Inside 'Inside the Visible'
Malvern, S. (2012) Inside 'Inside the Visible'. In: Politics in a glass case: exhibiting women's and feminist art. Liverpool University Press, Liverpool. (In Press)
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This essay appears in the first book to examine feminist curatorship in the last 40 years. It undertakes an extended reading of Cathy de Zegher's influential exhibition, Inside the Visible, An Elliptical Traverse of 20th Century Art. In, of and From the Feminine (1995) which proposed that modern art should be understood through cyclical shifts involving the constant reinvention of artistic method and identified four key moments in 20th century history to structure its project. The essay analyses Inside the Visible's concept of an elliptical traverse to raise questions about repetitions and recurrences in feminist exhibitions of the early 1980s, the mid 1990s and 2007 asking whether and in what ways questions of feminist curating have been continuously repeated and reinvented. The essay argues that Inside the Visible was a key project in second wave feminism and exemplified debates about women's time, first theorised by Julia Kristeva. It concludes, however, that 'women's time' has had its moment, and new conceptions of feminism and its history are needed if feminist curating is not endlessly to recycle its past. The essay informs a wider collaborative project on the sexual politics of violence, feminism and contemporary art, in collaboration with Edinburgh and one of the editors of this collection.
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