Chantal, GPS...and the "Panel"

the above shoe art is from a young artist (marina dempster) who probably wasn't even born when the fresno feminist art experiment came about, but i think she may have benefitted by it's subsequent movement.
after my participation in the gallery 25 show (an off-shoot of the feminist experiment..35 yrs later), i was able to get in contact with another founding member & friend, chantal gadd trauner, a very talented painter. we arranged to meet at my house to catch up with our lives (hers in georgia & mine here in california) as well as to take a short trip to the college, CSUFresno, where it all began to listen to a few speakers from the first wave of the feminist art program, that judy chicago brought to life.
i had long since had quit driving due to health issues and she volunteered to drive. admitting that she wasn't the best of drivers & horrible with directions...so of course her son provided her with a rental with GPS...and of course with a female voice with a british accent :) ...which we quickly infuriated with our own instilled creative directions at times.
we only heard 2 speakers; suzanne lacy, more of a conceptual artist w/ great talent in organizing & documenting large communities of people...she was a bit dry in her presentation. the other speaker, faith wilding, was so natural & charming in the lecture hall and disarmed us with her sense of humor towards that era that we had come to see a glimpse of.
after lunch, chantal & i went to a rather disappointing panel discussion consisting of quite a few of the original 1st wave (fresno-cal arts) group and a couple of additions i wondered about....one a neophyte organizer who was tripping over her tail between her legs, basking in all the "glorious women" around her; and a well deserved woman from the 2nd wave of feminist art group who i questioned only because there was a long under-appreciated professor who continued the feminist art program for 20+ years after judy chicago & rita yokoi left it, who was sitting in the audience.
after a short while, both chantal & i realized that this so-called panel discussion was just a "self-love fest" of the original group...even the questions were from the panelist themselves...only allowing questions from the audience when the group realized the "disconnect" between them & the audience. the speaker only holding general short commentary on questions that reflected a contrary opinion or an acknowledgement to others beyond the original group, who played a huge part to carrying on the energy of the feminist art movement and also helped to pull off the multi-venue & events around campus & the community that they were invited to.
as you can tell i'm a little mad...years ago when camille paglia came onto the scene & questioned the feminist norms, questioned the liberal media, hell just questiioned everything...i for one applauded her. i remember watching a panel of some heavy hitters in the feminist movement at that time...betty friedan & gloria steinem to name a couple...and a young enthusiastic woman in a non-confrontational way brought up the writings of paglia and asked a question about what they felt about it. all of the panelist down-graded paglia, spewed their own aged propoganda...it was if, they all "drank the same kool-aid". i was appalled that they, some of the most influencial women of our times could not see or make room for another opinion other than their own...their own ideas that had narrowed with age, with comfort, with a whole life & lucrative careers based on their stale idioms.
though not on the same international level...these panelist were suffering the same narrowing of opinions & thoughts. i guess it is true, that the glory of the revolutionist is that they will enviably become irrelevent AND that the new revolutionist to follow will need to remember their history BUT NEVER be afraid to question & disguard.

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