return to Outside Circle Collective - OCC ( an art collective ) home    community log    discussions    jomas    jowai    newsletters    login    

landscape, gender, and art

  #

For some primordial reason, nature, art, and gender seem to be inextricably linked.  If you have ever felt that pull towards art when surrounded by nature or noticed the very gendered formations and essences that raw nature can take on, then these artists may speak to you.  We just recently got a book in at the Shaman Drum entitled: As Eve Said to the Serpent: On Landscape, Gender, and Art, by Rebecca Solnit.  It highlights a few landscape artists that also deal with issues of gender.  However, I had a hard time finding work that specifically showed this corrolation.  If you have any insights or comments on the link between art, landscape and gender, please add to this discussion.

above photo by Barbara Bosworth

For strong statements on gender issues, check out work by Carolee Schneemann



Artists  Arts - Performing  Arts - Visual  
 
In order to post a message, you must be logged in
Login
message date / author
Not only in nature, but many human languages have gender-specific nouns (objects that are identified as innately male or female). Identifying things as male/female seems to be a conceptual convenience in many areas of thought and expression. Sometimes these make "sense" in a cultural way, sometimes they don't. I wonder if there are possibilities for a word-landscape-gender based art?6/29/2003 10:48:49 AM
stargrazer
i love the image over there <-- gender is something difficult to apply to things that aren't a specific sex by nature. i always found it puzzling while learning languages that nouns were often gendered. how does one determine the gender of something as nuetral as the word 'chair'? are there feeling that one gets when thinking of an object that would lead to such a conclusion? are these feelings collective, or just determined by some old dead linguist?7/1/2003 1:02:58 PM
ben
Or are we talking more about Soft (female) vs. Hard (male).... Shapes and natural formations play a big part in percieved gender. For Example:
  • Rock vs. Moss
  • tree vs. leaves
  • mountain vs. lake
Does this apply to sound (or sound of language) too?
7/1/2003 1:10:40 PM
nick
so much of sound and language is about pronunciation and articulation. the mental images produced by the words you listed (above) are thought of as gendered, but are the words themselves?7/1/2003 1:32:49 PM
ben
I think that there are two main ways that we associate a perceived gender to a specific natural formation, or piece of art. First, there is the artwork (like that of Georgia O'Keefe's) that simply resembles certain engendering anatomical features. Secondly, there are the more subtle features like some of those mentioned above (soft, smooth, curves=female; hard, rough, angular=male) that we have grown to associate with female/maleness. Then the issue of gender in language that has been added to the discussion is interesting because it suggests that certain nouns somehow remind us these qualities. I personally don't think that this was just some old linguists brain child, but that rather, there is a type of collective or universal assertion as to what sounds or resembles something male or female. Then the interesting question becomes how, when, and why did these associations originate?7/1/2003 1:34:41 PM
pax
did god invent nouns?7/1/2003 6:50:48 PM
ben
I think of letter-sounds like "L," "N," and "A" as feminine sounds (not sure why) and harder or more guttural sounds like "D," "K," and even "E" as masculine sounds. I doubt that there is an actual correlation between words that have a lot of these sounds and language-gender associations, but I wouldn't be surprised if there was the fleeting shadow of a correlation. It seems like there is some intuitive leaping taking place somewhere down the rungs of the linguistic ladder...7/3/2003 3:45:02 PM
stargrazer
I had heard something on the radio recently talking about 'dead' and 'dying' languages that was speaking of a native american language that didn't use gender to distinguish between words, but rather distinguished between 'animate' and 'inanimate' things.

To me, that made alot more sense, but it also points out how arbitrary the application of gender is to words. Something Ben mentioned earlier, I also encountered when I was learning German. For a while, I thought it would be easy to guess the gender of words -- but that failed all too often (it was easier in Spanish, for some reason).

And, because I'm so late into all of these discussions, I have to comment: One would think that yes, if god were to have created all things on earth, then he invented nouns. (Although I think man had a large part of it -- too much time to think about words, perhaps).
7/31/2003 12:06:26 PM
name not provided
God did not invent nouns. He created the angels, and they created nouns. God created adverbs.7/31/2003 3:44:11 PM
stargrazer
Humans created adjectives?8/1/2003 3:22:37 PM
nick
It's plausible.8/1/2003 11:46:47 PM
name not provided
This is pretty intriguing in a chicken-or-egg type way. Was there a grammar timeline in the development of language? Something like: Nouns first (with the right inflection, a noun can communicate a lot and stand on its own); then verbs to modify the nouns; then adjectives and adverbs to increase the specificity (is that a word?) as language became more and more of a descriptive thing. I could be way off base there. Who knows when grunts turned into words?8/3/2003 1:11:30 AM
stargrazer
I've wondered about that.

I've always just assumed there were nouns for a reeeeally long time. Then other parts just got put in gradually as the need for abstract thgouth became greater. I dunno though.

It'd be pretty funny if someone did know when words came about. Again, the chicken and the egg -- how would one describe it, lacking language?
8/3/2003 3:00:21 AM
name not provided
Are y'all aware of "the body as landscape" style of drawing/painting/photography? We did some of this in figure drawing class. there is also a Kalamazoo-area artist named Randall Bonzo who has some great body-as-landscape watercolors.8/28/2003 5:00:53 PM
stargrazer
Peter - any of Bonzo's work online?9/4/2003 10:51:04 PM
nick
Not that I'm aware of, but I'll do a search. I'd be kind of surprised if he wasn't featured somewhere.9/5/2003 11:19:39 AM
stargrazer
I was not able to find any reference to Randall Bonzo in a google search. I also tried searching under "Kalamazoo," "Watercolorist," and some other related fields. No dice. I know he exists, though. I have a great painting he did a few years ago called "Angel of the Waters."

I believe he works as a butcher for a living, yet his paintings are all of nature and very serene. This internal dualism exists in all of us, I think. I feel that it has some tenuous connection to the gender/art issue as well.

Do we express what we contain, or do we express what we can't contain?

9/6/2003 1:46:08 PM
stargrazer
It depends on the soul doing the expressing.9/8/2003 2:13:25 AM
name not provided
In order to post a message, you must be logged in
Login