Who Counts? A Feminist Art Throwdown Symposium

  • Friday, October 3–Sunday, October 5, 2014

Symposium about art, feminism and artist-run culture: Friday, October 3 – Sunday, October 5, 2014

Lectures, debates and exhibitions will bring together feminists, artists and representatives from artist-run centres across Canada to discuss feminist art in Canada now. There are so many things we need to talk about! Has gender equality in the visual arts been achieved? Why not? How have images by women evolved? Images of women? Is the male gaze still omnipresent? Is there a corresponding female gaze? What is the impact on art of a shifting object/subject position? How does the visual representation of women reflect (and construct) the position of women in society? Has feminist art been co-opted into old structures of race and class hierarchies? How have different cultural perspectives shifted first-world, white feminism and artmaking generally? What is the relationship between neo-liberalism, feminism and the art object? And more! This symposium is in partnership with the Artist-Run Centres and Collectives Conference (ARCA).

MAWA 30th Anniversary Brochure

MAWA 30th Anniversary Events Listing

Symposium Event Schedule:

Friday, October 3

noon-1pm at Cinematheque (NEW VENUE!)
On Knowing When to Shut Up and Listen, an intergenerational First Friday lecture about the future of feminist art by Stephanie Poruchnyk-Butler and Sigrid Dahle. See p. 2 for details.

All Winnipeg galleries open and exhibiting Manitoba and Indigenous women’s artwork in recognition of MAWA’s 30th birthday and contribution to the community. Join MAWA for the closing reception for our members’ showcase, The Power of 30, coordinated by curator Jennifer Smith. Jump on the free party bus that will roam between exhibitions.

Saturday, October 4

All Winnipeg galleries open and exhibiting Manitoba and Indigenous women’s artwork.

“What Is Feminist Art?” — panelists duke it out, presenting examples of artworks they believe are feminist, artworks they believe are not, and why. Featuring down-and-dirty Sharlene Bamboat (Toronto), keepin’-it-Riel Cathy Mattes (Brandon) and lay-it-on-the-line Joan Borsa (Saskatoon), refereed by Dominique Rey (Winnipeg). The Garrick Theatre, 330 Garry St. Free!

“Is Art Gendered?” — an Oxford-style debate pitting two teams of opinionated art divas: Amy Fung (Vancouver), Seema Goel (Winnipeg), Kristin Nelson (Winnipeg) and Praba Pilar (Winnipeg), refereed by Diana Thorneycroft (Winnipeg). The Garrick Theatre. Free!

The Throwdown Hoedown! Winnipeg arts administrators go head-to-head, DJ-ing all-women’s dance music assisted by DJ Mawa Cutsworth. The Marlborough Hotel, 331 Smith St. $10.

Sunday, October 5

The Wendy Wersch Memorial Lecture: Possibility: Art, Community and Changing the World by Sheila Spence at the University of Manitoba School of Art’s new ARTlab. Free!

Reception for They Made A Day Be A Day Here curated by Amy Fung at the University of Manitoba School of Art Gallery.

Free! No need to register … just show up! Everyone is welcome!

  • Sigrid Dahle, a recent graduate of the University of Manitoba MFA program, is a Winnipeg-based artist-curator and art writer. She has been thinking, conversing, reading, writing, researching, mentoring, speaking, listening, teaching, learning and making exhibitions for over 25 years. Currently Dahle is developing a multi-component project for the Manitoba Craft Council that interprets ceramics as a discourse. She clearly remembers a time before MAWA was born.

  • Stephanie Poruchnyk-Butler is a printmaker, writer and zinester princess from Winnipeg. She is the creator of many local zines including Glitter Zine, Trash Divas and 2kdreams. Poruchnyk-Butler is a founding member of Winnipeg’s own feminist arts collective, Sappho Zine Collective, and is excited about encouraging people to make art and share their work.

  • Seema Goel is an artist, writer and craftivist. She draws on her dual background in arts and sciences to focus on the relationship between humans and the natural world, often highlighting contradictions within this relationship and noting the ways in which nature is used to advance human thinking. An eclectic range of materials from wool to projections on buildings allows her to combine high and low tech to engage her viewers through touch, humour and play.

    Photo by Kira Koop

  • Kristin Nelson is a queer artist with a disability born of Northern Irish/Scottish immigrants and Irish settlers, who received a BFA from Emily Carr (2003) and an MFA from Concordia University (2014). Her practice is rooted in object making, using textiles, sound, sculpture and performance. Through a process of examination and re-contextualization, she transforms everyday subjects into larger social concerns. Her work is held in collections including Boralex, BMO, the Province of Manitoba and the Winnipeg Art Gallery.

    Photo courtesy of Comox Valley Art Gallery

  • Praba Pilar is a queer diasporic Colombian artist creating performance art, digital/electronic installations, experimental public talks and workshops in museums, universities, festivals, galleries and streets around the world. Pilar has a long practice critical of extraction-based approaches to technology and a PhD in Performance Studies, co-directs the Hindsight Institute, and can be visited at prabapilar.com.