Public Program:
The Great Goddess Debate: Spirituality Versus Social Practice in Recent Feminist Art
December 8 1987

The panel is being presented in conjunction with the Museum's current exhibition, "Ana Mendieta: A Retrospective," which is on view through January ' 24, 1988. 

Although Mendieta's work raises many issues pertaining to this debate, the purpose of the panel is not to focus on Mendieta's work per se, but rather to explore current directions in feminist art in a larger context. In the course of the evening, panelists will consider the ramifications of the spiritual tradition in feminist art. Since the early days of the women's movement, many artists, citing such sources as prehistoric matriarchal societies and ancient goddess religions, have reclaimed old rituals and symbols and created new ones in order to reflect distinctly female experience. The controversy centers around defining universal female experience, since such definitions, critics say, are determined by social constructs. The panelists, in their writing or in their art, have all played integral roles in this ongoing debate.