In this post, Art+Feminism organizer Vicky Clark explains that on the slow road of feminist progress, Wikipedia may be a ticket to “instant gratification.”
What are the seminal (oops, can’t use that gendered word), no… pivotal, moments on the road to being a feminist? Being the equal opportunity candidate for too many jobs, watching Hillary reduced to baking cookies or Michelle being criticized for having arms…realizing that while more women than men work in art museums, they don’t have the power jobs…being introduced as Vicky when all the men in the room were called “Doctor so-and-so,” listening to politicians believe they have the right to control women’s bodies…etc., etc., etc. I have been angry for so long, and I am sick and tired of it. How can anyone not believe in the idea that all people are created equal? That’s what feminism means to me, that’s what I have been working for all these years. Why do I feel so defeated, and what can I do about it?
Ah ha, here’s something I can do, after years of subverting the minds of students and exhibition goers and readers. Instant gratification too. I can edit and add to Wikipedia, the go-to source on the information highway. No entries on artists like Jane Haskell or gallery owners like Elizabeth Rockwell? I can write one. Entries that characterize artists as female or white or black or gay? I can delete those qualifiers and make them artists, plain and simple. Misinformation in subject-based entries? I can fix that. It’s so easy to make that immediate change, providing a more inclusive knowledge base for future generations. I can and I will, on March 5th at our edit-a-thon at Frick Fine Art, University of Pittsburgh and in the comfort of my own home from now on. Come and join me.
Vicky Clark is an independent curator based in Pittsburgh with 30+ years of experience work in the arts. Once called “the feminist” in Pittsburgh, Clark has a deep knowledge of women’s cultural history and has curated over 50 exhibitions of contemporary art at the Carnegie Museum of Art and the Pittsburgh Center for the Arts and guest-curated others in the region and around the country. Her books include histories of the Carnegie International and the Associated Artists of Pittsburgh as well as artists Robert Qualters and Jane Haskell. Now retired, Vicky taught contemporary art and ideas at a university level, and she has organized many lecture and performance art series.