Feminism and Contemporary Art: The Revolutionary Power of Women's Laughter

By Jo Anna Isaak | Go to book overview

NOTES

INTRODUCTION
1
Danto asks this question, but he does not fall into the question’s trap. Danto’s essay surveys the work women artists have done over the past three decades, making it clear that women did not simply enter the mainstream, they redefined it.

1 THE REVOLUTIONARY POWER OF WOMEN’S LAUGHTER
1
Ironically, modern technology supports Freud’s speculations about Leonardo’s identification with his mother—X-rays of the Mona Lisa have revealed another portrait underneath, one that is thought to be Leonardo’s self-portrait. Most appropriately, this discovery was featured on an episode of the American television series Unsolved Mysteries.
2
See also Sarah Kofman, “Narcissistic Woman,” in The Enigma of Woman: Woman in Freud’s Writings (1985).
3
For an assessment of how successful Bakhtin was in his attempts to exonerate Rabelais from the charge of antifeminism, see Wayne C. Booth, “Freedom of Interpretation: Bakhtin and the Challenge of Feminist Criticism” (1986).
4
Bakhtin’s theory of the collective social body has been read by some Russian readers as a prescription for socialist collectivity. The non-individualized body is discussed again in Chapter 3 of this book with reference to the formation of the collective identity of the Soviet citizen under Stalinism.
5
Craig Owens in “The Discourse of Others: Feminism and Postmodernism” (1983) and Alice Jardine in Gynesis (1985) explore the modernism vs. postmodernism debate in terms of sexual difference. They argue that the feminist critique of patriarchy has fueled the postmodernist critique of representation, resulting in the loss of credibility in what Lyotard calls the grands récits of modernity—the master narratives of Western culture which, as Owens points out, are always narratives of mastery.
6
I owe this reference to Baudrillard to Tania Modleski’s essay “Femininity as Mas(s)querade: A Feminist Approach to Mass Culture” (1986). Although Modleski acknowledges that Baudrillard does not denigrate either the masses or femininity and goes on to extend the “contemporary psychoanalytic definitions of woman to a political analysis of the masses” (1986:49), she is dubious about the “possibilities of a revolution based on the mute tactics of the eternal ‘feminine’” (ibid.: 51).

-226-

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Feminism and Contemporary Art: The Revolutionary Power of Women's Laughter
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • List of Illustrations ix
  • Acknowledgements xiii
  • Introduction 1
  • 1 - The Revolutionary Power of Women’s Laughter 11
  • 2 - Art History and Its (dis)contents 47
  • 3 - Reflections of Resistance: Women Artists on the Other Side of the Mir 77
  • 4 - Mothers of Invention 139
  • 5 - Mapping the Imaginary 156
  • 6 - Encore 182
  • Notes 226
  • Bibliography 229
  • Index 236
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