Thursday, October 15
USA: 10am PT, 11am MT, 12pm CT, 1pm ET
EUROPE: Scotland/Ireland/England:18:00 GMT, Belgium/Germany/Spain: 19:00 UTC
During the last two Performative Dialogues in September the role of ritual, the spiritual, and healing of the Earth and self have been recurring themes in artists work. For this dialogue we will continue to explore these areas within the framework of feminism and environmental issues with five of our members who have made ecofeminist works since the 1970s.
Three artists included in Performative Ecologies will discuss their work in the exhibition including Fern Shaffer, Dominique Mazeaud and Bonnie Ora Sherk. Members Betsy Damon and Gilah Yelin Hirsch will also join in the discussion and members Gloria Orenstein and Mary Jo Aaguerston will participate as respondents.
Please review the links below to familiarize yourself with current thinking on ecofeminism as it relates to ecoart or ecological art in preparation for what promises to be a rich discussion, one for the archive. This will be in the style of a Webinar format. Participants will be muted and we ask that you turn off your video feature. The dialogue will be recorded for 1.5 hours. Additional Q&A will go to 2 hours maximum.
ecofeminism (Prezi) class presentation CLICK HERE
our changing climate (video) CLICK HERE
ecofeminism to escape collapse CLICK HERE
Bonnie Ora Sherk is an environmental performance sculptor, landscape architect, planner, educator, and founder of A Living Library. Her pioneering conceptual performances in the 1970s evolved into systemically integrated community programs and/or hands-on transformative, interdisciplinary curriculum. Sherk founded Crossroads Community (the farm) in 1974, a pioneering, urban agriculture, environmental education, multi-arts, community gathering place that incorporated a major freeway interchange in San Francisco. She has staged several performance-based interventions that bring the experience of nature into unexpected locations including “pop-up” parklets.
Fern Shaffer is an American painter, performance artist, lecturer and environmental advocate. Her work arose in the 1980s in conjunction with an emerging Ecofeminism movement that brought together environmentalism, feminist values and spirituality to address shared concern for the Earth and all forms of life. She has been a long-time activist for women in art through her involvement and leadership at the Chicago alternative art space Artemisia Gallery and through her work with the National Women’s Caucus for Art. Shaffer’s ritual work was featured on the cover and written about in The Reenchantment of Art by Suzi Gablik in 1991.
Dominique Mazeaud came to the US from France in 1967. She lived in New York City for twenty years and in 1979 attended Experience Week at Findhorn, the ecovillage in Scotland, where a deep artistic path was revealed to her through mystical experiences in nature. “What is the spiritual in art in our time?” then became the question that guided her work, and still to this day. In 1987 Mazeaud moved to Santa Fe, where her encounters with the Rio Grande inspired over twenty performative projects to date including The Great Cleansing of the Rio Grande 1987-1994, featured in Suzi Gablik’s The Reenchantment of Art published in 1991.
Gilah Yelin Hirsch is a multidisciplinary artist, whose art, films, papers, books have been exhibited and published internationally since 1968. She has received numerous grants and awards for her “innovative blending of science and art revealing existing relationships between forms in nature, forms in human physiology and the forms that are present in all alphabets.” Hirsch was a founder of the Feminist Art Movement (LACWA, Los Angeles Council of Women Artists) in California in the early 70s and in the early 80’s was a pioneer in psychoneuroimmunology focusing on the power of art to heal.
Betsy Damon is an internationally-recognized artist whose public work and living systems, such as the Living Water Garden, have received widespread acclaim. She directs Keepers of the Waters, a nonprofit focused on ecological planning, advocacy and education. Damon was a semi-finalist for the Buckminster Fuller Award and a finalist for the Stockholm Water Prize. Damon has lectured widely in the U.S., Europe and China, and has been a visiting artist at countless colleges and universities.
Gloria Orenstein is a feminist art critic, pioneer in the field of the women of Surrealism and scholar of ecofeminism in the arts. In 1987, she co-created an ecofeminist conference titled ECOFEMINIST Perspectives: Culture, Nature, Theory at the University of Southern California, and in 1990 co-edited the book Reweaving the World: The Emergence of ecofeminism, which is considered a seminal ecofeminist text. Orenstein later apprenticed with a Samiland Shaman.
Mary Jo Aagerstoun is an art historian and environmental activist from West Palm Beach. She founded EcoArt South Florida, 2008-2015, a nonprofit ecological art advocacy organization that sponsored more than a dozen projects. She’s currently working on a book, Living on the Edge: Ecological Art for the Anthropocene (provisional title), a study of twelve ecological art projects, which she will examine through the lens of recent ecofeminist theory.
Gif images (top): Bonnie Ora Sherk, Sitting Still I, 1970. Army Street/101 Freeway Interchange Construction Zone, San Francisco. ©Bonnie Ora Sherk; Gilah Yelin Hirsch, Forming, 1979, oil on linen, 36 inches diameter ©Gilah Yelin Hirsch; Betsy Damon, The Memory of Clean Water, 1985 ©Betsy Damon; Fern Shaffer in collaboration with Othello Anderson, Winter Solstice, Lake Michigan, Illinois, 1985 ©Fern Shaffer; Dominique Mazeaud, The Great Cleansing of the Rio Grande (1987-1992) ©Dominique Mazeaud.