I took a blog post down today, thinking that perhaps I had both said too much and not said enough, and that in raising a question I didn't really have an answer for I might have seemed mean-spirited. Anyway the discussion was relevant to art in general, and to art made (mostly) by women specifically, but not perhaps so relevant to art by me. Perhaps you read it; I wondered what the rationale might be for co-opting a term specific to another medium to describe challenging and honourable techniques traditionally used by women. Women's issues, women's art, are topics close to my heart, but not topics I explore in my current work. I don't fight a battle to have my medium taken seriously in the art world. I'm not sure I have the right to comment how someone who does approaches that particular fight. So. A curatorial decision made.

Except. In the name of inclusivity, I've censored myself. I've been uneasy about the post since I published it, which is never a good sign, but I'm equally disquieted by having removed it. There's a cultural force at work here, I think: good girls don't raise the awkward questions, don't make people uncomfortable, don't rock the boat. Sisters stick together. But that's a feminist issue, too, isn't it? We don't all think the same. Surely as professional artists — as adults — we can cope with debate.

So what do you think? Is an artist's blog — attached to their portfolio website — the place to discuss issues that veer toward the political? Or should I be sticking to musings about my own work, stories about my own experience? What engages you?

3 thoughts on “Conversations.

  1. Candy Lawrence

    I guess it depends how strongly you feel about the issue, and whether you have a particular agenda for your blog. I wouldn’t have any problem with you raising an art-world political issue, particularly one related to women’s issues; I think discussion is healthy as long as it remains respectfully voiced.

    I rarely censor anything on my own blog, as long as it remains within the parameters of the blog’s agenda, but have had occasion once or twice to censor disrespectful voices (read ‘trolls’). If you are censoring yourself, perhaps it’s time to think about your agenda here and define it more narrowly or more broadly?

  2. Kim

    A tough and (personal) decision. I am political and have my opinions but I keep them off my blog. But if it was a specific art-related topic that I felt strongly about I would tackle it. Politics can divide people like crazy! However if you’re okay with alienating the odd reader and it’s art-related, why not? It does open debate and I think that’s important.

  3. Frances Post author

    Thanks, Candy. Defining an agenda…I haven’t really set myself any specific parameters. I’ll have to think about that & figure out what they are.


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