Last Weekend for Elles: Pompidou
Women. We represent at least half of the species, but haven’t exactly had half of much else.
Sure, there’s death and taxes, which don’t seem to distinguish between genders.
But take power, for example.
Or net worth.
Or, say, credit as artists.
Enter “Women Take Over” at the Seattle Art Museum (SAM). It’s a two-part exhibit that opened on October 11th, 2012 and consists of Elles: Pompidou (Women Artists from the Centre Pompidou, Paris) – which wraps up this Sunday, January 13th, 2013 – and Elles: SAM (Singular Works by Seminal Women Artists), located on SAM’s third floor, in the modern and contemporary galleries) which continues on until February 17th, 2013.
Elles: Pompidou is definitely worth a visit if you have not yet checked it out. It is loaded with a wide array of artistic media that will entertain, move, shock – and, in some cases – even arouse and horrify you.
Last quarter, your Hedonista attended the exhibits, interviewed Marisa Sanchez, SAM’s former Associate Curator of Modern & Contemporary Art (and who recently headed off to UBC to purse her PhD in Art History), and tasted the specially paired Elles menu at TASTE, which runs until the end of this month.
I remember speaking to a couple of men who’d seen the exhibit, and was crestfallen to hear that they just didn’t get it.
Personally, I look forward to the time when we don’t have to differentiate between female and male artists. I mean, I get it, why can’t they (men)?
“Exactly,” replied Marisa, who co-curated this travelling exhibit with one of the original five co-curators of the Parisian Pompidou exhibit, Cecile Debray.
“Well, I think it is important to start with the exhibit as it was at the Centre for Pompidou in May 2009.”
A team of co-curators head by Camille Morineau – who was the chief curator who oversaw the original Elles exhibit with 4 others, including Cecile Debray, began their journey of this original exhibit with an essay.
An essay which became the focus for the curator for the Centre for Pompidou.
“There is one history, but also multiple histories that can be told, interprets Marisa of this text. “There are multiple histories within modern and contemporary art…. Multiple narratives.”
“The exhibition at the very beginning was about engaging international audiences into conversation about the roles women have occupied in terms of modern and contemporary art,” adds Marisa, “and what were the hardships that women found practicing in the 20th century.”
When I asked how Marisa and her team selected the pieces for SAM from the Pompidou Collection, she had this to say:
“They have over 1000 works of art by women artists,” Marisa informed me, (NOTE: 130 works by 75 women artists from the 20th and 21st centuries are currently at SAM from the Pompidou collection). “We wanted the very best … a quotation of the original collection at Pompidou that was at Elles.”
Elles was never intended to be a special exhibition that would travel. And SAM is the only U.S. venue for Elles: Women Artists from the Centre Pompidou, Paris to-date.
For my part – and the part of all of you hedonists out there, be you male, female, or someplace in-between – I hope you are glad it did.
American conceptual artist Jenny Holzer – who is featured in this exhibit – once said: “When art or writing functions, it raises ideas and has them felt, and this knowledge and feeling may be the basis for decent action.”
If you haven’t seen it and can get there this weekend, do. Tickets are $23 for adults, $20 for seniors (62+) and military (with ID), and $12 for stidents (with ID) and teens (aged 13-17 years). Admission is free for children 12 and under and SAM Members.
And then there’s the paired menu. TASTE’s Chef Craig Hetherington has created a menu inspired by the traditional turn-of-the-century comfort foods prepared by women in the home – and modernized with a woman-power twist. (Craig’s sister actually found him a settlement cookbook – dubbed The Settlement Cookbook – from which to draw his inspiration. For this menu, Washington-based women producers and owners rule the day and feature Ninety Farms, Skagit River Ranch, Stokesberry Sustainable Farm, Golden Glen Creamery, Quillisascut Cheese and Yarmuth Farms.
Oh, and there’s also wine from Sozo wines, made by wine goddess Cheryl Jones, as well as special Elles-inspired cocktails at $10 each.
Once again, although Elles: Pompidou ends this Sunday, Elles: SAM runs until February 17th, 2013 and the menu runs until the end of the month.