Month: August 2012


I am even vilified in America!!!!

Sarah Wilson’s ‘Only Women Women Only’ Exhibition Ignites Controversy At The Edinburgh Art Festival


07:54 PM on 08/21/2012

No, no, no! You women should implement that everywhere. The malls, all shopping places for women’s clothing, for certain movies like twilight, certain books, certain articles. Its all around a great idea!

(oh and IT WAS A PUBLICITY STUNT!!!!!!!!!_



Arts, Video, OWWO Summerhall, Sarah Wilson, Art In America, Edinburgh Art Festival, Feminism, Feminism-And-Art, Feminist Art Gallery, Only Women Women Only Exhibition, Only Women Women Only Sarah Wilson, Sarah Wilson OWWO, Sarah Wilson Curator, Visual Arts, Arts News

A feminist art exhibition is stirring up controversy at this year’s Edinburgh Art Festival. The exhibition, Only Women Women Only (OWWO), displays works exclusively by women artists, and only women may attend the exhibition.

The organizers of the exhibition have prepared themselves for indignant responses from men, but to their surprise the women-only event has mainly elicited anger from women, some of whom have boycotted the exhibition.

As chief curator Sarah Wilson said in an interview with The Scotsman, it is women who have been most vocal about the show, “I’ve had a few women artists who refused to take part and thought it was a terrible idea. Most of the men have been happy to wait outside, but I’ve had quite a few women coming in and saying: ‘We’ve fought hard for equal rights and this is setting things back.’”

The exhibition comes in the wake of Marina Abramovic’s women-only lecture for Meltdown 2012 in London. The artist herself was hesitant about the project, but forged ahead because, as she told Gemma Kappala-Ramsamy The Guardian, “Why not do something strange and different for once? Artists can do whatever they want!”

This latest women-only exhibition in Scotland, however, harkens back to Seventies-style consciousness raising projects like Judy Chicago and Miriam Schapiro’s “Womanhouse” (1972). The feminist art duo installed work by female artists in an abandoned California home, and then allowed only women in for the opening of the exhibition. (Men were allowed to visit the installation in the days that followed.) With Only Women Women Only (OWWO), however, men are not allowed in for the duration of the show, which features paintings, sculptures, photography, film and visual art by female artists around the world. Women are encouraged to even come sketch live female nude models on site. The event aims to spark a dialogue intended for women and ignited by women — about their bodies, about their place in the art world, and about the freedom to express themselves. For instance, in 2010, the Centre Pompidou put all its male artists in storage and displayed only the work of female artists. The result? People ignored the show. So is Wilson’s idea a move forward?

Alison Auldjo, owner and curator of Edinburgh’s Union Gallery, is one of the women who has chosen to boycott the show: “This is something I would not want to be involved with as an artist,” she said in a statement to The Scotsman. “The days of having any form of gender discrimination are over and we should all be working together as equals. I’ve not been to see the exhibition because I don’t want to look like I am supporting women-only venues.”

For Wilson, the issue comes down to the impulse to create a forum for and by women: “Men and women are fundamentally different beings. There is no reason why I should not be allowed to exercise my freedom of speech and have an exhibition which is only for women.”

What do you think, readers? Is it a problem that this exhibition and Ambramovic’s openly discriminate against men? Or is it inappropriate that a show like Wilson’s is receiving so much backlash when female artists are still underrepresented in museums?

Only Women Women Only is at Summerhall’s Church Garden on Hope Park Terrace in Edinburgh through September 27.

6 hours ago ( 7:02 AM)

Feminists want equality, this idiot by banning men is doing exactly what she claims to hate.

13 hours ago (12:11 AM)

ZERO. Unsafe. Then the wares of purveyor of this bent be not qualified for public consumption. It is not acceptable to associate this misnomer of art. Saliva testing cannot screen the onlooker within. The sole outcome consistent with this promotion is rejection. And if that is the point then it’s been complicated. No, Wilson, men and women be fundamentally the same; some like to share their differences.

11:42 PM on 08/22/2012

I understand the desire to do so and I think they would get their point across doing the same as the other women art exhibit talked about in the article. Have te opening week be for only women and then have a few days where the men can come and check it out. It probably be best to not have the naked women posing when the guys show up though ‘cuz you can end up with a lot of looky-loos.
That’s my 2 cents.

01:56 PM on 08/22/2012

Oh, but they’d be screaming if it was the other way around.

11:30 AM on 08/22/2012

This is a sexist event.

06:16 AM on 08/22/2012

I’m happy there are women who recognize the extent members of their own gender will go to be just as oppressive as their perceived male oppressors. We called them ‘femi-nazis’ at University. These were the TAs who went unreasonably cruel in the feminism they often made up on the spot. It was anything that they said it was and it gave them the right to be better and more privileged than the rest of us. I am sure they turned many an undergraduate against their movement. Female is most often not the fairer gentler sex.

10:40 PM on 08/21/2012

it’s not legal

07:52 PM on 08/21/2012

That’s not punishment. That’s a gift from the art gods! Women only? That’s awesome! We don’t have to hear or listen to a thing they are saying and pretend that we care!

07:50 PM on 08/21/2012

I think the women actually realize that by making us stay outside, its a small vacation away from them. Its a win, win situation for us! Now how do we make this a more used slogan, like for certain movies like, Twilight. Or for shopping centers where they should post signs that would say “Women only” and we would say to our women “See we can’t go! Sorry!” That’s awesome!

06:20 AM on 08/22/2012

Really women are always have the right to elbow into any male group or organization. Primitive men went hunting for months just to get away from them. We need some men only things, just to get a break once in a while.

11:49 AM on 08/22/2012

That’s what this makes it you putz! If it says women only, that means we get to stay away! Duhhh! Free from them!

04:01 PM on 08/21/2012

I understand the impulse to produce a show and a space like this but ultimately it comes off as a bit immature to me. The art world really encourages the strategic simplification of one’s identity as a way to help young artists “find their market” but sometimes it makes it harder to tell what is a sincere gesture and what is just crass micro-market pandering.

03:09 PM on 08/21/2012

I’m a card-carrying feminist, and I wouldn’t go either. The point isn’t to turn around and perpetrate the same injustices against men that we had to overcome. Smells like a publicity stunt, not art.

05:16 PM on 08/21/2012

I concur.

I wouldn’t declare myself a feminist by any means, but the double-standard that this creates only serves to spread resentment rather than bind the societial interaction between the sexes into a singular goal; equality. I’m all for women and men hosting events targeted at their respective genders; however, to exclude the other does two things. First, it deepens resentment and second, it excludes people who want to learn. I, like most men, have no clue how women think so to go to an art exhibit that may shed some light on that would be helpful and I would support the show but the artist has barred me from doing so unfortunately.

06:19 PM on 08/21/2012

It definitely smells like a stunt, but it reminds me of Kruger’s “Your Gaze Hits the Side of My Face” at least in spirit. I would like to buy the catalog to this exhibition to see what impression it makes.