Contemporary Feminist Printmaking
backSPACE, February 9-23, 2013
It seems that feminism is so strongly connotated these days with an aggressive regime that is “anti-men” that it often gets pigeon-holed into becoming a dirty word. Similarly, printmaking seems to be a “dying art form” in the age of digitality that is looked upon with a mixture of quizzicality and inconsequence.
CSUSB is one of the last vestiges of printmaking instruction in Southern California, and features an almost unusual number of women artists striving to define their artform as significant as well as their work as women artists. The title of Paperslut is to be earned by a printmaker, not specifically as a woman but as an artist who is so dedicated they are willing to feel every piece of paper within the store before making their choices for a project without fear or retribution of the looks one might receive. Papersluts march boldly into territory that is intensely personal and confrontational while understanding that the paradigm of fine art dictates that even today a certain formality must still be observed.
Ceara Bryan’s Victorian pornography speaks to the same judgment today as it did when the images were new, with a halo of “slut shaming” lifted from the piece by the umbrella of “fine art”. Sheena Tocao’s subversion of her own identity into historical portraiture redefines the boundary of where the object “ends” and the persona “begins”; whereas Kahlil Pyburn’s androgynous beings pique a curiosity about where (space) and how (perception) a “woman” may be defined.
The works selected for this exhibition call into question our roles as both spectator and participant in the art sphere and beyond, suggesting that our experiences are not as fragmented and disjointed as they may seem. Printmaking and feminism parallel each other in both process and practice as evidenced here.
Megan Flanders, Artist and Curator
Artists: Ceara Bryan, Megan Flanders, Cynthia Garcia, Tammy Greenwood, Kahlil Pyburn, Riane Redmond, Katie Rousos, Sheena Tocao