The Views of the Feminist Archive

May 21, 2010

Please go to “Flow’s” Special Issue on The Archive to see a slightly modified selection (“The Views of the Feminist Archive”) from my longer essay “A Process Archive: The Grand Circularity of Woman’s Building Video,” which will be published in 2011 in the catalog for Doin’ it in Public: Feminism and Art at the Woman’s Building, one of 15 Getty sponsored art shows, “Pacific Standard Time: Art in LA, 1945-80.”

By way of John Grierson  and Tom Gunning, I come to the conclusion:

“Their process led to no product (other than its video documentation), but rather to affection, collectivity, and self-expression. But, I’m starting to bore myself. That’s their theory, and it is represented in everything they made. Where patriarchy, and its documentary see linear, singular, goal oriented processes resulting in commodifiable products and places, Woman’s Building video produced and preserved a multiple, messy view of the development of collective experience, voice, and growth en route. In the 1970s, women at the Building augmented their feminist art making and education with video recordings (now archived) to allow for a permanent record of their developing theory of process: a multiple, collective point of view reverberating and transformative in and across people and places, the present as well as the future. At the Getty Research Institute today, watching their compelling if confusing and often outsized archive of process, I am wowed by the complexity and originality of their view.”

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