Monday, February 9, 2015

Red Library Thoughts

Red Library, thoughts from our conversation yesterday:

For Apex Art (words only)
Using the idea of The Red Library as the center, to which our work responds, around which our work revolves.
-Trashy novels written by men, to be read by women as to how they "should" behave, etc. When you first told me about this, I was fascinated. What a great concept to intervene with!

-How do we as artists respond?
-As women, artists, mothers - what in our own stories has created similar conditions to which we respond? Initially I felt anger - like, here it is again, men trying to manipulate how women think of themselves. It's so insidious and pervasive - there is so much to address.

-For me, it began with (what I'm calling "inherited") negative body issues based on the media's manipulation of women. Inherited shame of not conforming, of not "fitting in" - led to the piece Airing Dirty Laundry. Finally working with the problem right in front of me rather than trying to suppress it. I could see doing a larger installation of this piece in the gallery in Prague, in English and Czech.

-Calling out the idea of women's shame, and realizing it was a man made word (probably created by men!)- led to the "conversation piece" Pudica. Thanks Dale Spender and Rosalind Krauss! Using the form of a name plate necklace, but using a different name - created a situation where people would ask me what that word meant. I'd tell them what I knew, and a great conversation would usually happen.

Your soap pieces and the idea of "cleanliness". Another aspect of what women "should" be. Thinking of Madonna or the whore. Using the images of Czech cleaning women, personal - not general but specific - to be washed away and slowly transformed over time. Could be really powerful. 

There is another work that was generated by the idea of the impossible position I put myself in: "Don't" and "Not Enough". All are found images. 
Don't Speak First

Don't Be Too Angry

Don't Be Too Assertive

Don't Be Too Masculine

Don't Be Too Pretty

Don't Be Too Poor

Don't Know

Don't Blend In

Don't Not Know

Don't Reveal

Don't Stand Out

Not Enough Class

Not Enough Conviction

Not Enough Depth

Not Enough Conviction
-Also the idea of process, of time, of waiting. Seems appropriate as a way to engage with the viewer - perhaps to transform the public into participants? Faith's poem "Waiting" in relation to the idea of the Red Library is really interesting to me. The reality of a woman's life as she waits for everything to happen "to" her vs. the "ideal woman" as projected by the red library books. Hmmm..The idea of the sheets being embroidered upon during the show, slowly; the idea of the soaps being used over the course of the show; the idea of conversations generated with the idea of the Red Library in the center - all these things are very interesting to me. I'd like to bead "Waiting" as well. Can I have Faith's email?

What are your thoughts?

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