The Hinterlands of Feminist Art
The chapter provides ethnographic witness to an encounter between U.S. feminist art icon Judy Chicago and fourteen Chinese artists in Yunnan province. As participants in the “women’s art” section of a 2001 restaging of the Communist Red Army’s 1934 Long March as a multi-sited art project, they gathered at Lugu Lake. For an exhibit in this territorial home of the matrilineal Mosuo ethnic minority, Chicago proposed the theme “What If Women Ruled the World.” The international collaboration became a protracted debate about contending ideas about feminism. This nesting of feminist art encounter within global-local and East-West encounters forces a rethinking of conventional center-periphery relations and therefore of discourses about global art and global feminism. Interlocking double binds arising from the art world encounter of Chinese and Western feminisms structured the schizophrenia of mutual recognition, rejection, resistance experienced by Judy Chicago and Chinese artists.