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February 5, 2008

Thinking about Chicago

One of my favorite things about Judy Chicago was her attitude. She explained in the beginning of the movie that she cared very little about what other people wanted her to be. In fact, this is why she changed her name; in order to invent who she wanted to be, rather than what she was expected to be. I noticed that many of her students did not have this type of confidence. The second lesson in the film was called “giving voice? and revealed her students’ insecurities about exposing themselves in the art world. Her students often looked to her as a source of confidence, many of them striving to mold their art to fit her expectations instead of their own. I felt as though this was often what her students struggled with the most. It was almost as though they could not decide whether they were putting themselves out there for themselves or for Judy Chicago.

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going to chicago

The thing that struck me the most about the video was Judy Chicago's conversations with her female students about balancing one's life with their art. She seems to believe that making art requires one not to compromise; in order to do it well you have to dedicate your entire self and all of your time, energy and resources to it. This clearly works well for her, as she is a very successful and famous artist. She has done exactly what she wanted to do with her life. I find her dedication, fierceness and ability to get things done inspiring, and that spirit is the lesson that I would like to take from her method. At the same time, I don't think that everyone has the ability to do what she does, and I don't think that one has to in order to make art. The women in her class who have families expressed a need for balance in their lives; they had other commitments and responsibilities that they needed to attend to, and they disagreed with Judy's idea that they couldn't do that and be artists. So do I. People come from different places and have different situations in their lives, and it takes a certain amount of privilege to be able to dedicate the kinds of resources to one's art that Chicago suggests. Women of less privilege have inner selves and a lot to express as well; to say that they cannot fully do so (or are less worthy artists because of it) is, in my opinion, unhelpful and wrong.

Judy Chicago

Judy's teaching techniques comes across to me as "tough love." She is brutally honest, as in very direct and unafraid to show her opinions. My initial thoughts were, "I'm glad I'm not in her class," because at first she seemed very pushy to me. To the point that I felt like the students' art were no longer their own, but a vision of what Judy has for them. But, eventually I realized that she was attempting to push them outside their comfort zone, in order for them to fully explore their own abilities.

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Lesson In Feminist Art...

I learned a great deal from Judy Chicago video. Before the video I did not know who Judy Chicago was but now I know that, she is a very bold and honest intellectual. She has her own way of teaching her students on how to be self-assured and be a role model for others. She wants her students to freely express themselves and look at them in a practical and logical way. Moreover, she wants to bring her students most inner thought. In a video she mentioned that, “ it is not what I do but it is what I know because of studying about women?. She is mainly interested in women because she thinks that average Art Institute is interested in mainstream art and not in feminist or feminism. She also thinks that feminist art is about the expression of women’s struggle and men are driven toward being independent; where as, women are not and that is why they are struggling through it.
In addition to that, she thought that these students needed time to be strong and be bold and she was helping them by making them think beyond the boundaries. I personally liked her approach of teaching because at the end her students were really satisfied with their artwork and they were proud of themselves.

Judy Chicago Analysis

The class was given strict instructions from the highest authority not to start our analysis of Judy Chicago with, “This was an interesting movie.? In truth, it was. Judy Chicago is a highly interesting and controversial figure. Her art plays an important role in the creation of feminist art, and her teaching methods are unconventional.

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My thoughts on Judy Chicago...

“Visual arts is our picture of the world.? - Judy Chicago

Before, I saw this film I had no idea of who Judy Chicago was, and I was really struck by how tough and honest she was. She really pushed her studio students outside of their comfort level as much as she could, and I really do think that they grew a lot because of that. She was so forceful at times and really harsh with her students, so much so, that I really kind of grew to resent her - I was so glad that I wasn’t in class with her.

I did, however, find some of her statements to be enlightening and I did learn more about some new aspects of feminist art and feminist pedagogy from her.

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Judy Chicago

Judy Chicago scares the bejesus out of me. However, I’m intrigued by her mentality. There was a line in the video that went something like this: “confidence affects the way the artist creates.? This certainly seems true. Yet, what I seemed to see was Judy really digging into the work, and asking the artists to create something that screamed their message. The ideas of vulnerability and exposure are generally terrifying, and not particularly empowering. With Chicago, though, those seem to be necessary in really portraying what it is you want to speak to your audience. Further, I would suggest that Chicago’s bold, blunt methods of instruction and guidance trounce passivity, in principle and in practice.

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JuDy ChIcAgO

How do you define feminist art? How do you label art as feminist?
In the documentary I discovered that if you spend too much time with a label, you end up missing the point. Judy Chicago stressed the importance of women creating art. Since the male art is dominant throughout museum and history, the idea of female art has been extremely neglected. Thus the views and the expressions of women and their experiences are lost or misinterpreted. THAT'S why it's so important for women to pursue art. Merely existing in the world of art will not inform the world of what type of power a woman holds.
Judy Chicago as an instructor played an incredible role in her student's life. Her way of holding her student's hands was to be demanding. She held high expectations for her students and didn't complement them on being an excellent artist or on being creative, but rather encouraged their effort. At some point within the video it was said that, "85% of the time she was teaching them to be strong".
When searching for a definition of a label, give up, and just look at the art.

February 4, 2008

Judy Chicago

At several points in the video, Judy Chicago either says or implies that she does not believe that men can ever really share or understand women’s struggle, especially in self-expression. She motivates the students to get in touch with their female experience, pushing them to explore ways that they’ve experienced womanhood. For an artist who’s work is considered feminist, I think that this is a necessary approach. To savor the female experience in art and to push towards a deeper form of expression of that experience is one of the defining characteristics of feminist art as I see it. And I think that Chicago’s assertion that men cannot and will not fully share in the experience seems to be a cornerstone of her art class. This is particularly evident when she notes that many women artists become less aggressive about pursuing a professional art career, because (she believes) that women prefer the safety and dependency of a classroom situation (instead of the confidence and independence to promote themselves outside of that setting). If this is true (and I can see how it would be), I would say that it’s a result of the socialization of women to be less independent and less self confident, or to limit one’s independence or confidence – especially in fields that have been seen as male dominated (like arts or sciences). If this art class is Judy Chicago’s response to that phenomenon, then I think she does an excellent job in forcing students outside of their comfort zone and to a certain extent, allowing them to step outside of normative expectations for women.

Feminist Art

As I was reading some of the other posts and looking over some of the ideas that others have had, I find that I have connected to these same points but in slightly different ways. I, too, connected to the statement about Judy having to "handhold" her female art students, an idea that, quite honestly bothered me considerably.

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Judy Chicago

In the video, Judy Chicago said that 85% of her teaching was handholding. This could be reflective of what her female students need after years of trying to break into the male dominated art world. Yet at the same time, I wonder how self conscious these women really are that are trying to express themselves, and do so potentially for a living. What motivated them up to this point to create? I guess I'm questioning the accuracy of Judy's quote here rather that her student's motivation. I think "handholding" is a strong word to use in this context. I don't see my teachers as "hand holders" so much and I don't believe it to be there jobs either. I guess the term just bothered me in a way that it reinforced the fragile notion of the feminine spirit.

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February 3, 2008

Lessons in Feminist Art

Watching the video, I found it incredibly obvious how different ideas of feminism can be. It was quite clear how Judy saw the issue was very different than how some of the female students. with judy, being a feminist is about breaking into the boys club, being bold, becoming a star.

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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

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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.

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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.