«Editorial : Women Artists in Latin America : the challenge of synthetizing without singularizing Extrait du Artelogie ...»
Editorial : Women Artists in Latin America : the challenge of synthetizing without singularizing
Extrait du Artelogie
Ana Paula Cavalcanti Simioni (IEB/USP), Deborah
Dorotinsky (UNAM), Maira de Luca (CRAL-EHESS)
Editorial : Women Artists in
Latin America : the challenge
of synthetizing without
- Numéro 5 - Présentation Date de mise en ligne : samedi 19 octobre 2013
Acknowledgments : Our recognition and gratitude for their participation to our colleagues who contributed to making this number "V" of Artelogie possible.
Reading of received articles : Silvana Rubino (UNICAMP-Brasil) ; María de Lourdes Eleuterio(FAAP-SP) ; Sophie Moiroux (LAS-EHESS) Transcription of interview : Aline Chapa, (Maestría en Historia del Arte, UNAM) We would specially like to thank Edgar Vidal (EFISAL, CRAL-EHESS), Christine Frerot EFISAL, CRAL-EHESS) et Colette Grandclaudon (CNFPT) for his Copyright © Artelogie Page 1/7 Editorial : Women Artists in Latin America : the challenge of synthetizing without singularizing presence and fundamental support in all phases of the making of this number.
Artelogie Copyright © Artelogie Page 2/7 Editorial : Women Artists in Latin America : the challenge of synthetizing without singularizing Between 1974 and 1979 within the seventies feminist movement, American artist Judy Chicago conceived her emblematic work, Dinner Party (1979), a symbolic banquet which gathered 1030 women, from different historical periods. While 39 of them were evoked at the table, the rest were named on the ceramic tiles arranged in the grand installation, in a manner which celebratedwhile at the same time promoteda feminine tradition until then not recognized by dominant historiography. In that great community, some ethnocentric limits of Anglo-Saxon feminism became evident, as was then noted by Estelle Chacon ; none of the New World heroines figured amongst those invited to share the table, on the contrary, "Hispanas" as well as "Black women" appeared, barely named on the tiles disposed on the floor, thus signaling the symbolic space they occupy in the narrative put forth by the emergent feminism in the United States and England .
Reactions to this work, which became one of "egalitarian" feminism's icons, did not take long. Since 1977, Griselda Pollock had denounced in her text "What's wrong with images of Women ?" what she termed "vaginal imagery", which tended to reduce multiple feminine identities to a single stable signifier, derived from their biological bodies.
Against a univocal image, Pollockwho perhaps is today the most influential name in feminist art historiographyproposed a deconstruction of feminine images, a critique to stabilizing discourses, in sum, to all types of reductions, even those operated by feminism itself. Roughly since de decade of 1980, it is possible to assert that "egalitarian" feminism gave way to that of difference. We must also consider the contribution of Gayatri Chakavorty Spivak to postcolonial literary criticism through her article "Imperialism and Sexual Difference" (1986) where she points out the need to move from a merely "oppositional" feminism towards a "critical" one, capable of continuous examination of the ways in which feminism imbricates itself in institutions and ideologies. In that respect, authors like Chéla Sandoval (1995), played a significant role in the problematization of Anglo-Saxon feminism of the 1960/70s, which presupposed a single feminist subject, stable and hegemonic that did not translate into a way of addressing the expectations, desires, or realities lived by the "others of feminism". Thus, "feminine" issues were pierced by questions of class and ethnicity.
We could say that in the artistic field the debate fostered analysis that swerved towards paying closer attention to images of women disseminated by artworks, the media, the press and cinema, as fundamental spaces for the promotion and crystallization of normative social discourses. They began to be considered as "gender technologies" (De Laurentis, 1987). Since then, more than promoting positive images of femininity, feminist art historiography began to look closer into those representations (Arruda, 2013).
However, when we think of the field of gender studies and art in Latin America, we find ourselves with a complex situation because the story of feminist thinking does not occur as we narrated above ; often, "egalitarian" and "difference" feminist texts reaches the readers' hands within the same temporal frame. Besides, research nourishes itself from paradigms developed by Anglo-Saxon theories, some of which have as one of their stepping-stones Linda Nochlin's famous article "Why have there been no great women artists ?". Here the author argues that the scant recognition received by women artists through art history was a result of social and institutional factors, particularly the unequal access to the conditions of artistic training and formation, thus establishing the parameters upon which a feminist art historiography would be founded. Nonetheless, it is relevant to acknowledge that the realities upon which the term "Latin America" is based are very different from those that propitiated the emergence of those feminist theories. These theories need to be revisited, revised, adapted and even elaborated anew when they are contrasted with the different contexts of Latin American women artists . It is also important to recall that the reception of Nochlin's ideas, for example, did not occur simultaneously or equably in the countries that make up Latin America.
While in Mexico since the beginning of the 1970s these texts circulated and impacted academic discussions, arriving thus to art institutions, as Andrea Giunta's article in this number well shows, in other cases, like that of Brazil, where feminine and feminist artistic production is considerable, even today Nochlin's famous text has not been translated into Portuguese. Between these extremes, we can quote the case of Argentina whose capital, Buenos Aires, was the stage of various feminist experiments during the seventies, as María Laura Rosa analyzes well in her article "El despertar de la conciencia. Impacto de las teorías feministas sobre las artistas de Buenos Aires durante las décadas Copyright © Artelogie Page 3/7 Editorial : Women Artists in Latin America : the challenge of synthetizing without singularizing del '70 y '80", on dissenting productions made from the margins of the artistic system. As Luana Saturnino Tvardovskas asserts in "Tramas feministas na arte contemporânea brasileira e argentina", the fact that feminist artistic productions in Brazil and Argentina were organized in a different manner to those in Anglo-Saxon countries, in a less institutionalized fashion, a less identity-bound way, with out large collective exhibits or a more forthright revision of the artistic cannons, does not weaken the feminine poetics encompassed in many of the art works produced there. These considerations are relevant so we can comprehend the difficulty (or impossibility ?) in constructing unified theoretical and methodological scaffoldings to understand such diverse artistic productions and historical situations.
The present number of Artelogie proposes to contribute to the debate on gender and art by covering a very ample and varied panorama of research on and about women artists in Latin America, since the XIX century up to contemporary productions. We will not attempt to search for a monolithic theory, or a complete and exhaustive mapping of the production of women artists in all Latin America. Above all, we present the reader with a selection of texts that have analytic density and verticality, but that cover experiences, productions and poetics developed in different countries thorough a rather large time span. We attempted to give priority to those artistic expresions that have been less written about in the region (like visual arts, music and design), a limitation which left out literary practices, which already have a well established tradition and a vast number of publications in our region.
*** The first block of essays analyze how gender questions traverse the processes of identity discourses as nationalism and identity formation processes arose during the XIX century in different countries in Latin America, in the midst of political autonomy struggles. These discourses materialize inand throughartistic forms. Together with foundation novels (Doris Sommer, 2010), paintings constituted real and effective visual discourses with a pedagogical character.
In them, though tense and complex articulations, certain dichotomiesviewed then as irreconcilablelike civilization/barbarism, dominators (white)/ dominated (indigenous and/or black), active/passive, man/woman, were transcended, appeased, or domesticated. The feminine body occupies a central political, visual and symbolic place in that conflicting civilizing process ; the dilemma of mestizaje. This centrality is shown in Josefina de la Maza's article on the paintings of Monvoisin, particularly in Elisa Bravo Jaramillo de Bañados, mujer del cacique, as in Tatiana Lotierzo and Lilia Katri M. Schwarcz demonstrate for the young Brazilian Republic in their approach to the well known painting by Modesto Broccos, Redenção de Cã.
Through different artistic practiceslike music, engraving or sculptureanother group of articles deal with the entrance of women artists into what we have called "peripheral modernities " (Sarlo, 1999). The insertion of women in the artistic fields can be attested though the XIX century in diverse Latin American countries, particularly those that underwent a process of institutionalization of artistic routines based on overseas models that culminated in the founding of Art Academies, like those of Mexico, Brasil, Argentina and Chile. In general, the French post revolutionary Academy model was followed, one that did not consider the inclusion of women as disciples, but accepted them in the annual Salons (Simioni, 2008). This meant that women did not have full access to artistic training, like their male colleagues did have. However, certain abilities were not only tolerated but also fostered, as long as they were constitutive of the ideals of bourgeois femininity disseminated throughout these nations.
Georgina Gluzman's explains in her article "El trabajo recompensado : mujeres, artes y movimientos femeninos en la Buenos Aires de entre-siglos" how an ambiguous situation was taking shape in Argentina at the end of the XIX century, filled with tensions that came, on the one hand, from normative social expectations on longed for femininity and, on the other, from the concrete conditions for professionalization which women enjoyed. In"Del caballete al telar. La Academia Nacional de Bellas Artes, las escuelas profesionales y los debates en torno de la formación artística femenina en la Argentina de la primera mitad del siglo XX", Julia Ariza deploys that outlook by focusing on the conditions for artistic training accessible to women in Argentina during the height of modernization. Gloria Cortez deals with like issues but making a case for Chilean women artists in Copyright © Artelogie Page 4/7 Editorial : Women Artists in Latin America : the challenge of synthetizing without singularizing "Estéticas da resistencia : las artistas chilenas y la vanguardia femenina (1900-1936)", where she discusses the obstacles faced by women in order to receive artistic education, as well as addressing the aesthetic modalities of "transgression" they were able to effect against patriarchal discourse then in force. In "Género y cultura visual.
Adrienne Macaire-Bacle en La historia del arte argentino", Lia Munilla, Sandra Szir y Georgina Gluzmann reconstruct and reinterpret the career of pioneer engraver Macaire-Bacle in Buenos Aires at the onset of the XIX century.
Through an original research based on primary sources, the authors discuss this artist's neglected production in a format and support regarded as "minor" and essentially masculine. Dalila Vasconcelos also intertwines in her analysis a discussion of gender and artistic media in "Du salon à la scène : l'ascension des femmes et du piano au brésil du vingtième siècle", where she interprets the transformations in the Brazilian music scene during the Belle époque (c.1889-1930), when three notable pianist emerged (Antonieta Rudge, Magda Tagliaferro e Guiomar Novaes). The author demonstrates how gradually the position of piano soloist became a viable feminine prerogative, and points out how the trajectories and production of these women musicians gave shape to a way of overcoming gender asymmetries in such a manner that a new position was made available for them in the Brazilian music scene, a socially recognized and legitimate position.