Session - 26 November 2020
The rising prominence of feminism has had an ostensible impact on the art market: exhibitions uncovering buried female talent, celebrating female identity and solidarity, exploring the female body and female sexuality, have emerged since the mid-20th century and have continued to flourish. Has, however, the market been changed and diversified for good? In 2019, for instance, only 2% of global art auction spending is on work by women. Why is this the case, and what can be done? At the same time, creating a category out of ‘female’ art and building a female-only presence in the market has come under increased scrutiny: does this in fact perpetuate restrictive stereotypes that reinforce rather than challenge the status quo? And what about Southeast Asia? What roles do its unique socio-cultural contexts play? This session aims to look at all these issues and questions and more. It will navigate the nuanced relationship between women and the art market, covering possible topics such as the role women play, the influences they have exercised, and their future in the art market. The dialogues established will not only allow a better understanding of where female artists, femininity, and feminism stand in the market, but also open up discussions about the wider dynamics of gender, power, and culture in our time.