Our Week in Residence at NYFA

April 28, 2011 § Leave a comment

A Feminist Tea Party had a great week at The NYFA Gallery from April 11-15th.  Here are some highlights:

On Monday Jenn Dierdorf led an animated discussion on “Feminist Swag : Bitches and Hoes in Contemporary Rap and Hip Hop.” 

We talked about the grey areas between our beliefs and our choice of entertainment, the misogyny and homophobism in the lyrics of hip hop, and about the importance of parenting and education vs pop culture’s influence on children.

Check out some links she sent us, and let us know your thoughts.

Odd Future Wolf Gang Kill Them All from the Jimmy Fallon show

Odd Future Wolf Gang Kill Them All from the Jimmy Fallon show

Odd Future Wolf Gang Kill Them All from the Jimmy Fallon show (note the Barbara Kruger hoodie!):

Big Freedia:

Byron Hurt’s documentary Beyond the Beats and Rhymes Npr story:

Odd Future Wolf Gang Kill Them All from the Jimmy Fallon show:
Syd tha Kyd, the girl that’s in odd future, check out the comments for this video…CRAZY!:
And some women in rap:

On Tuesday we had another discussion on music, “Pop Music and Feminism” with damali abrams.

damli led a fascinating and in-depth discussion on popular music and the effect of its representation(s) of women on families and society.

damali abrams, suzanne stroebe, caitlin rueter, nyfa gallery, pop music and feminism

photos courtesy of Sean “Shadagga” Ferdinand

That day we talked at length about Lady Gaga’s new video, “Born this Way.” The uber-popular pop singer’s lyrics address racism and homophobism directly, telling listeners that despite their religion, they should be proud of who they are:

Whether life’s disabilities
Left you outcast, bullied, or teased
Rejoice and love yourself today
’cause baby you were born this way

No matter gay, straight, or bi,
lesbian, transgendered life,
I’m on the right track baby,
I was born to survive.
No matter black, white or beige
Chola or orient made,
I’m on the right track baby,
I was born to be brave.

On Wednesday, Jennifer Dalton and William Powhida led the event, “Male / Female (Check One): A discussion of how our gender defines (and/or doesn’t) our everyday life.”

We talked about how our gender effects us in our daily lives, in and outside the art world, the work place, and our homes. Just over a year after our first tea party at Winkleman Gallery with #class, organized by Jen Dalton and William Powhida, it was special to invite them into our space. Full circle.

On Thursday we had three members of Young WCA lead conversation, “Activism in Performance: Representing Women” with Jaimianne Amicucci and two accompanying performance pieces, “Afghan Woman,” by Bonnie MacAllister and  “Fight or Flight I: Grounded,” by Autumn Horne

performance by Bonnie MacAllister

performance by Autumn Horne

On Friday, our last day at NYFA, two employees of NYFA were generous enough to take a few hours out of their day to lead an event in our space. They even dressed the part!

The first was, “Sexual Relations/Violence on Campus: Why are Men seen as Violent and Women as Victims?” with Susan Ball.

Susan Ball, interim director of programs at the NYFA, led a fascinating and rousing discussion on sexual violence on college campuses in the US. Susan raised some important questions, including: Are men treated as criminals, and women as weak victims from the time they arrive on some college campuses? What happened to empowering events and programs such as Take Back the Night, and Women’s Self Defense, have these been replaced by programs that promote fear in women?

Finally, Eleanore Whitney led the conversation, “Is There Such a Thing As Feminist Aesthetics?”

Eleanor Whitney is the Program Officer for External Affairs at the New York Foundation for the Arts. Prior to NYFA she worked at the Rubin Museum of Art and the Brooklyn Museum, where she planned and implemented public programs for the Sackler Center for Feminist Art and taught university students in the museum’s galleries. We talked about canonical feminist art (such as Judy Chicago’s Dinner Party at the Sackler Center) and how, despite the stereotypes that come to mind, how varied the aesthetics of art made by feminist is, including abstraction, post-minimalism, design-based art, and, of course zines! In fact, we had a few riot grrrls in the space that day.

Thanks to everyone who came out to participate.  We had wonderful guests, new and old, and fantastic conversation.

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