What is Feminist Art? This survey course is an exploration of the history of artists who align(ed) their practice with feminist theory and the women’s rights movement which emerged in the post-civil rights era. While focusing on the inspiring movements of the 70s, with a nod as far back as cave art and extending up to the present day, we will keep in mind transnational and intersectional ideas in visual arts, politics, and popular culture. We will view art works, films, video, performance documentation, interviews, and read key texts and manifestos to engage in critical thinking and dialogue. We will train a feminist gaze on art and life from core imagery to the Guerilla Girls. Students will be introduced to a cross section of feminist artists, the foundations of feminist pedagogy, venture deep into the gendered underpinnings of mythology and language, smash the patriarchy and look at lots of interesting art. Class meetings will be a combination of slide lectures and discussions of works you will view during the week at your own pace with some light reading—this will be the funnest homework ever-- and class will be less theory, more show and tell. We will try to get beyond the grid of the zoom classroom and delve into methods of reading power structures in art and life.
Joyce Burstein taught this course in the Women’s Studies department at SUNY New Paltz. While her gallery installations explore impermanence she has developed self-created contexts for public art that attempt to contravene associations of the monument with history and death by presenting works that interact with the present. In this way spectators are also performers, the work exists as process and object, both public and private.
A recipient of grants/fellowships from NYFA, Art Matters and The Pollock-Krasner Foundation, Burstein received her BFA/MFA from the San Francisco Art Institute in 86 and lives and works in New York City.