Tag Archives: artwork

Talking Amongst Ourselves

Now something I’m sure most folks who are knowledgeable about anti-oppression politics and discuss them in their everyday life have seen is the attitude that you only hold those beliefs to be politically correct or to be argumentative about “the way things are”. I know when I’ve told people that “No, I talk about these things all the time because they effect my life everyday.” I’ve gotten disbelieving looks or right out accusation that I don’t discuss race when I’m with other People of Color, etc. Now anyone who knows me, has talked to me at a convention or has hung out with me for more than a few hours can tell you that’s bullshit but the attitude is always there, that thought that you only talk this way or feel this way because of the company you’re in or whatever other outside factors. First of all it’s straight out insulting to insinuate that I can’t form my own opinions or that my opinions are so ludicrous that there must be some outside force exerting pressure on me. Secondly it’s just untrue. 

Now the documentary U People which I’ve been desperate to see for months and is now up for free in it’s totality on Logo Online explores the conversation people have within their community. Hanifah Walidah a poet, rapper, actress and black lesbian was filming the video for her song Make A Move where she recreated a house party. Now black GLBT folks have a long history of house parties that stretches back for decades. It arose out of a number of factors but a major one was the racism they tended to encounter when they tried to enter GLBT watering holes and forming a vibrant community outside of that hostile environment. Since they couldn’t go to the limited number of GLBT bars/clubs at the time they made their own parties and clubs in each others houses. Some of the parties were exclusively for men or women and some were mixed. And this is not a tradition that has died out, it’s still alive and strong – moreso on the west coast than anywhere else but the legacy is all over.

Anyway, while Hanifah was filming this music video she heard the conversations that were happening all around her and decided that those were just as important as what was going to end up in the music video. She calls it an accidental documentary for just this reason but go and read about it in her own words at the website linked above.

But there it is: a group of 30 People of Color, mostly lesbian women and a couple of transfolk (I also believe there are two or three straight women who talk about being straight in a majority lesbian environment) talking amongst themselves. Talking about gender and the “definition” of woman, talking about coming out, talking about the intersection of race and gender, and all of it to each other, with each other, about each other. It shows not only the complexity and differences among the supposed monolithic horde of “you people” but is also a chronicle of community and the way we form it around ourselves.

Go check out U People even if you don’t think you’ll learn anything from it because it is a touching, smart and funny documentary that shows a segment of society so exceedingly overlooked by the mainstream.

Even leaving aside the personal connection I feel to this documentary despite not being a lesbian - because in so many ways these are the women I grew up around and connect with very well - it’s an amazing film. Now if only I could see black./womyn.:conversations sometime soon. 

Art – Improv Everywhere

For those of you who don’t know Improv Everywhere is a group that does odd things and videotapes them along with the reactions of bystanders. They are awesome. It’s this great display of spontaneous art and I love not only the ideas they come up with but the reactions of some of the bystanders as well because some of them are truly hilarious.

Previous stunts include the No-Pants Subway Ride, Frozen Grand Central, The MP3 Experiments and what may be my favorite of all time Food Court Musical. Of course I could hope they had some political or progressive message but that’s just me loving when identity politics and art come together (maybe it’s something to think about starting up when I’m done with Grad School). I urge you all to check out their website and all the wonderful videos they have up.
Here’s just a sampling!

No Pants 2k8

Frozen Grand Central

Food Court Musical

This post came about because I just watched their Latest Mission video Human Mirror which was good but not as good as some of these classics!

Online Art & A Poll!

- I’ve been trying to keep you guys up with vito_excalibur’s wonderful art alters where she plays with the gender of such classic characters as Power Girl & ‘Beauty & The Beast’ and with the nationality/racial representation of Wonder Woman. Well Alters #4 is up and this time it’s her take on The Joker & Dr. Harley Quinn. I’m really loving this art series and this one is no exception so head over, take a look at her representation and tell her how much you love them! 

- In other news though I’ve posted a nominee post over at Feminist SF! – The Blog. Head over, read it and list the five F/SF novels you find the most obscure or underrated!

- I’m still up on the fence about writing more of my WisCon recap.

Books, Books, Art & More Books!

My two packages from WisCon are supposed to be delivered today and I am too excited for words! One box contains the two complementary pieces of art I picked up “She is Bodymod” and “He is Bodymod” by the amazing Rhea Ewing. The other box contains about 50 pounds of books, which brings me around to my next point. Generally when I read I attempt to alternate one F/SF book then one Theory (feminist, anti-racist, anti-classcist, etc.) book, then back to F/SF and so forth but with this massive box of books coming and the realization that I didn’t even get close to reading all the books I got from WisCon last year I’m thinking that the next few months are going to be completely F/SF focused. And trust me there is a range in that box, everything from hard SF to trashy paranormal romance to YA fantasy…

Now we come to my dilemma, do I actively review these books in this blog? This is actually something we touched on in the Blogging panel I was on @ WisCon: reviewing in your journal, how it might affect your chances of publishing and how it might blow up in your face. I mean I think it’s less of an issue with me because my blog is not huge I usually get somewhere from 100-150 hits a day so it’s not like my blog is one of those that gets massive traffic so I feel like it shouldn’t be an issue. At the same time authors google their own name all the time, so they’d find my review easily. Also I review things for the Feminist SF blog all the time.

Hmm…maybe that’s the answer, to review the books in Feminst SF!-The Blog and not in my personal one. I’ll have to think on it. Let me know what you guys think.

Also I’ll try to put a list of these books up or pop them onto my LibraryThing and link there as I get them so you guys can see exactly what I spent my money on!

As for those who are waiting for “WisCon Days 3&4″ Post I don’t know if I want to do it and rehash all my panels (especially the two I felt did not go well) but at the same time I kind of feel the need to. It’s another thing I’m on the fence about.

Okay off to re-track my packages!

Monday Quick Links

Just a couple quick things because I’m exhausted after  weekend mini-vacation and the next two days will be busy, fun and even more exhausting:

Forbe’s Annual 15 Most Wealthy Fictional Characters, number one used to be one of my favorite cartoons!

Cassie Edwards and her publisher part ways, after her plagiarism comes to light. I have issues with Edwards even without the plagiarism, can we say exotification and appropriation? I knew you could! Also you should really head over to www.smartbitchestrashybooks.com and read how this all got brought to light (see blogging can change the world, at least the publishing world) and for their insightful, hilarious commentary.

And last but definitely not least vito-excalibur has her latest alter up: Alter #3 Le Beau et la Bete. Remember I pointed you guys her way after her reinterpretations of Wonder-Woman and Power Girl (Boy). This time she takes on fairytales and Disney and it’s just as fabulous as the others.

 

Abortion Art & Disney Underwear Art

Many of you have probably already heard about Aliza Shvarts art project:

Shvarts’ senior thesis, “a documentation of a nine-month process during which she artificially inseminated herself ‘as often as possible’ while periodically taking abortifacient drugs to induce miscarriages.” Yup, in an attempt to start a dialogue about art and its relationship to the body, Shvarts is displaying plastic sheeting reportedly smeared with the uterine blood and tissue from her various miscarriages and projecting video of herself miscarrying into a bathtub.

There’s been a lot of anger and hatred directed at Shvarts and to tell you the truth I don’t know exactly how I feel about the project. I am vehemently pro-choice and that means I believe that Shvarts can make her own choices as too what to do with her body and I don’t have the right to tell her “No” or “Don’t”. Does that mean the idea of this doesn’t disturb me? Or that I don’t think her choices are problematic? Not at all, but it’s not on me to control her and what she does with her body I can only control my actions and reactions.

Discounting the fact that the only proof we have of her having the miscarriages is a video, which could be faked or not, and a jar of blood which could simply be menstrual blood (even if she inseminated herself every day there is no guarantee she got pregnant every month or any month). After reading a couple of articles I don’t know if the art had enough thought or focus for me to agree to these acts being art and at the same time who am I to decide what art is. And the idea that Shvarts didn’t know people would be shocked or up in arms over this is disingenuous at best but it’s a complex issue and I think some folks are not looking at it that way. Some are looking at the complexity of the issue and they’re pissed off and that’s their feelings on it, I’m not here to validate or invalidate that.

However, for a counterpoint to the prevailing viewpoint that Shvarts is wrong and the art has no merit I suggest you head over and read Conception and Miscarriage Art over at Badgermama. If nothing else it will make you think on what exactly constitutes an abortion and how much of this is about the language Shvarts chose to use as opposed to her actual acts.

ETA: Turns out it was all a hoax which actually makes me more inclined to consider it performance art.

On a lighter art note an artist has redrawn a lot of the male heroes from Disney films as underwear models. I’ll admit it was a little odd to see Aladdin, Shang, Prince Eric, John Henry et. al. done up like pin-ups in tighty-whiteys but it was also more than a little hilarious and I will say this the art is good. The figures are instantly recognizable and they are drawn really well. Go check it out, wreck your childhood images of Prince Eric (let me add that one of my favorite extras in the art is the mermaid tattoo on Eric’s arm).
 

Alteration of Classic Comic Characters (for the better)

Vito_Excalibur on livejournal has started a series of drawings called where she alters classic comic characters in interesting, gorgeous and feminist ways. She’s only done two so far but they tickle me so much and I recommend everyone go check them out and comment on their fabulousness.

Alter #1: Wonder Woman - What a wonder woman who actually looks greek and doesn’t wear America’s colors? Surely you jest.

Alter #2 Power Boy (Power Girl) – She even digs up the ridiculous response to people who’ve questioned the validity of her (Power Girl’s) cut-out costume, switches the pronouns and applies it to the drawing.

Let her know how much you enjoy these and keep an eye out for the next in the series.