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January 31, 2008

I need a couple more lessons in feminist art I think...

The only short argument I have with the video refers to the quote near the beginning, “Visual art is our picture of the world.� While I’m inclined to believe that in some cases, I still have to go with my gut and education in theatre to say that art is a hammer in which to shape the world. That doesn’t really have anything to do with Judy or her methods… but it is one of the very few things I know about art so I feel like I should include it. That's just a random thing. The rest of my thoughts are more coherant and applicable

My knowledge of art, particularly the mediums the students used, is very minimal. I just don’t get it, usually. I don’t know how people look at a piece and suddenly know or feel what the artist intended. It’s just too variable. Who gets to determine whether art is good or not? The small changes Judy insisted upon in her students work… did those suggestions make it suddenly good and give a clear message to a viewer? I don’t know. I just have trouble believing that one person could be so knowledgeable that she knows what every person will see when they look at a piece and whether they will interpret it correctly. And who cares? Didn’t she also say not to censor your art according to the audience? That confuses me.

I feel like this is feminist art, it definitely is. Women are telling their stories, beliefs, dreams to the world. Simply the act of making art is sort of a feminist action… it puts your story and hope for change out there. Each of those women were defined by many things – race, gender, sexuality, class, etcetera. One challenge among feminists is to say that “all women are oppressed� because not every woman feels the same oppression in the same way. This applies to all those categories. Making art can be a feminist action simply because it puts another story out there, another woman’s hybrid of identities. (at least that’s what I think)

I feel like we saw feminist art. I don’t feel like the process Judy Chicago used to get there was very befitting a feminist style. She said that “85% of teaching is handholding� She has to push her students to be honest and come forward with their stories. While I understand this method is necessary to produce the great work we saw, I don’t think many other feminist movements happen this way. Feminism doesn’t seem to promote hand holding, they are all about empowering yourself and being the change you wish to see in the world. Judy’s method may work in the art world, but if we had to hold the hand of every woman as we tried to get her involved in current feminist activism on an issue we would never get anywhere.

January 30, 2008

hollx025 Judy Chicago Review

My overall opinion of the movie had much to do with Judy Chicago. This may seem normal, but the title of the video was “No Compromise: Lessons in Art with Judy Chicago.� Lessons in art with Judy Chicago, not Judy Chicago with lessons in art. Judy seemed to take up most of the director’s attention. She is just that type of person. She is bold, and says her beliefs and feelings on matters as if they were fact. When she talks, she doesn’t use, nor need to use, her eyes to convey the message across or convince anyone of anything. This is because she truly believes in herself. One of her student’s said about her, “She’s right. She knows she’s right.� Another student said of her, “She is supportive, but mean.� Judy said her actions and drives are, “Not what I do, but what I know.� Even today at art schools the general, not feminist content is the content that is taught. Judy thinks this needs to change, as do I. Though she may have been bold and mean, she was not cruel. She taught the way she knew would force the other women to grow, by breaking down their defenses to make them vulnerable and exposed. Her method, though at times I viewed as harsh was effective. All the women pushed their boundaries to become better artists.

I think this is a valuable lesson. It is also a lesson I have recently learned when I moved to the cities. Like art surrounds the lives of the women in the video, my friends and family surrounded mine. Any free time I had was spent talking to or with friends. My hobbies shifted to things that were primarily group activities.
Another lesson that I would want to take from Judy’s method is to take the plunge. There is quite a difference from pushing one’s boundaries than just taking the plunge. Judy explained this with her example of why there are less professional female artists. It doesn’t start out that way. In art schools across the world there are more female students than male students. Judy believes this changes after art school because men are socialized by independence, while women are not. Women are more connected and dependent and often have trouble forging an independent identity. Judy has also noticed that women often go back to school to continue making art because they are afraid to take the plunge. Judy mentioned that more men live by the “Something’s Gonna Happen� lifestyle. This lifestyle is totally insecure, which is why women have trouble following through with it. But it is a step worth taking. It is also Judy’s belief that women are not fooling themselves by being cautious; they are holding themselves back from what they want. This seems life an effective practice for me. I used to live by that lifestyle, but something changed. I’d like to live like that, but for some reason I can’t. I let my responsibilities and excuses get in the way. I need to just take the plunge.
I’d like to challenge feminism. Judy Chicago was bold, and at times mean. I think you can get your point across in different ways. Her methods have obviously worked for her. She’s gotten far in life, but she also has made some enemies. I think that her boldness and rudeness puts feminism in poor light. By using a little more tact, I believe feminists can soften the stereotype of feminists being strong bitchy women and mold it into a view of strong determined women. We will always have our critics, but we will also always have our manners. Feminists have never been known to bite their tongues, but maybe we should pause and remember the effect that gentleness and tact can have when getting the point across. The incorporation of the two could lead to a beautiful sight.

January 29, 2008

Category 2: Lessons in Feminist Art

In a post of 150 to 350 word post, please consider the video that we watched in class about Judy Chicago's feminist methodology. Here's Judy at work:

Reflecting on the video, consider: What lesson(s) do you intend to take from Judy’s method? What seems effective practice(s) for you? Why? What ideas do you want to challenge, and why?

Please post by NOON on Tuesday, 2/5.

Guerilla Girls on YouTube

So...

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This is a picture of me, doing what I love to do, whenever the chilly Minnesota air permits. Camping! Anytime I can squeeze in a camping trip around my very busy schedule, I do. I love everything about the outdoors; the smells, the quiet, roasting marshmallows and hotdogs around a roaring campfire, and being able to clear my mind of all the busyness that I have left behind at home. There is nothing more awe-inspiring than lying on my back in the middle of nowhere, looking at the millions of bright stars that I would never be able to see if I were in Minneapolis. It never fails to bring a tear to my eye. Anyways, my name is Christina and I will be graduating from the U after this semester. I am an English major and a GWSS minor. I love school (I know, I’m a nerd) and hope to teach high school English when I graduate. Eventually though, I would like to become a professor. I work 2 jobs and go to school full-time, so I am a very busy bee! I obviously love camping, but I also love to read, write, rock climb, scuba dive, take pictures, and play with my cats! I am very interested in politics and love to listen to Minnesota Public Radio. I am very liberal and am hoping that Barack Obama becomes the next president. I’m very chatty once I get going, which is why this entry is getting to be so long.

Hello Friends!

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I...
-am a junior majoring in print journalism, minoring in social justice and gwss
-live on-campus (Dinkytown)
-am in love with my new digital camera that I just got for Christmas. See a picture of it here.
-am 21, but still love most of the Disney Princess'...even though I know all the reasons why I shouldn't. My fav? Jasmine!
-love: reading fun, going to bed really late and sleeping in.
-strongly dislike: shaking people's hands when I am introduced to them.
-use the word facetious too much!
-love anything that comes in the color pink or black
-cut my hair to the shortest it's ever been over winter break
-could and probably will spend the rest of my life dedicated to learning all about social justice, and making the world more socially just
-love to be put in uncomfortable situations, that are safe...it's where I grow the most!
-used to be more optimistic, but ever since I turned 21 and realized that I haven't done shit with my life yet, I am more cynical
-am ethically conflicted with my major right now...

...Journalists aren't supposed to make news, they are supposed to report on it and be objective. Problem? I like to make the news, and I often do (not to my choosing), and I like the access I am given at "the table" as a participant rather than just reporting on those who sit at the table.
-Guilty pleasures: Bollywood, mayo and ketchup w/my fries, Rated G and PG movie, Disney and Harry Potter Scene-It
-collect: bangles, earrings, anything glittery, shiny or pink
-fear: not achieving my dreams and goals, losing someone I love, angry men,
-am wary of: big brother, politicans, administrators,
-can't wait to: be 30 and have everything figured out...? and be working in my career and love it!

ME

I have been told that when drunk, I am like Audrey Hepburn’s Holly Golightly when drunk in “Breakfast at Tiffany’s. I suppose I’ve seen video. I can see where they are coming from.

I have been told that I am overly analytical. I would agree. It is a pain in the ass.

I have been told that I am stubborn and thick-headed. I AM NOT!

I have been told that I have a nice smile.

I have been called a Goober. I love those!

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I have been given a myriad of descriptors for myself. I suppose they are all pieces that come together to construct me. As far as my interpretation of myself…I guess I don’t have a clear idea of what that is…yet.

Introducing Myself - Peter

Hi everybody! I recently came across an abstract self-portrait I did in a journal about six years ago. I had trouble scanning it, though, so I'll have to upload it in class this afternoon. For now, I'll just write a little bit about myself.

I'm really into music these days. I used to be a music major, and lately, it's all I think about. My hobbies include: singing karaoke, singing along with the new Magnetic Fields album, playing hymns on the piano, singing birthday songs for friends, and pretending this computer keyboard is a Casio keyboard.

I am now majoring in Studies in Cinema and Media Culture, so here's a trailer for the last really good movie I saw: Agnes Jaoui's "Look at Me."

hi everyone

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This is Me an Artist. I love making new sculpture and drawing. Moreover, as you can tell that I love capturing images as well. Apart from that i just love snow and nature. By looking at my picture you are probably guessing what have i done with this baseball bat? well the answer is simple. I am from a different origin and I am here; consequently, I love blending my culture with an American culture to create something interesting and unique.
Sports, tennis and badminton.
Food: Mexican, Chinese, Italian and Indian cuisine
Hobbies: Ice skating, trekking, shopping, music, reading books, and many more..
I guess that is about it.

Intro

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craypas on black matboard

“If I didn't define myself for myself, I would be crunched into other people's fantasies for me and eaten alive.� Audre Lorde

I have found that it is always difficult to introduce myself because of my tendency to over share due to analysis overload. And in the end, whatever comes out of my mouth is a product of what everyone else tells me I am. Dalu, the artist. Dalu, the nerd. Dalu, the loudmouth. Dalu, the creepy silent girl in that corner of the room. Oh, you might want to watch out for that.

I was named after a famous actress back in the motherland (Sudan, I'm Sudanese) that my aunt happened to be obsessed with. Said actress was hit by a bus during filming. My friends don't know what to make of me most of the time. I'm a bit weird or too intense, or something. I like to point out oppression too often and that bursts their comfort bubble. Or again, you know...something. Also I can never seem to shut the sarcasm off. I also think life is too funny, in a crappy kind of way. I accidentally laughed during titanic, but not because it's funny. I like to eat things only in even numbers. I do contradict myself and can be a bit incoherent, but that's just my brain trying to make sense. I used to paint obsessively. Eight to 12 hours in one sitting, I would forget to eat, sleep, barely moving. I guess you can say I like to paint. Thankfully at the moment I am too poor to feed my addiction.

I want to be famous, and I know I will be. That kind of scares me. So I try to stifle my eventual success by procrastinating and doing anything but art at the moment.

Just kidding. But no really. I am going to make it big.

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It may seem odd that my self-portrait does not include my image but it does include everything I love, snow, mountains, peace and quite and this is one of the best mountains I have ever snowboarded on. Pure and simple.

I am wearing my grandmother's jewelry

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... because I see my grandmother as a strong, crazy, smart, opinionated woman who hasn't always made the right choices but has been smoking a pack a day for 65 years (and remains without repercussions), so she must be doing something right.

I see the other women in my family as the foundation of who I am and who I will become, and so I wear their jewelry as a decoration of my personhood.

me myself and I

I am very small but people tell me I'm intimidating. I didn't grow up here and I'll never be a Minnesotan. I'm too loud and too blunt and I like debating too much. I'm a big nerd. I've been doing activist work for more than half my life. I have two beautiful children and great stories to tell. I got married in red. I have great ideas and a million projects going at once and sometimes I don't finish what I start. I'm planning on going to law school and representing crazy kids like I was. I want to create a new world in the ashes of the old.

This picture is the first thing that comes up when you Google Image Search my name. It's gone now, but it'll always be my home.

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January 28, 2008

Self Portrait - hollx025

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I used to be notorious for my run-ins with the police.

Now I work for them.


.................i would give anything to be crazy again.

Ten Random Facts About Me

1. I have a welding degree from the local technical college back home.

2. When I was 14 Dolores (my mother) and I got in a huge argument. To get back at her I signed her up on mailing lists for male enhancement drugs and surgeries. To this day she still gets 3-5 e-mails a week!

3. My car's name is Queer Hank. He is the brightest purple you've ever seen.

4. One time I blew up a friend's fireplace at a party.

5. I secretly believe my Grandma is superwoman.

6. I trained my two cats to come when I whistle.

7. My favorite song is "Brandy" by The Looking Glass.

8. I went to public school because I bit the nun at the school I was supposed to go to while my Grandma and I toured it. (I was 4.)

9. The only legitimate CD I own is the Sound of Music Soundtrack.

10. I get asked to translate Spanish in some form or another nearly once a day. I don't know a single word.

Not Quite Chuck Close

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Me, Oil on Canvas, 26x30, Spring 2006

"See you at retakes"

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I took out my retainer before class pictures. I looked like a nerd.

Intro: Lara

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I am that girl that seems shy until she finds her feet...
When that happens, you may have some difficulty shutting me up.
I tend to observe before I speak.

January 27, 2008

Self-Portrait

Courtney - Top Five Lists to Get to Know Me

Top Five Things I Like About Myself:
1. My off-center sense of humour
2. Petite Stature
3. Curly Hair
4. My ability to interact with adults
5. My growing level of self-discipline

Five things I Dislike About Myself:
1. My off-center sense of humour
2. Discomfort meeting new people
3. Inability to wake up in the morning
4. Hatred of physical activity and sports
5. Short legs make it hard to find pants

Top Five Things I Regret:
1. Quitting Dance Lessons
2. Not getting involved right away in the theatre department
3. Not meeting more people
4. Kissing Kyle
5. I stopped reading a lot in high school

Top Five Things I'm Obsessed with Right Now:
1. Sondheim musicals
2. Finding an amazing Stage Management internship in NY
3. Building my theatre resume
4. Pomogranate flavored anything
5. Letter writing

Top Five Favorite Places I Have Visited:
1. New York City
2. International Music Camp
3. San Fransisco
4. Santiago, Chile
5. Washington DC

Top Five Favorite Foods:
1. Anything you can dip in sweet and sour sauce
2. Velveeta Shells and Cheese
3. Pesto Tortellini
4. Chicken cooked over a beer/soda can
5. Salmon scrambled eggs and spinach

Top Five Things I Want to Do With My Career:
1. Open a children's theatre
2. Stage manage with a large touring show
3. Live and work in London, NYC, and San Fransisco
4. Write and Direct feminist theatre
5. Be production designer on a film


introduction: brittany

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I'll Set It Off...

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I am a:
mother / wife / sister / friend / image maker /
teacher / videographer / photographer /
mentor / artist / activist / organizer /
NY Puerto Rican [of JD] / daughter / survivor

I feel:
incredibly uncomfortable in front of the camera
stuck in discomfort when I have to:
put the camera(s) down
dance (especially choreography) in public
bring food I’ve cooked to social gatherings
watch others watch my work
compromise all my core values

I believe in:
the transformative power of love
my husband and my kids
the potential in people to change
art can move millions
inexpensive tools to make art
technology as a tool for teaching, learning and creative work

My favorite things are:
being silly with my fam
the sound of my kids laughing
my husband’s smile
matzoh ball soup from jerry’s deli (la)
gyros
music
personal diary documentary videos
my computers

What I need to get through a day:
lots of caffeine (coffee, tea, soda)
a bath without disturbances
my computers
Internet access

My favorite tech tools:
anything apple (MacBook laptop, G5 desktop, video ipod)
Sony PD-150
Canon Rebel
laser and photo printers
Photoshop, itunes, iphoto and Final Cut Pro

Stories from the last decade tell that:
“conscious" rappers are the ones who always tried to get me back to the hotel room
nicest rapper I’ve photographed/filmed: Nelly [tho his “work� is deplorable
bad moment: shooting on the red carpet when paparazzi hit me in the head with camera lens
fun moment: south beach Miami for winter music: suite, truck, fun, “Hey Eminem� to Tony Touch
reveal: I rode on the Terror Squad float at the NYC Puerto Rican Day parade and they really are a terror

My favorite books:
Assata: An Autobiography
Coldest Winter Ever
When Chicken Heads Come Home to Roost

What I’m most proud of:
TT
Bubba
making marriage work
not giving up on this phd

So I planned to make a little one minute slideshow [EGO TRIPPIN'], but my kids are sick, and I've been stuck in the house. I started "cleaning" out my many hard drives, and found all these little clips. When I was editing, my family wanted to see themselves so you get the montage in the middle. So here's some of me, my familia, and some selections from my work over the last decade +. This is just me ego trippin' (it's like googling yourself [a.ka. ego surfing]). Enjoy...

January 22, 2008

Assignment #1: Introduction / Self-Portrait

Think about the examples of the artist self-portraits that we viewed in class like this:

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Post an introduction to yourself, but remember this is a public blog, so don’t reveal details of your “real� identity if you don’t want to (create an alias for your account - click on your x500 on the top right of the blog entry screen).

Feel free to post a drawing, sound recording, collage, photo, artwork or anything that let’s us know about who you are, what you are watching, reading, listening to, thinking about. If you have a personal blog, or you've set up your individual course blog and want to share, link us!

You could post a photograph:

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or create a collage, or a postcard:

or a postcard like this, from PostSecret:

January 21, 2008

Welcome to the Course!

Welcome to the course blog for GWSS 3390: Feminist Media Making: Theory + Practice!

This is a blog where enrolled students post responses to questions and prompts for weekly class assignments. We will post images, video, thoughts, theories, events, news items, and anything relevant to the course.

I am the Instructor for the course. I am a filmmaker, photographer, and Feminist Studies doctoral student. Feel free to visit my blog: Rachel's Spot

FREE EVENT: Human Rights Film Series

Killer’s Paradise

In this powerful film, an award-winning team of filmmakers document the story of the brutal killings of women in Guatemala. Since 1999, more than 2,000 women have been murdered there, with the numbers rising every year. Killer’s Paradise documents the story of Claudina Isabel Velasquez, a 19 year old law student murdered in 2005, as her family urges the authorities to investigate who killed her.

Thursday, December 13, 2007 at 7:00 p.m.
Riverview Branch Library, 1 E. George Street, Saint Paul

Second Showing: January 30, 5:30 p.m.
Humphrey Center, University of Minnesota, 301 19th Avenue South, Minneapolis

Crimes of Honour

Across the Islamic world, hundreds of women are shot, stabbed, strangled or burned to death each year by their male relatives, because they are thought to have dishonored their families by engaging in unacceptable relationships. Filmed in Jordan and on the West Bank, Crimes of Honour captures the horrific tragedy of this practice, examines the wider societal response, and highlights the work of three women fighting to end this violence.

Thursday, January 17, 2007 at 7:00 p.m.
Merriam Park Branch Library, 1831 Marshall Avenue, Saint Paul

Second Showing: February 27, 5:30 p.m.
Humphrey Center, University of Minnesota, 301 19th Avenue South, Minneapolis

Not For Sale and So Deep a Violence

Not for Sale and So Deep a Violence are two compelling short films that address prostitution as violence against women and the links between prostitution and trafficking. These films, produced by the Coalition Against Trafficking in Women, go beyond the myths about prostitution and sex trafficking to demonstrate clear harm and explore what the world needs to do about this massive violation of women’s human rights.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008 at 7:00 p.m.
Highland Park Branch Library, 1974 Ford Parkway, Saint Paul

Second Showing: March 6, 12:45 p.m.
Humphrey Center, University of Minnesota, 301 19th Avenue South, Minneapolis

View from a Grain of Sand

View from a Grain of Sand is a journey through the last 30 years of Afghanistan's history as lived by three Afghan women. Shot over the last three years in Pakistan and Afghanistan, a doctor, teacher and social activist tell how their lives were violently affected by wars of international making and three different regimes in Afghanistan. Yet through all their loss, and the destruction of their homes and country, these women have endured. With courage, conviction and hope they continue to work on improving the lives of the people around them, against all odds, in this brutalized and divided nation.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008 at 7:00 p.m.
Arlington Hills Branch Library, 1105 Greenbrier Street, Saint Paul

Second Showing: March 11, 12:45 p.m.
Humphrey Center, University of Minnesota, 301 19th Avenue South, Minneapolis

More films after the jump (click the link below)