Posted by: mkl325 | May 19, 2013

An Evening with Germaine Greer

Last week the school of Art History sponsored a lecture by author and feminist, Germaine Greer, where she discussed Aboriginal Art and the Art Market. So why would a feminist author be invited to talk about art? Greer is actually a rather interesting art historian in her own right. Her book The Obstacle Race is a compelling look at the way in which women artists have been overlooked throughout the centuries, while their, equally talented, male counterparts have thrived in history.

As I was raised in a household that encouraged feminism (my mom has all of her degrees in Women’s History), I was excited for this talk. Although it was interesting talk, it was also a little hard to follow at times. You can tell that her main focus these days is on the political tensions between the Aboriginal peoples and the Australian government, not as much on the art itself. Although she did have some wonderful examples of Aboriginal artists from different decades, I wished she had discussed the development of these artists a little more. She claimed that one artist, currently working in New York, never won a prize because she is a woman with controversial work. Personally, and this may have been just the example that she picked to show us, I didn’t find this woman’s work compelling and I didn’t feel that  the fact that she was a woman had anything to do with it.

I was thrilled by this lecture, regardless if I agreed with everything she said or not. Greer is an energetic and engaging speaker who believes completely in what she says. There is also a ferocity that she puts forth, almost daring you to question her. The speech was a little disorganized but fascinating and it was the first time that I felt like a critical Art Historian.

I tried to find a video of her speaking about art but was unable so instead I attached this video from 2010, to give you a sense of who she is. I feel very honored to have been able to hear her speak.

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