Art History's Feminist Emergency

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Over the last decade there has been a renewed urgency regarding the relevance and precarity of art history as a discipline. Like art history, feminism, too, finds itself at a crossroads and facing new challenges in a post #metoo but ever more highly segregated global economy. This article draws from the Nordic context to explore how and why feminism has been relatively left out of the deliberations concerning the state of art history today. It addresses what the author describes as the paradigmatic feminist double-bind within art history: a dual tension between feminism’s status as historical movement and tendency to be historicized, versus its function as critical theory and activism, by looking at the Danish case. Drawing upon the identification of some larger patterns within Danish art history and the detailed problematics of feminist art history’s double bind, the article argues that feminism is germane to art history—and to its future. By reflecting on the international conference Fast Forward: Women in European Art, 1970-Present at Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, the article offers some ideas on how a feminist art historical approach can make a constructive and crucial contribution to the field and the issues it faces today.
Original languageEnglish
JournalPeriskop - forum for kunsthistorisk debat
Pages (from-to)126-135
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - 2022

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