happy talky talky

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(Please tell me you know the image above, or this post’s title just falls apart. )

There’s been a whole lot of tres-productive chit-chatting going on lately and soonly, ladies and germs. Friday, I caught part of last post’s panel discussion at CCA: a whole passle of smart, engaged, creative women talking about art and feminism and other sundry topics. Large panels can be challenging: so much to say, so many voices, so little time. The event really felt like it should have been the keynote conversation to a much, much larger symposium, as opposed to just a brief 2 hour conversation.

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What I heard regarding feminism and the state of the arts was pretty juicy, but since I wasn’t there for the whole thing, I didn’t hear/don’t know if there was any conversation regarding a recent little peeve of mine, which is how to encourage men to be more active collaborators and participants in this work. It just seems like at present, women are kicking some major bootae, and enjoying our superwomen status to degrees, buutt…we’re going to burn out. We are burning out. And this labor needs to be shared with our man-panions, not done by us alone.

I’m more and more convinced that while yes, we’ve made great strides towards equality, we’re still nowhere near actually being there. The statistics that keep coming up in a whole host of articles I’ve been reading lately are clear indicators that women are still not on equal footing with men in a multitude of professions. In the art world in particular, I can’t really speak to the market (although I’m told that male artists’ selling prices are still consistently higher than female artists): mostly, I’m watching this play out more and more in the women I know compulsively multi-tasking and often putting their own art practices on the back-burner for the sake of some greater good, and men just… focusing on their own careers. I don’t think that most artsy men I know are interested in being oppressive or regressive vis-a-vis equality/diversity/representation: it seems like they’re unclear on what their role is supposed to be, and they’re not being actively brought into the conversation or expected to participate, so they just kind of default to just…doing their own thing. Not to make excuses for them. And I don’t think this is true of everyone, so if this doesn’t sound like you, don’t sweat it. It is a pattern that I’ve been sensitive to lately, though: I’d be curious where other people are at on this matter.

Anyway. More talky-talky. Went to a nice little brown bag lunch discussion about Make You Notice at the SFAC Gallery today: Patricia Maloney did an elegant job of describing the show, her curatorial process and the work of the artists, Meg Shiffler helped shape the conversation, and Laura Swanson and I piped in here and there to talk about our work in the first-person, as well. I really liked the format of the discussion: a meal, a conversational tone, all around a couple of tables in the front of the gallery. It felt like a nice, intimate salon-like experience.

From there, I hustled over to USF for my Fil Am Arts class. We had a special double-feature in the form of two artists, Eliza Barrios and Renetta Sitoy, speaking about their work. They were the last 2 speakers for the semester, following visits from Charles Valoroso, Carlos Villa, and Stephanie Syjuco. There’s something about having a live artist talking about their practice that just makes it so much easier to connect with art: especially in a class that’s still unfamiliar territory to most, hearing an artist share his/her experience directly makes all the difference in the world. Even though I’ve known most of these presenters’ work for years, I’m always so delighted by what they actually say about their own art practice.

What else? Jeez, I should have known a post about talking would ramble on a bit. Ah. Yes: this Friday, I’m talking about my work at UC Merced (the newest UC school!), as part of a temporary position that I’m applying for there. And this Saturday, Christine Wong Yap and I are talking about our work in the Sorry! exhibition at Frey Norris Gallery. Since I wasn’t able to be at the actual opening reception a couple of weeks ago, we all conspired and devised a way to have a second social event there, to continue engaging with gallery-goers on a more personal level.

So. Wish me luck on the Merced presentation, and here are the deets on Saturday’s talk:

Artist Talk: Wofford and Wong Yap Yapping
Saturday, April 19
1 to 3 pm (I highly doubt we’ll be monologuing for 2 hours, though!)
Frey Norris Gallery
456 Geary St, SF 94102

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And if the film-stills book-ending this post are still a sad mystery to you, click here to read the best synopsis EVER of this melodious/odious extravaganza. (Talk about men and women working out their issues. In song. For real.)

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