Critical Writing Index

From First-Wave to Third-Wave Feminist Art in Israel: A Quantum Leap

by Tal Dekel

Israel Studies, Spring 2011, v. 16, no. 1, pp. 149-178

Feminist art is currently thriving in Israel after having come a long and curvy way. Although early twentieth century Zionism promoted gender equality in the spirit of first-wave feminism, the movement never gathered the momentum needed for it to develop into second-wave feminism. While its influence could be seen in the art of the 1970s, particularly in the United States, feminist ideology remained absent from the work of women artists in Israel. This state of affairs continued until the 1990s, when a turning point occurred. The article shows the influence of second and even third-wave feminism on Israeli women's art. It also considers the reasons for lack of a distinct category of feminist art prior to the 1990s, as well as the conditions and features of its emergence, using the case of American feminist art for comparison. The article demonstrates that although Israeli women artists were initially slow to develop a second-wave feminist ideology, it took them less than a decade to make a "quantum leap" into the next theoretical and practical stage. Within a decade and a half, Israeli women artists caught up with their colleagues overseas and are now creating cutting-edge, relevant, and contemporary feminist art.

NOTE: The author examines works by contemporary Israeli feminist. The artists listed below are those who use video.

ITEM 2011.089 – available for viewing in the Research Centre

Videos, Artworks and Artists Cited

No More TearsHila Lulu Lin

Multiple OrgasmBarbara Hammer

BlindspotsGalia Yahav

At Mid DayAlona Friedberg & Limor Orenstein