, which Reckitt is writing on for "C" magazine, and chairing a panel about for the College Art Association as part of Overcoming Erasure, a two-day focus on feminism. She is also researching a book about repetition in visual art, provisionally titled Am I Repeating Yourself?. From 2002 – 2005 Reckitt was Curator at the Atlanta Contemporary Art Center in Atlanta, Georgia.