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Women, this blog is a celebration of our collective history through the ages and throughout the world. Amazing stories that have been buried in dusty corners away from the light. Help us to shed light on all these amazing stories. Read our blog and then visit us at the Women's Mercury to learn about our ongoing projects.

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To challenge women in the local, national and international communities to find their voices, share their stories, and pass them to the next generation of women through participation in the arts.





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"Someone, I say will remember us in the future."
Sappho

Saturday, July 01, 2006

London: Guerilla Girls at Tate Modern REVIEW

Apparently the Tate Modern made a gaff when they scheduled the Guerilla Girls talk opposite the massive Gay Pride parade that bisected the city at Trafalgar Square, but I didn't spy too many empty seats in a 400 to 500 seat venue at the Tate Modern on Saturday, 1 July.

Kathe Kollwitz and Frida Kahlo (not their real names) addressed the enthusiastic crowd wearing their signature gorilla heads (which they, interestingly enough, scratched fairly often), but failed to ignite any real passion in the crowd. Both presenters seemed a bit nervous. Their schtick offered very little beyond what is available on their website.

Despite their record as international agitators of the art establishment, Kollwitz and Kahlo had not done their research on London specifically. When questions arose during the Q & A about the state of women in art in London, the gorilla-masked speakers were at a loss. It was very obvious that the bulk of their research has dealt with problems of women's equality in art (and the arts) in the USA. This isn't surprising as the plight of women in the arts is more extreme in the United States perhaps than it is in Europe.

As Americans, we are often accused of thinking only of ourselves. The Guerillas should have done their homework and presented the shattering statistics for which they have become famous, but related to their audience in a more personal way.

On the positive side, I learned that only 7% of the films in Hollywood this year were directed by women. A woman has STILL FAILED TO WIN AN ACADEMY AWARD AS BEST DIRECTOR. That's fairly shocking, isn't it? Perhaps we should find ourselves a fabulous filmmaker and champion her career. If we cannot find a director, perhaps I shall step up to the plate? I know there's a film in me somewhere.....

MOST INTERESTING TO OUR CAUSE? THE GUERILLAS NAMED THEMSELVES AFTER WONDERFUL FEMALE ARTISTS AS AN HOMAGE AND A WAY OF DRAWING ATTENTION TO THE HISTORY OF WOMEN IN THE ARTS. ARE WE NOT LOOKING TO DO THE SAME WITH SHE AND ASSOCIATES...AS HAS BEEN PROPOSED?