Exquisite Arts Magazine Vol 7: Fall Issue- Oct/2017 | Page 25
those who were not born genetically female and therefore have called for an addition of a transgendered
monologue to be added.
It’s interesting to note that many colleges have put on variations of The Vagina Monologues often with
monologues of their own pre-written based off the individual experiences of the women on those campuses.
Francesca Woodman, Photography
Francesca Woodman’s photography offers a staunch and dramatic look at
the female form, presented as both a work of art as well as a paradoxical
vessel of of pain versus pleasure. Often her photography would feature nude
female models, often herself, comprised of long exposures and various plays
on lighting, often in damaged, crumbling rooms. Her photography has been
regarded as some of the most unique and genius work to date by a female
photographer, especially when the photography world was still primarily a
man’s world and featured mainly male artists.
Francesca Woodman used a lot of shadow elements in her work and often
littered her photography with imagery such as women looking longingly into
mirrors or photographed in protective stances when simple floral arrangements sat just behind the corner, perhaps
a visual display of the constant hunt for the beauty within and the difficulty that often comes with being a woman.
Unfortunately due to a combination of what still is debated to this day, Francesca Woodman committed suicide in
1981 at the age of 22. Her work had never been overly displayed and it’s believed by her father that yet another
rejection letter for funding was the final straw in what remains to be seen as a troubled, yet creatively brilliant life.
Francesca Woodman’s work now routinely tours around and is displayed in various books, journals and galleries,
particularly in New York where she lived prior to her dea th. Her work to this day still incites debate over its
meaning, but remains to conversation starter due to its charisma and daring use of shadow and light.
Louise Bourgeois, Sculpture
Louise Bourgeois was a prolific sculpture artist but also painted and did
printmaking. Her large scale sculptures won praise and acclaim along with
various installation art. She worked with a number of artists on collaborations
and while she was never tied or associated with any one specific artistic
movement, her various works over the years could be contributed to
movements such as surrealism, feminism and abstract art.
Some of her pieces explored the complex relationships between parents and
children, particularly her piece The Destruction of the Father, in which a huge
womb-like structure is created using soft materials and as the visitor enters they eventually come across a murder
scene where four children have killed their father and eaten him. The symbolism of an oppressive father and the
eventual rebellion of children is pronounced and perhaps even extreme, lending itself to the viewer potentially
relating their own experiences with oppressive father-like figures to the installation.
The Destruction of the Father
Perhaps one of her most popular works is Maman, created in 1999 but envisioned in 1946, a giant spider cast in
metal, 30 feet high and 33 feet wide. It is on display in Ottawa outside the National Gallery of Canada along with
other permanent installations in the likes of the UK’s Tate Modern, the Guggenheim in Bilbao, Spain and the Mori
Art Museum in Tokyo. The symbolism represents the strength of her mother, a weaver and the helpful, clever