Kiki Smith at the Sackler Center for Feminist Art

I just went to a really cool event at the Brooklyn Museum of Art where Kiki Smith, artist, and, Catherine J. Morris, Curator of the Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art, had a conversation about Smith’s work, it’s intersections with feminism, themes of the body, the personal as political etc.
If you aren’t familiar with Kiki Smith’s work, you should definitely check it out. She’s dealt with a wide range of fascinating themes over the course of her career in all sorts of mediums (many of them previously positioned as the “manly” variety).
I was so struck by her stage presence. She was truly in her body, so authentic that I was a bit disarmed. It was clear that she didn’t feel any compulsion to play the part of the highly articulate, beyond-it-all artist; she just was. And in her “just being,” she said some really profound, simple things. Given my recent experience of being criticized for my voice, my idealism etc., it felt awesome to be reminded how refreshing and critical it is to be comfortable with your own authentic identity in public.
Here are a few of my favorite quotations from the afternoon.
On the personal is political vibe in the 70s:
“You realized what was happening outside your house was also going on inside your house.”
On art making:
“Embrace the fragility. Embrace what is tentative.”
On resisting hegemonic art norms of what’s hip or trendy:
“I don’t want to be owned by ideology.”

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