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TFAP@CAA 2016 / The Feminist Art Project Day of Panels

February 6, 2016

This year’s theme is the representation of identity as intersectional. Participants explore what it means to perform the body, to facilitate discussions of identity as multifaceted. Gender, race, ethnicity, class, and sexuality are acknowledged to complicate the very categories they construct. Representing intersectional identities frame understanding across difference, and promote political alliances through intersubjectivity. The ways the body is presented and represented can elicit from the viewer a sense of self-identification by supporting conventional relationships to the body or by introducing contradictory interpretations of identities. Strategies include examinations of the intersectional as camouflage, armor, concealment, and bait; and acts of assimilation, subversion and defiance. The panels recognize that feminist art is not strictly concerned with gender, but participates in a larger discourse critical of established power structures.


9:00-9:15 — Welcome and Introductory Remarks
Connie Tell, Director, The Feminist Art Project, Center for Women in the Arts & Humanities, Rutgers University.
Co-organizers: Zoë Charlton, Artist; and Margo Hobbs, Art Historian, Muhlenberg College.

9:15-10:45 — Outrageous Intersectionalities: Colonial Peepshows, Muscular Mess Halls, and Fierce Soldaderas
Chair: Tina Takemoto, California College of the Arts
Panelists: Nao Bustamante, Rensellaer Polytechnic Institute; Xandra Ibarra, Independent Artist
• This queer feminist of color panel explores the intersectional possibilities for reimagining scenes of historical violence through erotic and speculative reenactments. Xandra Ibarra revisits Juan Ponce de Leon’s 1493 conquest of the New World by presenting a “colonial peepshow” that reclaims La Malinche as a brazen burlesque temptress and feminist. Tina Takemoto rescripts the wartime incarceration of queer Japanese Americans through a mash up of drag king performance, US propaganda footage, muscle building, and homoerotic bread making. Nao Bustamante pays tribute to the women who fought during the Mexican Revolution by arming her soldaderas with period-specific dresses made of Kevlar© and contemporary combat materials. By blurring boundaries between fact and fiction, these artists engage with the intersectional dimensions of power and vulnerability that challenge existing narratives of war, conquest, and racial oppression in order to forge alternative feminist pasts and futures.

10:50-12:20 — Women and the Sexual Other in East Asian Art and Visual Culture
Chair: Jongwoo Jeremy Kim, University of Louisville
Panelists: Charlotte Eubanks, Pennsylvania State University; Namiko Kunimoto, Ohio State University; Sasha Welland, University of Washington
• This panel explores women and their encounters with sexual otherness or queerness in the modern and contemporary visuality of East Asia. By closely examining the process of negotiations between the self and its limits, each panelist will consider the intersectional in subjectivity that is always volatile in order to articulate how our understanding of race, class, gender, and sexuality cannot rely on a linear causality: not only can these identity categories become coterminous to disrupt the sequence of cause and effect, but also they can co-produce a recognition of sameness between disparate subjectivities, troubling the notions of boundaries of “I.” “To disidentify,” José Muñoz wrote, “is to read oneself and one’s own life narrative in a moment, object, or subject that is not culturally coded to ‘connect’ with the disidentifying subject.” Each panelist will consider this “disidentification” or any other negotiations of a woman’s becoming herself or “her-selves.” In such difficult processes of identity formations, divergent aspects of transient selfhood become visible and invisible. In works by Japanese artists, Korean TV shows, and other loci of East Asian visual culture, the panel would investigate feminist art emerging in the multi-causal matrix of the social.

12:20-1:20 — Lunch Break

1:20-2:50 — Re-Territorializing Gender: Women Artists and Expatriation
Chair: Linda Kim, Drexel University
Panelists: Tirza True Latimer, California College of the Arts; Saleema Waraich, Skidmore College; Ana Perry, City University of New York.
Elizabeth Hutchinson, Barnard College
• Despite or because of their complex positions on the sliding scale of citizenship, many women artists selected to emigrate and permanently settle in another country. This panel hopes to complicate the history of women and transnational movements by insisting on the importance of different racial, economic, and sexual positions within and among women artists. How did women of color, for example, benefit from these transnational border crossings? How did lesbians or women who opted for unorthodox sexual and domestic arrangements benefit from these transplantations to new homelands? What were the limits of enfranchisement (cultural, economic, sexual) afforded by this mobility? The panel will also include discussions of the maintenance of links and allegiances to former nationalities, for the reason that many women artists living in exile were never completely deracinated, as they continued to address audiences at “home,” suggesting their emigration marked their gendered and professional identities in new yet familiar ways. Papers will analyze these complex processes of identification and disidentification in expatriate women artists’ careers. Finally, the panel will also consider how women artists’ occupation of new national zones may have disrupted certain gendered essentialisms, while strategically mobilizing others, such as the essentialisms behind what it means to be “French” or “Pakistani” or “American.”

3:00-4:30 — Two Performances: Candidate and Male Polish
Performers: Danielle Abrams, School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; Sheldon Scott, Independent Artist
Candidate is a monologue and a play staged with six volunteers from the audience to investigate how intersectional identities inflect an artist’s experience of a residency and a conference job interview. Male Polish interrogates the transactional nature of femininity and the effeminate through the lens of male-desired, gender normativity.

Directions to the National Museum of Women in the Arts and Visitor Information


For more information contact:
Connie Tell
The Feminist Art Project, Director
Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
640 Bartholomew Road
Piscataway, NJ 08854
Phone: 848-932-3726

Documentation for this event is held at the Feminist Art Projects Archives located at Rutgers University.


February 6, 2016
Event Category:


National Museum of Women in the Arts
1250 New York Ave NW
Washington, DC 20016 United States