Panel discussion ‘Sexism, Positive Discrimination and Artistic Quality’

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Panel discussion ‘Sexism, Positive Discrimination and Artistic Quality’

March 5 @ 18:00 - 19:00

  • Hosted by for artgenève 2022. The podcast will online soon. 
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With Emilie Ding (artist, CH), Delphine Bedel (artist, chair of the Fondation Engagement Arts NL, NL), Nathalie Herschdorfer (curator and director of the Museum of Fine Arts Le Locle, CH), and Alain Quemin (professor of sociology of art, GEMAS – Sorbonne Université / Institut Universitaire de France, FR)

Launched for many years in the United States regarding racial discrimination, the idea of positive discrimination is to favor women in many areas to re-establish a form of equity, which is not a rule. This action, now present in different ways in Europe, still gives rise to much debate. As we know, the majority of artists graduating from art schools are women, yet we still have to deplore their weaker representation in both museums and on the art market, not to mention the masculinized conception of art of the last fifty years. For a long time now, female artists who are aware of this state of affairs seem to have one of two attitudes, which sometimes fluctuate within their very practices. On the one hand, they subvert the gendered practices of cooking, home, and “needlework” work into a statement of freedom and assumed creativity. And on the other side, some prefer to create their work without specific reference to this issue, believing that it is the recognition of the quality of their work that will be the most effective for change. Activist groups, such as the famous “Guerrilla Girls,” say that women should be more willing to claim their rightful share of representation in the current system, even though it is dominated and created by men. Should we, for these women artists, take measures comparable to those that have changed the situation for a good decade in politics or social rights? Or should we fear a negative effect due to doubts about the artistic quality, which should be the only quality taken into account?

Text by  Frédéric Elkaïm, advisor and educator in contemporary art markets


March 5
18:00 - 19:00
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artgenève / Palexpo SA
Route françois-peyrot 30
Geneva, 1218 Switzerland
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