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Monday, 8 November 2010

The Body In Women's Art Now: Part 2 Flux

I am lucky enough to live in Murray Edwards college where I am surrounded by demanding and significant works of contemporary art by women. Art lines the corridors, fills the dining hall, marks the way to the library and announces my return to college. I live in an art space where inevitably these works colour my daily life. This is why an exhibition like Flux causes so much controversy amongst the residents; however monumental or important this exhibition may be in the dialogue about contemporary womens art, we have to live with it for the next three weeks. The temporary exhibitions corridor is also where students wait for their supervisions and we have to wonder whether the images they are faced with might encroach upon their academic dialogue and thinking.

Still from Djurberg's video The Mother

In this exhibition actually, there is one artist's work which forces me to question its inclusion. Last year Sigalit Landau's video, barbed hula made me flinch with its haunting presence at the end of the tunneled corridor, but I couldn't deny that this reaction was what imbued the work with its power. This year my aversion to the claymation video work of Nathalie Djurberg cannot be so easily reconciled with my ideas about Art. As a clay female rapes a man by using his nose to penetrate herself, I struggle to see what this gratuitous violence constitutes in terms of feminist argument. The fact that it all happens in clay doesn't help matters either. It is still uncomfortably explicit. I'm not sure what my horror is supposed to mean or do?

I will post more soon about the enormous merits and successes of this exhibition.

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