!Women, Art, Revolution! film and website review

Looking for something a little more avante-garde to serve as conversation fodder this holiday? I recently came across award-winning filmmaker Lynn Hershman Leeson’s documentary project titled !Women Art Revolution! A (Formerly) Secret History, or !W.A.R. for short (http://womenartrevolution.com/).  According to their website, !W.A.R. “Through intimate interviews, art, and rarely seen archival film and video footage…reveals how the Feminist Art Movement fused free speech and politics into an art that radically transformed the art and culture of our times.”

Although I haven’t yet had the pleasure of viewing the film, what struck me about the project is the wealth of historical information Hershman Leeson has captured over the course of 40 years.  The documentary itself is a paired down version of all of this stunning footage, and was released earlier this year to much applause at several special screenings.  While the film is not available to the public yet (although you can save it on Netflix), Hershman Leeson decided to create a website so as not to edit out any of this important history, which would go against the values of the project: to shed “light on who is left out and why.” You can view interviews from Judith Baca to Martha Wilson, with some Guerrilla Girls in between, here:

http://womenartrevolution.com/about_interviews.php

Furthermore, Hershman Leeson has created a sister project called RAW/WAR which is an interactive website and installation that allows women artists around the world to collaborate, curate, and share their history. This new media installation debuted at the Sundance Film Festival.  The website is an already amazing archive that allows for a lineage to be created in a way that hadn’t existed before, through the use of the internet.  And, it is self-curated and always growing, so check back often! For more information and to add to the archive see:

http://rawwar.org/about/

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About Women and Their Work Gallery

Known for its pioneering spirit, embrace of artistic innovation, and commitment to Texas audiences and artists, Women & Their Work Art Space is a one of a kind statewide non-profit organization. Voted “Best Gallery” numerous times in the Austin Chronicle Readers Poll, Women & Their Work Gallery showcases exhibitions of contemporary art throughout the year and presents performances, readings, film screenings and educational outreach programs.
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