Symposium 2010

Changing Attitudes: Attuning Feminist Legacies 

November 30, 2010
The Temporary Stedelijk, Amsterdam 

To mark its fifth anniversary, ArtTableNederland organised, in collaboration with the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, a conference on the contemporary position of women in the arts. Key point in this project was the examination of the different feminist legacies, as well as the obstacles women may encounter today and in the future in the realisation of their ambitions. In this transgenerational debate women from the Netherlands and abroad, who have made their mark in the field of art and culture, shared their experiences and perspectives. 

The conference had a two-segment programme dedicated to feminist legacies in the visual arts. The first part was dedicated to the present or presence of these legacies in the arts and the second part is devoted looking at the future of feminism. Four experts, women who are known for their involvement in feminist issues, gave their views per segment. The debate and interviews were led by one moderator.

Panel I:
Present/Presence of the feminist legacy in the visual arts

This panel investigates whether the issues of feminisms past (which are not necessarily over) are still relevant for contemporary feminisms. What exactly is the feminist legacy and how is the ideology of previous generations of feminists articulated in contemporary art and art practices? Does the Women’s Movement or feminism still play a role for a younger generation of art practitioners? If so, should certain issues be recalibrated or are we still dealing with the same problems? Have the strategies that women use in the art world changed? In short: is feminism a history, a legacy or an urgent topic?

Cornelia Butler, curator Museum of Modern Art (New York)
Mirjam Westen, curator Museum voor Moderne Kunst (Arnhem)
Maria Roosen, artist (Arnhem)
Camille Morineau, curator Centre Pompidou (Paris)

Hendrik Folkerts, Curator Public Program, Stedelijk Museum (Amsterdam)

Panel II:
Future of the feminist legacy in the visual arts

Looking from the present to the future of feminism and women ́s issues in the arts, we may rightly wonder ‘what’s next?’. Which ideals and goals should women focus on and how can the right strategies be devised to get there? Should ‘we’ sail under feminist colours or are they outmoded nowadays? Is there even a ‘we’ left? And if more women will be in charge, occupying important positions in the art world, what kind of cultural changes would that cause? What kind of changes are we hoping for? This panel seeks to engage directly with these important questions, in order to articulate the feminist legacies of the future and see if feminism really is a changing attitude.

Silvia Eiblmayr, curator (Austria)
Jo Baer, artist (Amsterdam)
Ellen de Bruijne, gallery owner (Amsterdam)
Iris van der Tuin, university teacher Genderstudies (Utrecht)

Kitty Zijlmans, professor of History and theory of art in the new age, University of Leiden