This Exhibition Has Ended

January 24, 2018
July 22, 2018
In the Picket Family Video Gallery

With consumer-grade film and video cameras widely available in the mid-1960s women artists began working with these new technologies. Unlike traditional mediums, these—like performance, photography and installation art at the time—allowed women to have a more equal voice. Without the burden of the male-dominated canon of painting and sculpture, women artists felt freer to concentrate on issues directly relevant to their lives, often using video and film to explore the body and the self through history, autobiography, and examinations of gendered representation.  

Presenting strongly political content with often taboo-breaking images, pioneering women artists like the ones included in this exhibition—Dara Birnbaum, Hermine Freed, Joan Jonas, Ana Mendieta, Letícia Parente, Martha Rosler, and Carolee Schneemann—quickly embraced the consumer-friendly equipment, and today are celebrated for paving the way for new generations of women working in video and film.

Since the emergence of feminist art in the 1960s, it has remained one of the most relevant political art forms of our time, radically challenging social, cultural, and political norms as they relate to women and, more specifically, to women artists.

In today’s #MeToo and #TimesUp moment it is especially important to note that these women artists were at the forefront of the feminist critique of patriarchal culture, challenging the objectification of the female body and fighting for equal access and opportunity.

This exhibition was curated by Andrea Inselmann, curator of modern and contemporary art at the Johnson Museum, and is being held in conjunction with the Spring 2018 course “Women in New Media Art” (ARTH 3651), taught by Associate Professor María Fernández. 

The seven works will screen simultaneously.

Joan Jonas
American, born 1936
Vertical Roll, 1972
Digitized video (B&W, sound); 19:38 minutes
Courtesy Electronic Arts Intermix (EAI), New York

Hermine Freed
American, 1940–1998
Art Herstory, 1974
Digitized video (color, sound); 22:00 minutes
Newly acquired through the generosity of the Donors to the Contemporary Art Fund

Dara Birnbaum
American, born 1946
Technology/Transformation: Wonder Woman, 1978–79
Digitized video (color, sound); 5:50 minutes
Courtesy Electronic Arts Intermix (EAI), New York

Ana Mendieta
American, born Cuba, 1948–1985
Ocean Bird (Washup), 1974
Super-8mm film transferred to high-definition digital media (color, silent); 4:09 minutes; edition of 6 with 3 APs
Ana Mendieta Filmworks No. 25
© The Estate of Ana Mendieta Collection, LLC

Martha Rosler
American, born 1943
Semiotics of the Kitchen, 1975
Digitized video (B&W, sound); 6:33 minutes
Newly acquired with exhibition funds

Carolee Schneemann
American, born 1939
Meat Joy, 1964–2010
16mm film on video (color, sound); 10:33 minutes
Courtesy Electronic Arts Intermix (EAI), New York

Letícia Parente
Brazilian, 1930–1991
Marca registrada, 1975
Digitized video (B&W, sound); 10:33 minutes
Courtesy of Galeria Jaqueline Martins, São Paulo, Brazil