Ciclo de Seminários WOMANART #6
Sala de reuniões CEHUM, 14:30h
Abstract: This presentation, based on Sneed’s doctoral dissertation at the City University of New York, examines performances-for-camera (performance art made for video and film) by Brazilian women artists based between Latin America and New York during the period of the Brazilian dictatorship (1964–1985). These include works by Sonia Andrade, Anna Bella Geiger, Anna Maria Maiolino, Lygia Pape, Leticia Parente, and Regina Vater. This research analyzes their works from the 1970s and early 1980s, arguing that they posed a form of gendered resistance to the authoritarianism of the Brazilian dictatorship and to U.S. cultural and economic imperialism in Brazil. It considers the various strategies these women artists employed to resist authoritarianism in their daily lives as social and political subjects of the dictatorship. The approach of this research and the analysis of their work is feminist, even though not all of these artists self-identified as such. This presentation contends that their performances-for-camera staged a form of artistic resistance to the underlying patriarchal foundations of the authoritarian regime, and to the paternalism of U.S. socio-economic interventionism in Brazil in the 1970s and 1980s. It shows how these women artists rooted their resistance in their own gendered subjectivities, expressed through bodily and affective excess, gendered masquerade, and explorations of public and private spaces. Because their performances were privately recorded and presented to limited audiences, the medium of performance-for-camera helped them to critique the cultural and political status quo at a time when openly voicing dissent was dangerous. This project not only provides one of the first feminist analyses of Brazilian performances-for-camera, it also provides a unique transnational study of feminist practices across the Americas, and analyzes the complicated economic and political relationship between the U.S. and Brazil during the period. It highlights parallels between Brazil and the U.S. and the patriarchal underpinnings of extremist right wing governments in both countries, as well as the strategies women artists have taken to challenge and resist these hegemonies, then and now.
Biography: Gillian Sneed is a Ph.D. candidate in art history at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York, where her research interests include contemporary Latin American art, women’s performance and media art practices, and global conceptualism. She has written for AWARE Magazine, Women's Art Journal, Flash Art International, Texte zur Kunst online, and Art in America online, and she has taught courses on modern and contemporary art across the Americas at the New School Parsons, the City College of New York, and the Museum of Modern Art.