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panel session B1


Risseeuw Panel

THURSDAY MARCH 19, 12:00-1:30PM

Session Chair: John Risseeuw, Arizona State University, Tempe, Arizona, USA

Email: john.risseeuw@asu.edu

This panel will address the role of prints as a form of political expression. Historically the printed multiple has been both a tool for social control by the church or state and also used by artists to critique systems of power. What lessons can be drawn from the political history of prints for artists today? In the context of our contemporary media industrial complex, how do prints, often self-published on smaller scales of distribution offer a tool for political expression?  Are galleries and museums viable contexts for political printworks? What criteria do we use to judge political prints; aesthetic, rhetorical, and/or political? And, importantly, how can these ideas inform the teaching of printmaking and book arts?

Presenter 1: Ericka Walker, Nova Scotia College of Art and Design, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
Paper Title: Let Us Now Praise Famous Women: The Feminine Legacy of Socially Active Print Practices

This paper and digital slideshow presents an intergenerational perspective on the contributions of women with investments in politically active and socially engaged print practices, grassroots arts organizations, and collectives, from the Suffrage Atelier, Mary Patten and the Madame Binh Graphics Collective, Sister Corita Kent and Linda Lucero, to contemporary practitioners such as Mary Tremonte of Dignidad Rebelde, Faviana Rodriguez of the JustSeeds Artists’ Collective, and designer and activist Emily Davidson. The work created by these artists and groups has evolved alongside flatly bifurcated depictions of women and marginalized peoples in propaganda and political print works from two World Wars—created largely at the behest of industry and the State--to embrace alternative political and social movements of the 1960’s and 1970’s in America, on a more human scale. Contemporary incarnations of this lineage are evident in a growing number of talented women who embrace anachronistic (by industry and modern mass media standards) printmaking techniques as a form of resistance in their domestic and international communities. This presentation also addresses how presenting these models within a structured teaching environment can serve as a successful educational tool in the University printshop.

Presenter 2: Ruthann Godollei, Macalester College, St. Paul, Minnesota, USA
Paper Title: Dissent: A Crash Course

Dissent: art, action and outrage. There is a long tradition of social commentary in printed arts, from protest graphics and satirical broadsides to street actions and performance pieces. Dissent is, literally, to "feel or think differently," something many artists naturally do. This talk will feature provocative lesser-known prints in the service of social change. Prints from the 1600s chronicling Dissenters, Nonconformists, Diggers, Luddites and Muggletonians, stand alongside Paul Revere’s revolutionary satire. Japanese catfish prints, Memphis Sanitation Workers Strike posters, Yo Soy 132, Red Square Canada and Movimiento 15M all advocate for better conditions and envision new possible worlds. We will discuss a college course which comparatively examined the historical precedents, compelling output, theories, motivations and strategies in the prints of various resistance movements. Student projects were based on inquiry into historic and contemporary examples of protest art, resulting in new dynamic hands-on community-based print works.

Presenter 3: Kjellgren Alkire, Winona State University, Winona, Minnesota, USA
Paper Title: Signal to Noise: Printed and Performed

Exploring relationships between graphic and live artworks, “Signal To Noise Ratio: Printed and Performed” explores the work of several creative activists who rely on expressive text to affect social change. This range of artists uses aesthetics ranging from religious histrionics to bureaucratic boredom to subvert the various versions of political theatre that they protest.