How LA is witnessing an evolution in collective thinking by Andrew Berardini

Women's Dinner in the Desert, March 2012 - photo Thea Lorentzen Courtesy Women's Center for Creative Work

Women’s Dinner in the Desert, March 2012 – photo Thea Lorentzen Courtesy Women’s Center for Creative Work

“The most recent collective project is the Women’s Center for Creative Work (WCCW), which emerged out of a women-only dinner started by Kate Johnston, Sarah Williams and Katie Bachler (with whom I started the equally volunteer-run Art Book Review). The dinner became a regular event, with diners numbering over 100. Out of it emerged a book group, storytelling gatherings, tarot card readings, comedy acts, workshops for basket-weaving and doll-making, and an art-typical spate of residencies, panels and talks. The simple twin premises of their collective? ‘Feminism is for everybody!’ and ‘A network of rad women’. The WCCW feels like an important local spark for a new wave of feminism, one that is inclusive and invites supportive community rather than ideological posturing.

THERE IS A VERY SOUND ARGUMENT THAT ARTISTS SHOULD GET PAID, BUT THERE’S ALSO THE AGENCY OF WORKING OUTSIDE OF TRADITIONAL SYSTEMS OF PATRONAGE AND PROFIT ECONOMIES

As far as I know, every single person involved with these groups is a volunteer. Though I have mentioned individual names, there are scores of others equally important who make these projects thrum with life. There is a very sound argument that artists should get paid, but there’s also the agency of working outside of traditional systems of patronage and profit economies, of the DIY ethos that you make the world you want to live in by direct action and grassroots organising. Each of these projects attempts through its actions to make space for others, to encourage individual making within a community.

These groups do the important work that Italo Calvino describes at the end of Invisible Cities (1972), where he writes that even if we’re in hell, we can ‘seek and learn to recognise who and what, in the midst of the inferno, are not inferno, then make them endure, give them space’. ”

This article was first published in the October 2014 issue.

Courtesy Art Review. Full article click here

 



Categories: Random interesting art stuff

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