How is ecofeminism applied to and manifested in contemporary art? This question drives research into Life on Earth: Ecofeminist Art Since 1979, a forthcoming group exhibition. Identifying critical connections between gender oppression and the exploitation of natural resources, ecofeminism evolved out of the environmental, feminist and anti-nuclear movements of the early 1980s and was taken up by politically active contemporary artists at the time. As an artistic movement however, it has been conspicuously absent from historical surveys of the period. Taft’s research uncovers forgotten works and links them to currents in contemporary practice, effectively establishing a lineage for today’s ecofeminist artists. Research into historical events like the nuclear meltdown at Three Mile Island and the Women and Life conference that grew out of it, gives context to past and present artistic engagement with anti-nuclear activism, Indigenous rights, lesbian separatism and other themes. Taft will compile a comprehensive multi-generational list of ecofeminist artists at home and abroad including Helene Aylon, Agnes Denes, Aviva Rahmani, Jaune Quick-to-See Smith, Leah DeVun and many others.
“We strive to support institutions that share our artist-centered values. The small grassroots arts organizations as well as the museums that comprise our grantees provide invaluable opportunities for artists to express their unique perspectives on the pressing urgencies of the day. We hope that our grants help to amplify artists’ voices within their communities, in national discussions and debates, and across platforms in the international contemporary art world.”
Joel Wachs, President