PGRs forum series at CSA – Melinda Guillén– Big Time Sensuality: Connecting Feminist Art Criticism & Intersectionality

Events — Public Talk Microsoft Teams
15 February 2021, 15:30

In the context of the theme ‘Gender – on nurturing (feminist epistemology and situate knowledge)’, Dr Melinda Guillén will frame and discuss her experience as feminist art historian, and writer within the Los Angeles art scene.

This presentation traces feminist art criticism since the 1960’s in the United States, beginning in New York City with esteemed critic and curator Lucy Lippard and through the 1970’s at the LA Woman’s Building (LAWB), which was co-founded by artists Judy Chicago, Sheila Levrant de Bretteville, and art historian Arlene Raven. Guillén will focus on critical writing as a form of both self-historicization and collaborative advocacy, that distinctly challenges the patriarchal logic of modernist art criticism.

This will conclude by synthesizing these historical lineages with the possibilities intersectional feminism—from bell hooks, Audre Lorde, and others— has to offer art criticism in the urgency of our present moment.

BIO: Dr. Melinda Guillén is a feminist art historian, writer, and organizer based in Southern California. She holds a Ph.D. in Art History, Theory, and Criticism from the Department of Visual Arts at UC San Diego and specializes in contemporary art and feminist theory. She has written essays on socially engaged art, feminism, spatial politics, and critical theory including What’s the Use: Constellations of Art, History, and Knowledge – A Critical Reader (Valiz Publishing, Amsterdam) and Engagement Party: Social Practice at MOCA, 2008-2012. She has presented her work at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, Oakland Museum of California, San Diego Art Institute, Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions (LACE), and Queens Museum of Art, as well as the College Art Association and Arts in Society annual conferences. Her dissertation, “Don’t Need You: Conceptual Art, Feminism, and their Discontents” focuses on the tensions of the individual versus collective identity, political subjectivity, and power through the work of curator and critic Lucy R. Lippard and artists Adrian Piper and Lee Lozano. She is currently expanding the manuscript to include a chapter on famed conceptual artist Yayoi Kusama.

The series aims at opening up the conversation about creative practice research methodologies: how these rise from practice, are applied, and/or lead to interdisciplinary approaches. Through examples of research projects the sessions will ask questions, give new ideas, or highlight problematic instances of the research journey.

A photo of Dr Melinda Guillén.
A photo of Dr Melinda Guillén.

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