Critical Writing Index

Part-time feminist

by Anna Watkins Fisher

Moving Image Review & Art Journal (MIRAJ), 2015, v. 4, no. 1&2, pp. 216-228

A conversation between Anna Watkins Fisher and performance artist Lauren Barri Holstein about Holstein's work and the fractured identity of feminism today.

Holstein's performances mostly remix well-worn, often white, western, hetero- female stereotypes (such as sex kitten, fairytale princess, oversexed sex-worker), to render visible a "bad object" of an exhausted contemporary feminism. Using humour, indifference and appropriation as strategy, the artist intends to create ambigious or in-between space. For her, this is where the questions arise.

The two scholars also discuss Holstein's appropriation of 1960s and 1970s feminist body artists such as Carolee Schneemann and Karen Finley, which the artists deploys deliberately as a metacitational feminist strategy. According to Holstein, there has been a neoliberalist appropriation of feminist ideals in popular culture, that are consequently deployed to undo feminism. The artist's performances can be seen as a countermove to reappropriate feminism back to the intentions sprung from the 1960s and 1970s.

ITEM 2015.050 – available for viewing in the Research Centre

Videos, Artworks and Artists Cited

SplatLauren Barri Holstein

SplatThe Famous Lauren Barri Holstein

Carolee Schneemann

Karen Finley