Feminine Gestures

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  • Title: Feminine Gestures: Challenging Objecthood through White and Black Feminist Performance Art
  • Author(s): Rachel Trusty
  • Publisher: Common Ground Research Networks
  • Collection: Common Ground Research Networks
  • Series: The Arts in Society
  • Journal Title: The International Journal of Social, Political and Community Agendas in the Arts
  • Keywords: Performance Art, Feminist Art, Lorraine O’Grady, Adrian Piper, Howardena Pindell, Maren Hessinger, Senga Nengudi
  • Volume: 13
  • Issue: 4
  • Year: 2018
  • ISSN: 2326-9960 (Print)
  • ISSN: 2327-2104 (Online)
  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.18848/2326-9960/CGP/v13i04/29-40
  • Citation: Trusty, Rachel. 2018. "Feminine Gestures: Challenging Objecthood through White and Black Feminist Performance Art." The International Journal of Social, Political and Community Agendas in the Arts 13 (4): 29-40. doi:10.18848/2326-9960/CGP/v13i04/29-40.
  • Extent: 12 pages

Abstract

Feminist performance art developed out of the political climate of the 1960s and 70s, the backlash over the anti-political art world and its exclusion of women and artists of color, and the use of role play in consciousness-raising events in the mainstream Feminist Movement. Performance allowed women artists to become active in confronting art history and the gender barriers that existed in the art world. But the Feminist Art Movement and Second Wave Feminism did not address the concerns of African American artists. White feminist performance, which was considered the mainstream performance art, focused on male and female difference, specifically confronting traditional gender roles, domesticity, or subverting the historical ideal of the female body as a passive sexual object. Black performance artists were concerned with issues of gender, but also issues of racial privilege, class issues, and their marginalization by the black art community. These artists were overcoming ideas around the black body as sex object, while also challenging the black body as an object of colonization.