I’ve written before about my love of the manifesto, and now Stephanie Phoenix over on Salon’s open blog has a FAB piece on motherhood and art. Her essay reminded me so much of Mierle Ukeles: Manifesto for Maintenance Art 1969 which she wrote after motherhood made her feel excluded from the art world
I am an artist. I am a woman. I am a wife. I am a mother. (Random order). … MY WORKING WILL BE THE WORK
Although I’m not an artist, the topic is near and dear to my heart, as my first published article was about MotherArt and I then revised the piece after I became a mother for a great book, The M Word: Real Mothers in Contemporary Art edited by Myrel Chernick and Jennie Klein.
I wish I could say I was surprised by Stephanie Phoenix’s reaction:
It’s ridiculous how much we have to constantly re-invent the wheel. I was so happy to find her, and happy also to have a new artist to get obsessed with.
The sad fact is that much feminist activism in the arts is not well known anymore. There are some great new books coming out on the topic, but most of them are written by art historians and thus the discussion is focused on the impact on the art world, not the larger culture. Happily I’ll be rectifying all the wrong, right 🙂