Wikipedia has changed the way we hunt for and gather our information, but it’s not a bible of knowledge. There are countless figures absent from the online records, especially when it comes to women, which is something that the Wikipedia: Meetup/Art And Feminism group continues to rectify. Participants add to Wikipedia’s database, with a focus on female artists and cultural figures. These Wikipedia Edit-a-thons are a crucial form of “feminist information activism.” A recent event found more than 90 new Wiki articles added and over 70 expanded and improved. Here are ten women whose works you should know about.
Faller was a frequent collaborator with husband and experimental filmmaker Hollis Frampton (pictured, photographed by Faller). Most of her work focused on the everyday within communities, particularly New York, giving voice to the regular Jane/Joe.
My work is about how individuals and communities visually express their values, their interests, and their sense of what is important and beautiful. The subject matter is usually close to home—homes, yards, small businesses and community buildings such as schools or churches.
Tamaki’s work has been featured in The New Yorker, but she is best know for her illustrations in the award-winning graphic novel, Skim. The semi-autobiographical comic written by her cousin, Mariko Tamaki, is set in Toronto during the 1990s and follows a gothy outsider at an all-girls school.
I think that we can’t expect cultural institutions, the general public, the book industry to fully understand comics right away. I think there’s… a knowledge gap, but it’s a growing pain, you know? People are just really excited about comics right now, but they don’t know what a comics fan or a comics aficionado would know, the history of comics. How comics are made. Even how to read comics, even that basic, fundamental thing is something that a lot of people are still learning.
Mosher’s ongoing public art installation, HighWaterLine, uses maps, satellite images, and other scientific data to predict locations (by drawing a “100 year flood zone” line) in major cities that would be hit by flooding. The work in New York City was eerily validated during Hurricane Sandy.
Kelly O is a photographer and columnist at The Stranger in Seattle. She helped Dan Savage start the Emmy-winning It Gets Better Project, by filming the original video of Dan Savage and Terry Miller. You can read about her summer vacation with Juggalos over here.
Carmen Tórtola Valencia
The Spanish early modern dancer caused a controversy across her home country due to her feminist ideas (she advocated for the abolition of corsets, freely held sexual relationships with women, and asserted her independence in every regard) and avant-garde style. Her eclectic approach to performance found her dancing at the Folies Bergère, the Wintergarten Theatre, and beyond. She was eventually imprisoned for her unconventional beliefs at the end of the Spanish civil war.
We’ve written about the work of artist and published writer Kate Durbin before, examining art’s new teen-girl aesthetic. Her Tumblr-based project Women as Objects found the Los Angeles-based creator compiling an archive of re-blogged notes and images from teen girls in real-time. Durbin is the founding editor of Gaga Stigmata, which “critically-creatively participates in the cultural project of shock pop phenomenon Lady Gaga.”
I think teenagers want to be read and understood by adults. I think the problem of being a teenager is one of being overlooked or misunderstood during this time when you are really trying to figure out what you want and who you are. Adults react to teenagers with such fear I think because we unconsciously recognize the teens’ power to shift the world.
Indian-born American artist Zarina was a major figure amongst feminist circles in New York’s art scene during the 1970s. The printmaker and paper artist’s work focuses primarily on themes of exile, memory, and migration, linked to a tumultuous period in her childhood. During the Partition of India in 1947, she witnessed the displacement and deaths of those around her – including her own family.
Linda Lee Alter
Philadelphia artist and philanthropist Linda Lee Alter assembled an incredible collection of art starting in the 1980s when she realized major museums weren’t representing women to the fullest. This led to the advent of the Leeway Foundation, which supports the careers of underrepresented artists and “promotes sustainable and healthy communities, and works in the service of movements for economic and social justice.” Alter recently donated hundreds of works to the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, which you can explore online.
Daria Martin’s 16mm films aim to create a continuity or parity between disparate artistic media (such as painting and performance), between people and objects, and between internal and social worlds. Human gesture and seductive imagery meet physically mannered artifice to pry loose viewers’ learned habits of perception. Mistranslation opens holes for imagination to enter or exit.
Parker pioneered a new form of animation, Pinscreen, with her husband and co-collaborator, Alexandre Alexeieff. She filled a screen with more than one million pins. By removing them and experimenting with light, she discovered the shadows could be manipulated to create three-dimensional shapes resulting in a unique, textural form of animation. The artist made six award-winning films using the time-consuming technique over a period of 50 years. The new Wikipedia entry points out that even though Parker’s work is linked to that of her husband, the 1935 patent on the Pinscreen was made in her name alone.