Posted on November 7, 2014
Martha Wilson, installation view, Arcadia University Art Gallery, 2012. Image courtesy of Arcadia University Art Gallery.
Artist Martha Wilson was recently interviewed in The Brooklyn Rail. In the article “First Lady of Performance Art”, Wilson talks with writer Jarrett Earnest about the current state of performance art, the role of women in society, and the future of the radical performance art organization she founded, Franklin Furnace. Speaking specifically about her series of performances of presidential first ladies, Wilson says:
“Women are second-class citizens. The First Lady is not allowed to be in charge; she is allowed to beautify the roadsides or promote libraries, but she’s not allowed to run things. My Barbara Bush talks quite a lot about how actually she was the one who wore the pants in the family, but she put other players like Dick Cheney out front. It’s a power thing—I’m interested in the social realities of power. And we are all completely tuned into the power relationships out there, even though we claim we don’t care or are unaware. One of the works in the Martha Wilson Sourcebook (ICI, 2011) is about the roles women are allowed to play: the ideal goddess role is always in the background, lurking behind housewife, secretary, professional—all the ways our roles as women are played in a social context.”
The text goes on to discuss Franklin Furnace’s new collaboration with Pratt’s School of Library and Information Science, the artist’s development of new performance works, and the grand finale of the ICI tour of Martha Wilson in New York this spring. To read the full article, please click here.