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Men Explain Things to Me by Rebecca Solnit

Men Explain Things to Me by Rebecca Solnit

Author:Rebecca Solnit
Language: eng
Format: mobi, epub
Tags: Download-Ebook Farm, Social Science, Feminism & Feminist Theory, Current Affairs, Imperialism, Political Science, Women's Studies
ISBN: 9781608464579
Publisher: Haymarket Books
Published: 2014-04-14T05:00:00+00:00


III

Eliminate your mother, then your two grandmothers, then your four great-grandmothers. Go back more generations and hundreds, then thousands disappear. Mothers vanish, and the fathers and mothers of those mothers. Ever more lives disappear as if unlived until you have narrowed a forest down to a tree, a web down to a line. This is what it takes to construct a linear narrative of blood or influence or meaning. I used to see it in art history all the time, when we were told that Picasso begat Pollock and Pollock begat Warhol and so it went, as though artists were influenced only by other artists. Decades ago, the Los Angeles artist Robert Irwin famously dumped a New York art critic on the side of the freeway after the latter refused to recognize the artistry of a young car customizer making hot rods. Irwin had been a car customizer himself, and hot-rod culture had influenced him deeply. I remember a contemporary artist who was more polite but as upset as Irwin when she was saddled with a catalogue essay that gave her a paternalistic pedigree, claiming she was straight out of Kurt Schwitters and John Heartfield. She knew she came out of hands-on work, out of weaving and all the practical acts of making, out of cumulative gestures that had fascinated her since bricklayers came to her home when she was a child. Everyone is influenced by those things that precede formal education, that come out of the blue and out of everyday life. Those excluded influences I call the grandmothers.



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