Desire Change: Contemporary Feminist Art in Canada

Front Cover
Heather Davis
McGill-Queen's Press - MQUP, Jun 26, 2017 - Art - 329 pages
In the resistance to the violence of gender-based oppression, vibrant – but often ignored – worlds have emerged, full of nuance, humour, and beauty. Correcting an absence of writing about contemporary feminist work by Canadian artists, Desire Change considers the resurgence of feminist art, thought, and practice in the past decade by examining artworks that respond to themes of diversity and desire. Essays by historians, artists, and curators present an overview of a range of artistic practices including performance, installation, video, textiles, and photography. Contributors address the desire for change through three central frames: how feminist art has significantly contributed to the complex understanding of gender as it intersects with sexuality and race; the necessary critique of patriarchy and institutions as they relate to colonization within the Canadian nation-state; and the ways in which contemporary critiques are formed and expressed. The resulting collection addresses art through an activist lens to examine intersectional feminism, decolonization, and feminist institution building in a Canadian context. Heavily illustrated with representative works, Desire Change raises both the stakes and the concerns of contemporary feminist art, with an understanding that feminism is always and necessarily plural. Contributors include Janice Anderson (Concordia University), Gina Badger (artist, writer, editor, Toronto), Noni Brynjolson (writer, San Diego), Amber Christensen (curator and writer, Toronto), Karin Cope (NSCAD), Lauren Fournier (artist, writer, and curator, York University), Amy Fung (curator and writer, Toronto), Kristina Huneault (Concordia University), Alice Ming Wai Jim (Concordia University), Tanya Lukin Linklater (artist, North Bay), Sheila Petty (University of Regina), Kathleen Ritter (curator and writer, Vancouver), Daniella Sanader (curator and writer, Toronto), Thérèse St. Gelais (UQAM), cheyanne turions (curator and writer, Toronto), Ellyn Walker (Queen’s University), Jayne Wark (NSCAD) and Jenny Western (curator and writer, Winnipeg).

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Contents

Introduction
3
A Genealogy of Feminist Art in Canada
19
Intersections of Sexuality Gender Race
56
Decolonization
134
Institutional Critique and Feminist Praxis
196
Appendix There Is No Feminism A Love Letter Or A Working Chronology of Feminist Art Infrastructures in Canada
270
Illustrations
301
Contributors
307
Index
311
Copyright

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About the author (2017)

Heather Davis is a postdoctoral fellow at the Institute for the Arts and Humanities at Pennsylvania State University.

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