Everything is art/work.

another artists sharism.

Month: August, 2012

She-Media.

Ok. So I’m NOT supporting Gina Rinehart here.
Fo me, she’s adapted into a male’s world and is playing it damn well.

But this week this shocked me:

(credit: http://www.4thestate.net/female-voices-in-media-infographic/)

ARE YOU FUCKING SERIOUS?

And then, this week, I started checking what articles I was reading and who wrote them. And I realised I had very few go-to female writers.

And then, even more concerning I realised that all the rape articles I was reading from this week’s hot topic were written by men. MEN.  About Rape.

Just to clarify:
Men saying stupid/ignorant things. Commented on by Men. About Rape.

And then, thank god, i was sent to this article by Stephanie Convery. Yes, a WOMAN. And it’s damn good. And sensitive. And thoughtful. And is exactly what the world needs to read.

And then I was upset it wasn’t in The Age, or seriously going viral.

So I wrote about that here. So here. Share. Talk. Spread.

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Feminine me.

Earlier this year during a conversation with my  mentor, Sara Topsoe-Jensen, she shared with me this thought:
Have you ever noticed how women feel the need to validate others? For example, when we’re in a conversation with another (male or female) we have a tendency to nod.

My initial reaction was. Well, yes. Of course I nod – because the world needs more “yes”s than “no”s. We need to encourage new ideas, conversation, voice.

And then she said. Why do we need affirmation? Men don’t do it. World leaders Mandela, An San Suu Kyi, the Dalai Lama don’t. They have enough self assurance.

Is this perpetual nodding actually reflect our own desire for validation?

I didn’t really know where to go from here. And I kind of stubbornly thought, well maybe males (and just to be clear I’m just talking generally) needed to have a bit more need for approval. A little more room for fallibility.

If there is one thing I find more frustrating in a colleague than anything is the inability for someone to say “dammit. I fucked up. sorry folks.” I despise passing-the-buck.

My then boyfriend used to smile bemusedly at this. As an architect he was told in his first week to never, ever accept blame for anything. Legally, financially the repercussions were not worth his job.

I was reminded of this at a lecture I went to this evening about gender. Dr Lesley Pruitt advice to women (it help if you imagine her American accent):

“Girl, stop apologising for your life. We got 99 problems, but inadequacy ain’t one.”

And I realised how much I apologise. And am timid. And only wait to speak when I am positive I have a solid answer. (unlike most males I know).

But at the same time, I think more space for the quiet is required. We still live in patriarchal systems (hello public liability no-blame world).

In my little corner of the world: the arts industry in Australia – I still see these systems. I see up-and-coming-males given golden tickets for their brash & ego-centric behavior and theatre. Their confidence.
And then I see me, who tried to find that brashness, that confidence.
(ok, that only lasted a little while – but I did consider it)

There are very few female role models I can see who are making headway for other females. Disappointingly, one up-and-coming female said that our role (as female artists) was to chose the stories, but I would say it requires more than that.

I want to be me. And trust that my work might not be for the male-eye but for the female. That when I hear “too safe”, “not bold enough”, “not angry enough”, “too feminist” that I think about it in this mindset now. That you can be bold and quiet. Angry and small. Fight for feminism and realise it’s needed.

It requires those that are at the top to make change structurally. To make it accessible, new, innovative, different. To find the ways for women to not be “women leaders” just “leaders”.

I don’t know whether we need more apologies. Or less.
But we do need change.

Chalk. Freedom. This Moment.

Did you know it’s illegal to chalk in Australia?
I didn’t.
Until last year.
Occupy taught me a lot.
Chalk is temporary.
My memory of the policeman’s aggression towards me and my chalk fish is not.
Hopscotch. Protests. Art.
When did chalk become illegal?

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Pussy Riot.
Asange.
Robert Doyle’s continual dismissing of Occupy.
Asylum Seekers.
The Kimberley.
And all the things that I’m ignorant of.

The world makes very little sense at the moment.
The lack of big picture thinking is stifling.

But two art experiences this weekend gave me hope:

“Blogs and the Internet are great inventions for our time, because they give regular people an opportunity to change public opinion.”

“I think there is a responsibility for any artist to protect freedom of expression.”

 Ai Wei Wei: Never Sorry

Dance like no one is watching.
But they are.
The whole world is watching.
And the world is on your shoulders.
And it’s on fire.

Personal Political Physical Challenge

It’s on our shoulders.
You. Me. Us.
Change needs to happen.