Art and Gender

Both within and beyond the realms of art, debates on gender are proliferating and becoming increasingly politicized. Gender’s imprint on art is often characterized by the prevalence of time-based media like performance, the use of the artist’s body, interactivity, and interventions in public spaces, and can be contextualized by concurrent developments in the social sphere. Over time, singular, incipient conceptions of gender have given way to allow for multiple approaches and agents. Feminism, an important origin of discussions around gender, has, since the early 20th century, been pluralized and expanded to encompass many different feminisms. Critical race scholars and activists issued urgent revisions to suffragette movements, and continue to nuance movements toward gender equality. Equally imperative, transnational feminists challenge linguistic and geopolitical hegemony and the efficacy of liberal models of gender. Since the 1990s, queer, transgender, and non-binary communities have further illuminated these debates and destabilized the rigid binary of “Man” and “Woman.” More recently, in relation to gender, technological mediation and animal studies challenge the very meaning and form of the category of “human.” This Theme explores the vicissitudes of gender and its concomitant cultural effects.

Rosine Mbakam, in Her Own Words

In 2007, at age twenty-seven, having already spent several years directing and editing audiovisual programs for broadcast, Rosine Mbakam left her native Cameroon to attend film school in Belgium. Here, Mbakam reflects on her experience in a conversation with Sophie Cavoulacos, Assistant Curator in the Department of Film at The Museum of Modern Art.

Regina Vater’s Ecofeminist Rituals of Waste and Renewal, 1983–88

In recent years, the Brazilian artist Regina Vater (born 1943) has gained renewed attention for her contributions to Latin American and Latinx feminist art histories of performance. However, her artistic explorations of ecology and the environment are virtually unexamined. This essay considers these subjects in Vater’s work through an analysis of several site-specific, participatory events that together address ecological themes of waste and renewal.

Inji Efflatoun en prison (1959-1963) : peindre l’inrenouvelable

Inji Efflatoun fut une peintresse et une militante marxiste et féministe égyptienne. De juin 1959 à juillet 1963, elle fut emprisonnée par le régime nassérien en raison de son appartenance au parti communiste. Au cours de ces années, elle continua à peindre. Célébrés dès les années 1960, et aujourd’hui recherchés sur le marché de l’art, les tableaux de cette période sont souvent considérés comme les plus importants de son œuvre.

Hello, My Name Is Tamarra

Artist and community organizer Tamarra reflects on the personal experiences, emotional complexities, socio-political events, and pilgrimages to non-binary communities across Indonesia that motivated Tamarra’s name change.