Compilation: Women’s Day 2021

Politics cannot be separated from art. Even when verbally withheld or even only directly known by the author themselves, a work of art will always reflect to some degree the political situation within which it was born, a kind of landmark. Yes, by compiling odes to women artists, we consider this a (minor) political act, and a necessary one. It is less about adhering to arbitrary standards of ‘equal representation’ according to minority status and more about how this compilation fits into the larger Ultra Dogme mission: to sing the songs of the underseen. 

It was our hope, by already narrowing the focus to a group, even with a net as wide-reaching as ‘women artists’, to stimulate our contributors into heralding lesser known women artists, or to reconfigure our vision apropos those who already have wide visibility. Thus, the artists highlighted in this year’s issue are decently known, at least within the realm of cinephilia, but it is often all too easy to fall back on the single, canonical work of an artist and consider them ‘done’ in our personal records — how many who have seen Jeanne Dielman have delved no deeper into Akerman’s filmography? (And the same in regards to Rose Lowder’s Bouquets 1-10, to take just one other example from this compilation.) And how often shall Akerman be tokenized as ‘woman filmmaker’? I do not aim to accuse or excuse with rhetorical questions here — I myself am guilty of not yet having seen News From Home — but keep in mind that art is something to continuously live and grow into and with, not to conquer (yes, I had Pinkerton’s recent treatise on ‘collecting’ in mind here). And some of these questions are representative of many of the investigations and reflections that underpin the nine pieces that you will find contained within this issue.

Some are close reads of individual works or bodies of work, others more personal or poetic. You will not only find the written word but images, stock still and in motion, and explorations of artists whose work was not wholly defined by one medium or another. Regardless of whatever form they chose, or what tact each contributor has taken in response, each of these pieces are tied by the common purpose of communicating something potent about great artistry. These insights were commissioned and submitted under the sign of International Women’s Day, though everything contained therein will be valuable every other day of the year too, and for ages still to come.

Max + Ruairí

Women’s Day 2021

On how things actually play out
by Charlotte Wynant

Betty and Marie
by Patrick Preziosi

From the Beating Heart of the Feminist Rally:
A response to ‘Battlefield’ (2020)

by Elspeth Vischer

Book of Judith
by Srikanth Srinivasan

The Metamorphosis of Birds
by Igor Fishman

JD 2.0
by Yoana Pavlova

Corita Kent
by Luise Mörke

Your Laughter is Spit in the World’s Face:
‘Milla’ (2017) and Valérie Massadian

by Ruairí McCann

Winter for Rose
by MLP

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