Call for papers
CALL FOR PAPERS - SUBMISSIONS
Send your text (1,000 - 2,000 words, footnotes included) in US letter format (doc, docx, or rtf) to firstname.lastname@example.org before January 10, 2017. Please include a short biography (30-50 words), an abstract of the text (80-100 words), as well as postal and e-mail addresses. We also welcome submissions (reviews, essays, analyses of contemporary art issues) not related to a particular theme (annual deadlines: September 1, January 10, and April 1).
Esse No 90: Feminisms
Before January 10, 2017
A symbol of the emergence of feminist studies in the art history field, Linda Nochlin’s 1971 article “Why Have There Been No Great Women Artists?” strikingly underlined how the sexist and patriarchal structure inherent to art history has operated to exclude women from art practice and to erase them from the discourse on art. Although today more women than men are studying art disciplines and the number of women choosing a career in the art world (artist, art historian, curator, critic, museum director, and other professions) is growing constantly, they are still underrepresented – at least, in the major institutions. For example, the Guerrilla Girls collective, responsible for the famous poster called “Do Women Have To Be Naked to Get Into the Met. Museum?,” celebrated its thirtieth anniversary this year with the sad observation that the four most important New York museums (the Guggenheim, the Metropolitan, the Whitney, and the Museum of Modern Art) even today accord a ridiculously low proportion of solo exhibitions to women artists. The same observation can be made of most large Western cities, including London, which is presenting not a single solo exhibition by a woman artist this fall. (1)
In light of this situation, this thematic section will look at the unique relationships between art and feminisms. To the extent that art practices and art-theory research can serve as a way to think about the world, they are not hermetic; not only are they fed by today’s feminist struggles but they also feed into them in return. It is from the perspective of this back-and-forth movement that we want to address contemporary artistic and feminist issues. As Canada is preparing to institute the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls in order to comprehend why Aboriginal women, more than any other group, are the victims of murder, there is no longer any doubt that the principle of grouping all women into a single category cannot concretely make sense. Power relations and reasons for stigmatization related to race, sexual orientation, and social class, as the intersectional approach stipulates, combine to inform women’s experience differently.
At a time when the debate over the burkini is raging in France and policies, many of them conservative, have made use of the principle of male–female equality to create targeted constraints on the freedom of certain women and feed a racist discourse, we would like this section to offer understandings of how art is positioned vis-à-vis contemporary feminist issues. Taking account of the multiplicity of women’s subjectivities and heterogeneity and of the fact that the word feminism still causes reactions (some women prefer not to use the term to refer to themselves), this section is intended to explore how art practices and theories help to deconstruct the oppressions and limitations linked to gender. What contribution are women (both cisgender and transgender) making to the visual arts? From what position may women work? Is their work necessarily separated from normative spaces? If yes, are the margins inevitably and uniquely secondary spaces? May they also be contested and creative spaces free of all diktats? What are the new feminist struggles and strategies? How do current art practices question the hegemonic regimes of representation? How can ways of discussing art and issues linked to gender be rethought when it is time to deal with contemporary practices?
NOTE (1) Eddy Frankel, “Almost every major art exhibition this autumn in London is by a man, and that is total bullshit,” Time Out London, August 10, 2016, http://www.timeout.com/london/blog/almost-every-major-art-exhibition-thisautumn-in-london-is-by-a-man-and-that-is-total-bullshit-says-art-editor-eddy-frankel-081016.
Esse No 91: LGBTQIA
Before April 1, 2017
With the goal of uncoupling genders and sexualities, the queer movement was formed in the early 1990s from the intersectional approach of Black Feminism, which critiqued the “white solipsism” of American feminism. Queer Nation activists, who wanted to create solidarity among movements fighting for the rights of marginalized people, also played a catalyzing role in the emergence of the movement. The simultaneous publication of major books on feminism and postmodernity – with Judith Butler’s Gender Trouble as the cornerstone – made it possible to position the emergence of a new feminist theorization, which was designated under the trope of “queer theory.” Although there has been no consensus over what it should be called – post-feminism, postmodern feminism – the queer movement has developed mainly around the notions of gender, identity, and sexuality, and tends to undermine the heteronormative discourse based on universal and transhistorical categories. So, the “queer” banner flies above those with the primordial desire to escape all forms of the normalization that is implicit to all gendered and sexual categorizations. The conceptual apparatus developed by queer thought also makes it possible to explore the notion of “difference,” swapping it for that of “social construction.” It also highlights ontological and naturalist presuppositions by questioning the discourses of scientific and medical “truths” that legitimize the binary man–woman regime, and opens the door to other identities.
Although recognition of the rights of sexual and gender minorities is increasingly subject to legal and social action, the LGBTQIA1 community, and especially racialized people in that community, are still highly marginalized and more at risk to undergo physical and psychological violence then are their heterosexual counterparts. The persistence of LGBTQIA-phobic hate crimes, in the West and elsewhere in the world (for example, the Orlando massacre, the overrepresentation of trans people among murder victims), proves that the struggles of the LGBTQIA community for better social justice remain crucial. These political considerations are embodied in the contemporary aesthetic and have a considerable effect on our relationship with the image and with art history in general.
Using strategies of circumventing or offsetting from dominant discourses on gender identities and sexual orientation, a number of artists from the LGBTQIA community transcend binary thinking through their practices in order to provide a glimpse of the possibilities outside of the heteronormative and cisnormative patriarchal universe. Some artists point specifically to the consubstantiality of social relations or are interested in the convergence of movements – anti-capitalist, feminist, ecologist, anti-globalist, post-colonialist, and so on – but LGBTQIA art intrinsically resists unanimity. At the same time, the question of ethics and solidarity underlies a number of collaborative art practices and motivates a number of curators, who are increasingly producing exhibitions jointly with institutions or artists.
In light of the perspectives opened up by these artistic and political concerns, through this thematic section we wish to explore the strategies deployed by artists to make LGTBQIA communities visible and make the multiplicity of voices on the margin of the patriarchal regime of knowledge production heard. The diversification of alternative sites for the dissemination of art, combined with the institutionalization of “marginalized” practices, also provides fertile ground for reflecting on the making of contemporary art history in light of these issues. What is the role of the artist or the intellectual in the context of an activist or allied stance and what means are proposed to avoid the trap of reification of queer thought as a hegemonic discourse? How are trans struggles negotiated in relation to feminist and queer struggles and art practices, and how do artists contribute to this debate? Similarly, how do LGBTQIA artists negotiate these identity issues in their work and, conversely, how does art stimulate empowerment of the queer community? All of these questions and a number of others will be addressed in this thematic section.
1 An abbreviaton signifying all people who are not strictly heterosexual: lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, queer, intersexual, asexual.
Esse arts + opinions, published three times a year by Les éditions esse, is a contemporary art magazine that focuses on contemporary art and multidisciplinary practices (visual arts, performance, video, current music and dance, experimental theatre). It offers in-depth analyses of current art works and artistic and social issues by publishing essays that deal with art and its interconnections within various contexts.
Submissions are accepted three times a year: January 10, April 1 and September 1. Writers are invited to submit essays ranging from 750 to 2,000 words (including footnotes). These must be e-mailed in Word format or RTF to email@example.com. For editorial purposes, writers should include their postal address, telephone numbers and e-mail address, as well as a short biography.
All articles are reviewed by the Board, which reserves the right to accept or refuse a submitted article. Selection of articles may take up to 6 weeks after submission by the writer. The Board's decision is final. A refused text will not be re-evaluated.
With the exception of the expressed consent of the Editorial Board, the writer agrees to submit a previously unpublished, original text.
With the exception of the expressed consent of the Board, the Board does not consider articles that may represent a potential conflict of interest between the writer and the content of the article (i.e., a text written by the curator of an exhibition).
Conditionally accepted articles will be up for discussion between the writer and the Board. If changes are requested by the Board, the writer will have 15 (fifteen) days to carry these out.
With respect to the vision and style of the writer, the Board reserves the right to ask for corrections and modifications to be made to ensure overall clarity, and coherence of an article.
esse agrees to pay the writer $60 per sheet (250 words/sheet) and to provide 2 copies of the magazine upon publication.
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