“Second Century” plays with the title of Simone de Beauvoir’s seminal text, The Second Sex, of 1949, a book that dealt with the treatment of women throughout history and marks the starting point of second-wave feminism. Second-wave feminism built upon first-wave feminism’s concern for suffrage and equal property rights to focus more broadly on sexuality, family, workplace rights, and other forms of inequality, both tacit and legal. Now, well down the path of third-wave feminism (or fourth-wave feminism, or postfeminism, as third-wave feminism is by definition hard to define), the current socio-political climate broadly embraces different feminine identities, including queer and transgender. Second Century: Photography, Feminism, Politics acknowledges the absorption and application of myriad feminist ideals and practices at the beginning of a second century of organized and evolved feminist approaches to art and politics.

Second Century panels, comprising international as well as local participants, will explore feminist approaches to photography and lens-based art at the intersection of current political concerns, with topics ranging from the January 21, 2017, Women’s March on Washington and subsequent political activism; Latin American films by female directors; and feminist engagement of photography both as conceptual art practice and widespread implication through social media practices. The symposium will also feature a prominent keynote speaker.

Videos of all the panels and conversations can be found here: Second Century Symposium on Vimeo.

Program Schedule

8:30am Breakfast Reception
9:45am Welcome and Opening Remarks: Mary Ellen Goeke, FotoFocus Executive Director
10:00am Panel: Still They Persist, with FemFour
Moderated by Steven Matijcio, Curator, Contemporary Arts Center, Cincinnati, with Cincinnati-based FemFour panelists: Sara M. Vance Waddell, FemFour Founder and Collector; Cal Cullen, Artist, Curator and Executive Director, Wave Pool; Jaime L.M. Thompson, Curator of Education, Contemporary Arts Center; and Maria Seda-Reeder, Writer, Curator, Educator.

FemFour, a group of socially minded members of the Cincinnati arts community, has assembled a traveling archive of posters and placards, sculptures, textiles, and photo/video documentation from the Women’s March of 2017. This continually evolving archive, which will be on view at the Contemporary Arts Center during the symposium, attempts to keep alive a message of ongoing resistance. FemFour will be discussing their motivations and their process as part of this undertaking, as well as examining the nature of politically activated objects, their preservation and circulation. Watch the Still They Persist, with FemFour panel on Vimeo.

11:00am Panel: Gender and Imaging in the Online Realm
Moderated by Kate Palmer Albers, Associate Professor, Art History, with panelists: Natalie Bookchin, Artist and Associate Professor of Media, Associate Chair, Visual Arts Department, Mason Gross School of the Arts, Rutgers University, NJ; and Nora Khan, Writer and Contributing Editor at Rhizome, New York.

The many roles of photographic images in our personal lives are affected profoundly by new systems of image production, distribution, and programming. As photographs circulate in online realms—on social media and through digital platforms, where they are shaped and affected both by human decisions and algorithms—can we discern a feminist approach? This panel will address the intersections of images, technology, and gender in both art and daily life. Watch the Gender and Imaging in the Online Realm panel on Vimeo.

12:00pm Lunch Break
1:00pm Panel: Women of Latin American Film
Moderated by Michelle Farrell, Assistant Professor of Spanish and Portuguese, Fairfield University, CT, with panelists: Diana Vargas, Artistic Director, Havana Film Festival New York; Laura Gómez, Director and Actor, New York; and Ana Katz, Writer, Director, Actor, Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Panelists address the complexities and limitations of the category “women’s film,” particularly through the lens of Latin American films made by women filmmakers and scriptwriters. Two aspects of “women’s film” will be explored: the oversimplified terms of the definition itself, i.e., women writing and directing their own stories; and a less obvious subject, the development of an audience which recognizes women’s voices as distinct based on their female authorship. Watch the Women of Latin American Film panel on Vimeo.

Download the accompanying handout compiled by Michelle Farrell: Women of Latin American Film Handout.pdf

2:00pm Panel: Woman with a Camera
Moderated by Prudence Peiffer, Senior Editor, Artforum, New York, with panelists: Makeda Best, Curator of Photography, Harvard Art Museums, Cambridge, MA; Carmen Winant, Artist and Writer, Assistant Professor of Visual Studies and Contemporary Art History at Columbus College of Art and Design, Columbus, OH, and Dean at the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, Skowhegan, ME; and Claire Lehmann, Artist, Writer, Curator, New York.

What, if anything, does it mean to be a woman photographer? This panel will reconsider the work of historical figures such as Berenice Abbott and Diane Arbus as well as the contemporary practice of artists such as Anne Collier and Zoe Leonard, probing the paradoxes of the term “woman photographer,” as well as the personal narratives that accompany and complicate the common trope of a woman with a camera. Watch the Woman with a Camera panel on Vimeo.

3:00pm Comment by Aruna D’Souza: Photography in an Intersectional Field

What does it mean to make images post-Ferguson, post-Black Lives Matter, post-Standing Rock, post-Trump, post-pussy hats, post-bathroom bills? This talk will explore ideas of how feminism—in no small part thanks to photography—has not just expanded to embrace other struggles, but has in fact intersected with, and become infinitely more urgent and complicated because of them. Watch Photography in an Intersectional Field, the Comment by Aruna D’Souza on Vimeo.

3:45pm Reception
4:45pm Remarks: Kevin Moore, FotoFocus Artistic Director and Curator
5:00pm Keynote Conversation with Tabitha Soren and Justine Kurland: Shooting America

Tabitha Soren and Justine Kurland will discuss their means and methods of representing American life, from the heroic efforts (and failures) of baseball stardom to the shambling lives of the dispossessed who struggle to conjure a glimmering dream, and just to get by. Watch Shooting America, the Keynote Conversation with Tabitha Soren and Justine Kurland on Vimeo.

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