Art Exhibition Class

Exhibition Planning &
Gallery Management

Curating and Feminism > Digital Cliff Notes





FEMINISM AND CURATING First and Second Wave 1960-70s: Essentialism and Constructivism Third Wave Feminism 1980-90s: Sexual Difference Fourth Wave Feminism 1990-Present: Performativity
Question Essentailism / Constructivism Difference Perfomativity
Method Distantiation Theories of Sexual Difference Theories of Power / Knoweldge
Vision Male Gaze Theory Matrixial Anthropomorphic Gaze
Theory Freud-Lacan / Mulvey Ettinger-Pollock Butler / Foucault
Narrative Specific Positions Specific Histories / Her-Stories Specific Bodies
Direction Past Oriented Matrilineage Present Oriented Future Oriented
Space Rejection of the Cartesian Subject Restaging the Cartesian Subject Beyond the Cartesian Subject
Power Symetry of Power Asymetry of Power Micro-Physics 
Politic Feminist Post-Feminist Para-Feminist 
Dialectic Self / Other Humor / Seriousness  


PRIMARY DIALECTIC: Subjection (no autonomy) / Autonomy / Intersectionality (post-aiutonomy)


4 Waves of Pyscho-socio-cultural Development and : Carol Gillian, Women, Moral Judgement and Responsibility

First and Second Wave: Pragmatic-Survival (Judgement form within) to Subject Citizen (Judgement from without) | Third Wave: Intention-Consequences (Demand for honesty-assumption of responsibility) | Fourth Wave: Integral Intentionality (Conscious-Intentional Connections)



1. Question: Essentailism / Constructivism

2. Method: Distantiation

3. Vision: Male Gaze Theory

4. Theory: Freud-Lacan / Mulvey

5. Narrative: Specific Positions

6. Direction: Past Oriented Matrilineage

7. Space: Rejection of the Cartesian Subject

8. Power: Symetry of Power

9. Politic: Feminist

10. Dialectic: Self / Other



First and second wave essentialism / constructivism: In feminist theory and gender studies, gender essentialism is the attribution of a fixed essence to women. Women's essence is assumed to be universal and is generally identified with those characteristics viewed as being specifically feminine. These ideas of femininity are usually biologized are often preoccupied with psychological characteristics, such as nurturance, empathy, support, and non-competitiveness, etc. Second Wave picked up on “constructivist theories” which challenged essentialism, but understanding the full implications of essentialism remained the focus of much second wave work.


1. Question: Difference

2. Method: Theories of Sexual Difference

3. Vision: Matrixial

4. Theory: Ettinger-Pollock

5. Narrative: Specific Histories / Her-Stories

6. Direction: Present Oriented

7. Space: Restaging the Cartesian Subject

8. Power: Asymetry of Power

9. Politic: Post-Feminist

10. Dialectic: Humor / Seriousness



Third wave sexual difference (non-binary): Sexual difference theorists, whether working from a radical feminist tradition or from a psychoanalytic feminist tradition, insist on the specificity of female embodiment, a horizon which becomes invisible when the male is taken as the norm of the human.


1. Question: Perfomativity

2. Method: Theories of Power / Knoweldge

3. Vision: Anthropomorphic Gaze

4. Theory: Butler / Foucault

5. Narrative: Specific Bodies

6. Direction: Future Oriented

7. Space: BEyond the Cartesian Subject

8. Power: Micro-Physics

9. Politic: Para-Feminist, Intersectionality

10. Dialectic



Fourth wave intersectionality (simultaneity): Intersectionality is a concept often used in critical theories to describe the ways in which oppressive institutions (racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, ableism, xenophobia, classism, etc.) are interconnected and cannot be examined separately from one another.



Study Guide: Curating, Feminism and Stages in Interpersonal Development

Carol Gillain: ETHICS OF CARE Politics Stages in Interpersonal Development
1st and 2nd Wave: Essentialism / Constructivism Feminism Care without Comformity
3rd Wave: Sexual Difference Post-Feminism Care in relation to Conventions
4th Wave: Performativity Para-Feminism Dynamic Interchange of Care


Carol Gillian: Ethics of Care and Interpersonal Development

Carol Gillain  The Question of Care Care Without Confomity Care in Relation to Conventions Dynamic interchange of Care 
Stages Preconventional Conventional Postconventional
Expectation Individual Societal Universal
Relations Ego-centric Shared norms Reflective consciousness
Model Caring for the self Caring for others Caring for connections
Subject Subject of Pragmatic Survival Subject-Citizen Subject of Intention-Consequence
Orientation Selfishness to Repsonsibility Goodness to Truth Truth to Honesty
Transformation Emergent Notion of Self-Worth Enlarged Notion of Self-Worth Transformed unerstanding of Self-Worth
Integration Loneliness to Adolescence Dependence to Independence Assumption of Responsibility Healthy Interdependence
Criticism Self-Criticism Criticism of Society Criticism of Inequality
Judgement Judgement from within Judgement from without Judgement of the true and the good





Week 1

Seeing Differently: A History and Theory of Identification and the Visual Arts.

By Amelia Jones.

[  ] Chapter 2: Art as Binary Proposition: Identity as a Binary Proposition


Week 2

Curating Differently: Feminisms, Exhibitions and Curatorial Spaces.

By Jessica Sjoholm.

[  ] Chapter 1: Curatorial Strategies on the Art Scene During the Feminist Movement: Los Angeles in the 1970s. By Eva Zetterman.

[  ] Chapter 2: A Short History of Women’s Exhibitions from the 1970s to the 1990s: Between Feminist Struggles and Hegemonic Appropriation. By Doris Guth.


Week 3

Feminism is Still Our Name: Seven Essays on Historiography and Curatorial Practices.

By Malin Hedlin Hayden, Jessica Sjoholm Skrubbe, Mary Kelly, Amelia Jones, Griselda Pollock, Lolita Jablonskiene, and Rene Baert.

[  ] Chapter 2: The Return of Feminism(s) and the Visual Arts, 1970/2009. By Amelia Jones


Week 4

New Museum Theory and Practice: An Introduction

Edited by Janet Marstine

[  ] Chapter 2: Feminist Strategies and Practices Since the 1970s. By Katy Deepwell


Week 5

Otherwise: Imagining Queer Feminist Art Histories (Rethinking Arts Histories).

By Amelia Jones and Erin Silver.

[  ] Chapter 1: Queer Feminist Art History, an Imperfect Genealogy


Week 6

Working with Feminism: Curating and Exhibitions in Eastern Europe.

By Katrin Kivimaa and Angela Dimitrakaki

[  ] Feminist Politics and Institutional Critique: Imagining a Curatorial Commons. By Angela Dimitrakaki


Week 7

Feminist Art Theory: An Anthology 1968-2014

Edited by Hilary Robinson [  ] 1.2 Curarting Feminisms. Art and Feminism: An Ideology of Shifting Criteria. By Cornelia Butler


Week 8

On Curating Issue 29: Curating in Feminist Thought.

By Dorothee Richter and Elke Krasny

[  ] Feminist Subjects versus Feminist Effects: The Curating of Feminist Art (or is it the Feminist Curating of Art?). By Amelia Jones

[  ] Feminst Perspectives on Curating. By Dorathee Richter

[  ] Taking Care: Feminist Curatorial Pasts, Presents and Futures. Roundtable with Victoria Horne, Kristen Lloyd, Jenny Richards and Catherine Spencer


Week 9

Museums, Equality and Social Justice.

Edited by Richard Sandell and Eithne Nightingale

[  ] Unpacking Gender: Creating Complex Models for Gender Inclusivity in Museums. By Amy K. Levin


Week 10

CASE STUDY: Number Shows 1969-74


From Conceptualism to Feminism: Lucy Lippard’s Number Shows 1969-74. (exhibition histories). By Cornelia Butler and other authors. 

By Lucy Lippard, Connie Butler, Peter Plagens and Griselda Pollock.

[  ] Introduction: From Conceptualism to Feminism

[  ] Women – Concept – Art: Lucy Lippard’s Numbers Shows

[  ] Lucy Lippard in Correspondence with Antony Hudek

[  ] Locating ‘2,972, 453’: Lucy Lippard in Argentina


Week 11

From Conceptualism to Feminism: Lucy Lippard’s Number Shows 1969-74. (exhibition histories). By Cornelia Butler and other authors. 

[  ] '557.087' Seattle

[  ] '955,000' Vancover

[  ] '557,087' / '955,000' Catalog

[  ] ''2,972,453' Buenos Aires'

[  ] 'c.7,500' Valenica, California and touring

[  ] 557,087: Seattle


Week 12

From Conceptualism to Feminism: Lucy Lippard’s Number Shows 1969-74. (exhibition histories). By Cornelia Butler and other authors. 

[  ] A Response to '26 Conceptual Artists in London' By. Griselda Pollock 1971

[  ] Seth Siegelaub in Conversation with Jo Melvin

[  ] Interview with exhibiting artists by Alexandra Schwartz

Eleanor Antin. email excerpt.

Anges Denes in conversation

Alice Aycock in conversation

Mierle LAderman Ukeles in conversation


Week 13

A Brief History of Curating.

By Hans Ulrich Obrist

[  ] Lucy Lippard (interview)


Week 14

Drawing Us In: How we experience Visual Art. A Beacon Anthology

[  ] Doubletake: The Diary of a Relationship with an image. By Lucy Lippard


CURATORIAL THEORIES Curating and Feminism Curating and Race Curating and LGBTQplus Curating

Women Artists 1550-1950, 76'

Sexual Politics: Judy Chicago's Dinner Party

The Negro in Art Week

NAACP, High Schools, Community Centers, Churchs, Libraries, YMCA

Desable Museum

IAM (International African Museum of Detroit)

Anacostia Neighborhood Museum


Uranism, Sanctuarium Artis Elisarion

The Sapphists

Gertrude Stein's Circle

The Other Surrealists

The Bloomsbusy Group 

Alfred Stieglitz's Gallery



Harlem on My Mind, The MET

Whitney Exhibtions, 69-71'

The DeLuxe Show 71'

LACMA, Los Angeles 1972: A Panorama of Black Artists

Womanspace, Black Mirror, 73'

Two Centuries of Black American Art, LACMA 76'

Anacostia, Out of Africa, 79'

The Harlem Renaissance

The Lost Generation

The New Women

Post-Essentialists, Johns and Rauschenberg

Francis Bacon

THIRD WAVE Wack! Art and the Feminist Revolution, 07'

Jean Michel Basquiat & Neo-Expressionism

Chris Ofili, YBA's & The New Sensationalism

Karen Walker

Kehinde Wiley 

National Museum of American History, After the Revolution: Everyday Life in America, 85'

Museum of the Confederacy, Before Freedom Came, 91' 

Black Mael: Representations of Masculinty in Contemporary American Art, 1994-95'

Frequency, Studio Musuem in Harlem


David Hockey

Andy Warhol (Pop Art)

Keither Haring (Neo-Expressionism) 

Ross Bleckner (Neo-Geo)






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