this was taken at the Museum of London, Docklands - it has a large section about London’s role in slavery, and how slavery contributed to modern racism.
I think that a lot of museums are finally starting to try and take a more proactive stance on how they present their exhibits and information about them.
For more on this kind of arrangement, I high recommend taking a look at these submissions from xanthy-m on the Swedish Historical Museum:
Oh what was that about black ppl in England not being present?
Since BEFORE THE 1500s?
MEANING DURING THE MEDIEVAL PERIOD
So yall “historically accurate” fuckers can be quiet
that is the best “this” reaction image to date
People have been asking for info on the images from this post, so here we go:
- Portrait of the Princess of Zanzibar and her attendant, Scotland
- A servant or enslaved woman, Italy
- Scene from Terence, France
- A Peruvian noblewoman, Italy
- The Agrippine Sibyl, Netherlands
- A Brazilian Woman, Netherlands
- Scene from the Aethiopica, Flanders
- Madamoiselle de Clermont en Sultane, France
- Study of a Woman, Netherlands
- Allegory of Music, Italy
- Portrait of Kalmyk Girl Annushka, Russia
- Dido Elizabeth Belle, Scotland
- Portrait of a Young Woman, Switzerland
- Portrait of a Young Woman, Netherlands
- La Zamba a La Procesion, Peru/Spain
- Their Pride, by Thomas Hovenden, U.S.
- Portrait of a Black Girl, Slovenia
- Fanny Eaton, England
- Photograph of an Unknown Woman
- Eva Green, by Henri Robert. Oil on Canvas, 24 x 20 1/8 inches. 1907. Roland P. Murdock Collection, Wichita Art Museum.
- Unknown Woman from a Portrait for Sale on Ebay
Just because it sells doesn’t necessarily mean it’s good. Let’s not get ahead of ourselves.
I didn’t mention anything about quality, only sales figures.
This is fantastic. I love it. There are guys out there who are so threatened by the prospect of a female-led title doing well that when it does do well their response is “well it’s probably not any good.”
Fun fact: throughout the bulk of Western history, commercial success was considered a mark of quality for a piece of art. Disdain for commercial success curiously came into vogue in Western critical circles at about the same time that female creators started making major inroads in producing commercially successful art and literature - and many historians believe that this is no coincidence.
In other words, dismissing commercially successful works on the grounds that commercial success is no measure of quality is not merely a typical response to works by female creators: it has been argued that the very notion of holding commercially successful works in disdain simply for the fact of that success was, itself, invented in order to shift the goalposts and keep women out of the “real artists” club.
I still need to read this series so bad
Kiki Smith - Lilith, 1994 - Bronze, silicon, and glass.
“In medieval Jewish lore, Lilith was Adam’s first wife. When she demanded to be Adam’s equal, she was evicted from the Garden of Eden. Lilith flew away to the demon world, replaced by the more submissive Eve. Smith catches us off guard with Lilith’s pose and placement. Most sculptures receive our gaze passively, but Lilith stares back with piercing brown eyes, ready to pounce.”
my mother told me this story over and over when I was little
"Always be Lilith, never Eve"
"Always be Lilith, never Eve"
Ever since reading about her story when I was younger, I never sought to be Eve again.
Lilith is the one men fear. Because Lilith knows she does not need men to validate her existence.
THIS SCULPTURE IS AWESOME, THE LILITH STORY IN GENERAL IS AWESOME, but, uh, I would feel remiss if I did not take the time to point this out: the story of Eve is not one where a woman chooses to be subservient to a man. Like. At all.
Here, in brief, is the story of Eve: God creates heaven and earth, blah blah, animals, trees, blah blah, man in God’s image blah, Adam blah blah, don’t eat from the Tree of Knowledge blahhhhhhhh. Then one day Adam is all, “Hey God, I finished naming all the animals and plants and everything weeks ago, I’m bored as shit down here — see, shit, that’s a word I made up for the stuff that comes out of butts, I’m bored enough down here to name the butt stuff.” So God’s like, “Ugh, whatever, I’ll make you a friend out of something, you’re not using all your ribs, are you?” and creates Eve. And Eve and Adam? Yeah, the text doesn’t label them anything but equals during their time in the garden. Literally 100% of the description of their relationship, at the beginning, is:
The man said, “This is now bone of my bones, And flesh of my flesh; She shall be called Woman, Because she was taken out of Man.” For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother, and be joined to his wife; and they shall become one flesh. And the man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed. (GENESIS 2.23)
Now, I grant you, it’s not the most ideal situation I’ve ever heard described, feminism-wise, but like. They are both naked, and neither is ashamed. There is no suggestion here that Eve was originally created to be subservient to Adam. Which will be important. In a second.
SO right back to the story, Adam and Eve hang out in the garden for awhile and this serpent is all, “Hey Eve, how about some fruit,” and Eve is like, “Sure, what kind of fruit you want, it’s the Garden of Eden, we’ve got literally every kind of fruit there is,” and the serpent is all, “You know that one fruit on that one tree that is the only thing in the entire garden we’re not supposed to eat,” and Eve is like, “Balls.”
And then the serpent comes at her with like, moral relativism and liberal arts college theology major shit, all, “But why would God put the tree there with a big sign on it that said NOT THIS TREE DEFINITELY DON’T EAT THE STUFF ON THIS TREE THIS TREE RIGHT HERE SEE THIS IT IS THE FORBIDDEN TREE DON’T YOU EAT OF IT if he didn’t, secretly, totally want us to eat of it?” (Real talk: I am with him on this one.) So, whatever, okay, you all know this part of the story, Eve eats some fruit, and it’s the Tree of Knowledge so she gets all this knowledge about good & evil & everything, and then she convinces Adam to eat some fruit and get some knowledge too. And then God notices them like, hiding behind fig leaves and giggling about how they both have genitals (the Tree of Maturity it is not), and gets real pissed and kicks them out, the end.
EXCEPT. The reason I am bothering to type this out (not to mention google biblical excerpts like I’m 13 and studying for my Bat Mitzvah again) is that. As punishment? For eating of the Tree of Knowledge, and convincing Adam to do so also? God curses Eve with the pain of childbirth, and with being subservient to Adam. I mean, literally, this is what it says:
To the woman [God] said, “I will greatly multiply Your pain in childbirth, In pain you will bring forth children; Yet your desire will be for your husband, And he will rule over you.” (GENESIS 3.16)
EVE BEING SUBSERVIENT TO ADAM. IS A PUNISHMENT. IN THE BIBLE. IT IS A PUNISHMENT FOR GOING AGAINST THE WILL OF GOD. If you’ve ever heard of the concept of “original sin,” this is what that’s referring to (er, and it’s also a hard cider but the cider is named after the concept, not the other way around, although presumably in the Garden of Eden with all its wonders it would’ve been possible to get hard cider, so don’t quote me on this). And the concept of original sin is an entirely separate discussion because it’s
ridiculous repressive sexist bullshita complex topic in theological discussion that I am frankly unqualified to speak on, and also because one time Phillip Pullman wrote this entire series of books that was kind of about it and frankly as a result any conversation I try to have on the topic devolves rapidly into a discussion of what kind of daemon everyone would have (mine would be a barred owl).
So, look: I am so here for this sculpture, I am so here for the telling of the story of Lilith, I am so here for encouraging young women to know that they do not need men to validate their existence. I am so. Here. For. That. But I am hesitant at the phrasing, “Always be Lilith, never Eve.” I am hesitant about breaking this story down to the idea that Lilith was inherently resistant and Eve was inherently submissive and that thus Lilith was inherently better, both because it’s canonically not true (again: tricked into tasting the fruit initially or not, Eve gave Adam his helping of her own will, Eve was punished for defying the word of God), and because I think that plays into the garbage idea that there is a correct way to be female, not to mention the garbage idea that women are constantly in competition with one another.
I just. This is a story that has had unimaginable impact on history and culture and women and how society thinks about women. This is a story that has been used to demonize women for centuries. Whether you believe in it or not (and I’ll confess freely that, despite identifying strongly as Jewish, I mostly don’t), you can’t argue that it hasn’t been majorly impactful, because it has been majorly impactful. And while I love the sculpture, and the spirit in which I know this discussion about it is intended, it breaks my fucking heart to see us championing Lilith by (further) demonizing Eve. Eve, whose name means life, whose role in this tale is to be mother of all of humanity and who is seen, more often than not, as the punishment granted to her against her will for a choice she made. Which, incidentally — that’s something I’ve always found pretty telling. Something worth thinking about, you know what I mean?
Both, that’s my point. Both is good. At very least, one without disparaging the other.
FUCK DEMONIZING EVE
The demonization of Eve is a way for men to blame women for their own failures, for them to say that Adam erred and mankind fell because he listened to a woman, and therefore all the fault lies with her and the inheritors of her gender.
Eve questioned. Eve reached out for knowledge that was forbidden to her, and she took it in her hands and ate it. She shared it with Adam and made him into her equal.
And had she known how she would be punished for her choice—how she and Adam would be cast out of the garden, how she would be cursed to be not only subservient but to have pain in childbirth, how she and her daughters would be blamed for millennia, how even women would rewrite her story to make her complicit in the oppression of her gender—I like to think she would have made the same choice.
Because before Eve ate of the tree, she and Adam were playthings in God’s garden, existing only to obey blindly (literally). A world in which Eve’s choice was wrong is a world in which blissful ignorance and obedience are prized over education and administrative transparency (i.e., GOD’S WORLD, AY).
Eve chose knowledge over obedience. Yeah, never be Eve.
The 30,000-Year-Old Cave That Descends Into Hell
There’s a cave in France where no humans have been in 26,000 years. The walls are full of fantastic, perfectly-preserved paintings of animals, ending in a chamber full of monsters 1312-feet underground, where CO2 and radon gas concentrations provoke hallucinations.
It’s called the the Chauvet-Pont-d’Arc Cave, a really weird and mysterious place. The walls contain hundreds of animals—like the typical Paleolithic horses and bisons—but some of them are not supposed to be there, like lions, panthers, rhinos and hyenas.
A few are not even supposed to exist, like weird butterflyish animals or chimerical figures half bison half woman. These may be linked to the hallucinations. The trip is such that some archeologists think that it had a ritual nature, with people transcending into a new state as they descended into the final room.
In fact, the paintings themselves are of such sophistication—some even have three-dimensional relief—that is hard to believe they were made back then. However, radiocarbon dating shows that these paintings are indeed prehistoric: A group was made around 27,000-26,000 years ago and the other at 32,000-30,000 years ago.
Beautiful water colour paintings by Maja Wrońska
CREDIT THE INVENTOR: SHE IS AN ARTIST NAMED KATHLEEN MCDERMOTT WHO IS FINISHING HER MFA IN HONG KONG
Also she is developing this technology literally to help women assert their space in public AND MAKE A STATEMENT about how women are treated in patriarchal societies! She is developing other clothes too! You can support her project here: http://www.kthartic.com/index.php?/class/about-urban-armor/
The dress is the second in a series of projects called Urban Armor, which aim to help women own their space in public arenas that often attempt to deny this right. As McDermott explains in the project statement: “The series arose partly out of my concern over the persistence of ideologies asserted at women in public space through advertising, architecture and socially normative behavior. I began to look for ways women could take more ownership over their personal space in public.”
Basically this woman is a badass feminist artist. Please support her work and spread the word
Soo Sunny Park (b. Seoul, Korea) - Unwoven Light at Rice University’s Rice Gallery in Houston, Texas. Composed of 37 individual sculptural units, the installation uses iridescent plexi-glass embedded in pieces of a chain link fence to cast shimmering, colorful reflections across the spacious gallery.
"The Favorite" by Omar Rayyan
Favorite what? Demon?!
Loving the fact that whatever it is is wearing a matching flower.
Iraqi student Zeidoun Alkinani protesting the posession of ancient Iraqi artifacts by Germans at the Babylonian Ishtar Gate in the Pergamon Museum of Berlin.
Prior to World War I, German archaeologists excavated large numbers of ancient artifacts across what is today Iraq and shipped them to Germany as part of a larger phenomenon of cultural pillage by European archaeologists across the Middle East that continued for decades.
In 2002, Iraqi officials asked for the return of the Gate, to no avail. A year later, the U.S. invaded the country.
Nodding. I really do wish western museums would own up to how they got their shit and give it back, make some fair or temporary trade (give us this for x years and we will give you y western art/architecture on loan too), buy it, or do replicas.
Western museums did not come across most of their collections honestly, even if it was acquired hundreds of years ago and I wish white people would own that shit. Work with world museums to rotate and share, work to give back stolen property and make reparations, instead of playing finders keepers.