Badass
Bitches
of The Met

Exploration

07/05/2016
REWRITING ART HISTORY WITH FEMINISM
 

 

I learned about Museum Hack a few months ago and definitely wanted to check it out for myself. I decided the Badass Bitches of The Met tour seemed about as nontraditional a museum tour as one could find.

I and the 11 others in my group met our guides Lia and Lindsay in the lobby and kicked off our two-hour excursion by putting our hands in a circle and quietly cheering “Dismantle the Patriarchy!” Moving to the first room, we were asked by a show of hands if we considered ourselves feminists. Some of the men in the group did not raise their hands and there was some hesitation by a few of the women, but when the actual definition was presented the results became unanimous.

MuseumHack
TM

Feminist: Supporting the advocacy of women’s rights on the grounds of political, social and economic equality to men.

TheMet
TheMet

We were given a few stats from the Guerilla Girls, including the fact that less than 4% of the artists represented in the Modern Art section of The Met were women, but 76% of the nudes are female. Sunglasses were handed out with #artbitch on the arm so we could “throw shade” at unsavory characters described in the stories of the objects we were about to see. And then we were on our way! Zipping through the museum’s various galleries, we stopped in each to examine one or two pieces. We viewed work by both men and women and were presented with the often-untold histories of the artists or subjects. It was certainly interesting to contrast those stories with the information The Met chooses to present in their descriptions.

TheMet

Fun and engaging challenges were issued during our expedition, including a caption competition and posing for a Polaroid shot. It was refreshing to stride through a museum with precision and purpose while having some entertainment and humor injected into the affair. My typical museum experience, to the contrary, has involved slowly shuffling from object to object, reading each wall caption with the sense of obligation that comes with the price of admission. The mix of entertainment and education, and the absence of “gallery fatigue”, ensured the pieces I viewed that day will stay with me for a long time. It also has sparked my interest in seeking out other female artists and learning more about the subjects and symbols in their work. As Museum Hack, Guerilla Girls and others work to rewrite art history, maybe in the future we can spend less time seeking out their work and more time appreciating it.

TheMet

More Thoughts.

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