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Feminist Art Workers: A History Paperback – February 10, 2012
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This book chronicles each of the works of the collective. It begins by acknowledging the limitations of documenting performance art, then proceeds from piece to piece with photos, description, and other documentation each followed by a critical essay. It concludes with a selection of essays on the work of the group as a whole by noted writers, artists, and art historians. It is all carefully archived as the FAW were aware that they were making history.
The book made me wish that I could get on the bus to participate in Traffic in Women or view other works by the collaborative group. It is an important work for scholars of art collectives, feminist art works, or politically engaged work.
This volume, Feminist Art Workers: A History, uses a treasure-trove of period photographs, letters, newsletters, journals, catalogues, and media response to document the collaborative performance art created by this ground-breaking group and presented on tours across the country between 1977 and 2012. Interspersed with this rich collection of primary sources are essays and commentaries by later historians and critics, who analyze the unconventional methods, venues, and breakthrough artistic strategies exploited by these women in order to challenge entrenched cultural, economic, and social paradigms and to foreground a wide range of women's rights issues.
The collective documentary importance of this and the other books in the Otis series is inestimable, and no library should be without them. Teachers and students of women's art history will value them as well, not only for the essential information they contain, but for the rebellious and playful vitality, outrageous humor, and boldness of vision that erupt through the facts and images on every page, to tell and show later generations what it was like to participate in one of the great social and artistic movements of our history.
Norma Broude and Mary D. Garrard
Professors Emerita, American University
Authors of The Power of Feminist Art: The American Movement of the 1970s, History and Impact