Friday, April 22, 2005

Feminism against itself: The Guerilla Girls courtcase

When the ever lovely John at Counago&Spaves is not making me green with envy at the lineup for the Primavera festival or his glorious home view, he's finding excellent pieces of news on the cultural front such as this piece.

Obviously, as a former student of Griselda Pollock's on the MA in Feminism and the Visual Arts at Leeds University, I was fully versed in the work of the Guerilla Girls. Unfortunately, as with so many things, proclaimed collective identities can become tools by which that identity is undermined. In establishing itself as a group anonymously dedicated to highlighting and challenging the patriarchal suppositions of the art world and its histories, it was almsot inevitable that others would use that anonymity to explore similar issues themselves. However, it does beg the question what were particular individuals intending to do under the name of the Guerrilla Girls that would force legal action between various people to claim right to the collective name and its ideals? How does one take ownership of a colletive ideal?

1 comment:

John said...

Excellent point, Lisa, the answer to which, I suspect, (rather sadly), is "profit from it." There can be different forms of profit, of course, not just financial, and from the case in question you'd hope the motive is something less grubby and material, but anonymity, like you say, offers the perfect opportunity to the most unscrupulous. They don't even need to resort to identity theft.

By the way, I'm going bright red here. I haven't been called lovely in a long time.