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Maria Conen on Why have there been no Great Women Artists?
29 June, 2021
This essay talks about the notion of ‘Greatness’ in the art context. How ‘great’ artists and art is constructed in our society and what this means for female artists. Linda Nochlin shows the patterns according to which art institutions have always been organized and influenced the art scene. These descriptions and observations can probably be projected onto schools of architecture in the same way and still has relevance for our time. In parallel, the text has nothing pessimistic about it, but calls for action and encourages one to get actively involved in the institutions and sees in it the possibility of making the future more open and permeable.
The fault, dear brothers, lies not in our stars, our hormones, our menstrual cycles, or our empty internal spaces, but in our institutions and our education – education understood to include everything that happens to us from the moment we enter this world of meaningful symbols, signs, and signals… . Women must conceive of themselves as potentially if not actually, equal subjects, and must be willing to look the facts of their situation full in the face, without self-pity, or cop-outs; at the same time, they must view their situation with that high degree of emotional and intellectual commitment necessary to create a world in which equal achievement will be not only made possible but actively encouraged by social institutions.