Monday, April 2, 2007

Not Bailing, at Least today

John Perreault has an interesting idea as to how to respond to the galleries and museums filled with art mostly made by men: boycott them for a day. Do a general strike. This strike, by the way, is one the women must do. He says we are the ones who work much of the system, support it, buy the art, works the offices, write the press releases. Bail for a day.

If a really big statement could be driven home, I am all for it. But part of me feels like what would happen would be just this collective sigh of relief streaming from elsewhere and I just don’t want to hear that sigh again. Women have to keep at it, no matter how oft-humiliating. And yeah, it is.

In my own life I have had a million subtle and not-so-subtle hints to back down or bail out- some ongoing upset with every new project, the 70s, the 80s, today. I guess the ‘noise’ we were to produce was a theory, not an action.

When I came back to Oregon, I was invisible enough, the 40 year old female artist. I could see right away how much more comfortable I made a whole tide of people feel (because I had something to compare it to: my past). I was right where they wanted me to be, bailed. I started Lovelake and Artstar as a way to make noise, even if my paintings couldn’t (they’ve been coming ‘round lately though).

Even when I announced my leaving Chambers, some assumed I would disappear into my studio and stop the insanity. Better for my health you see. I think they were well meaning, but my studio sees enough of me and it’s just not the only place I want to be. Not on your life; not even on mine. People feel various responsibilities in their lives. We know what they are.

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