A history of feminist
gesture and performance
since the 1960s and 1970s in California
through an interview conducted by Carole Douillard with art critic Amelia Jones and two pioneering American artists, Barbara T. Smith and Susan Lacy.
"The two people who, with the participation of Amelia Jones, are interviewed in this talk are constitutive figures of a little-known art history that emerged in Los Angeles in the early sixties. It is in relation to a work of archeology in the archives of the actions produced by women, on the margins of the institutions that favored only men at that time, that I had the desire for this open and warm discussion, at the home of Barbara T. Smith, in Pasadena, East of Los Angeles. A counter-narrative to the more recognized and known figures at the time that were Chris Burden
, Paul McCarthy
and Allan Kaprow, close friends of these two tutelary artists. Through this discussion initiated in 2019, a companionship between artists of different generations is established and a line of driven women unfolds, each of whom are putting their bodies on the line."
Born 1971 in Nantes from a Kabyle mother and a French father, French-Algerian artist Carole Douillard graduated from the School of Beaux-Arts, Nantes, in 1997, and from the University of Franche-Comté, UFR Science de l'homme et du language (DU in Art, dance and performance) in 2012.
Her projects have taken place at the Ferme du Buisson (Noisiel), at the Musée de la Danse (Rennes), at the Palais de Tokyo
(Paris), at the Mac Val (Vivre-sur-Seine), at the French Institute in Algiers and Oran (Algeria), at the Centro de Arte Dos de Mayo (Madrid), and at Wiels (Brussels). In 2012-2013, she was artist researcher within the cooperative of research at the Ecole Supérieure d'Art of Clermont Métropole. She regularly collaborates with Laboratoire du geste – Paris 1 Panthéon Sorbonne. She is the co-founder with Entre-deux (Marie-Laure Viale & Jacques Rivet), Manon Rolland, Oro/Loïc Touzé, Fabienne Compet, and Isabelle Tellier of think think think, a platform for research in performance in Nantes.
Amelia Jones (born 1961 in Durham, North Carolina) is an art historian, theorist and critic. Her research interests include feminist
art, body art, performance art
, video art
, identity politics, and the New York Dada movement. Her early work established her as a feminist scholar and curator, including a pioneering exhibition and publication on the art of Judy Chicago
; she later expanded her focus to include other topics of social activism, including notions of race, class, and identity politics. She has made significant contributions to the study of art and performance as a teacher, researcher and activist.
Recognized as a pioneer in public space and socially engaged performance art
, Suzanne Lacy (born 1945 in Wasco, USA, lives and works in Los Angeles) is a visual artist whose prolific career includes performances, video and photographic installation, critical writing and public practices in communities. She is best known as one of the Los Angeles
performance artists who began active in the Seventies. Her installations, videos and performances address sexual violence, rural and urban poverty, incarceration, labor and ageing, ranging from intimate, graphic body explorations to public performances involving literally hundreds of performers and thousands of audience members. These large-scale projects span the globe, including England, Colombia, Ecuador, Spain, Ireland and the United States. Lacy has published over 70 texts of critical commentary, and has exhibited in The Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles, The New Museum and P.S. 1 in New York, and The Bilbao Museum in Spain. She has also taught and designed numerous educational programs, beginning with her role as performance instructor at the Feminist Studio Workshop at the Woman's Building in Los Angeles.
Barbara T. Smith (born 1931 in Pasadena, California) has been an artist at the forefront of art movements in Southern California
for over 50 years, particularly feminist
art and performance
. Her work explores themes of physical and spiritual sustenance, education, the body, and female and male sexuality. Smith was a founding member of F-Space with Chris Burden and Nancy Buchanan, all three students at the University of California, Irvine. Her work has since been widely exhibited and collected by major American museums, including the J. Paul Getty Museum, MOCA Los Angeles, LACMA, and the Art Institute of Chicago.