The 1970s and the gendered spaces of the counter tradition
in Engendering an avant-garde
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Vancouver artists’ concerns with discourses of theatricality and female gendered spaces are argued as important links between the defeatured landscapes of the 1968-1971 period and the development of large narrative photographs after 1975. The importance of Marcel Duchamp’s readymades to this historical thread are covered in detail, including the documented impact of his work Étant donnés: 1. La chute d/eau, 2. Le gaz d’éclairage (1946-66) on Jeff Wall’s transition towards the tableau format. Using Étant donnés as a fruitful formal and conceptual segue, the feminist content in several of Jeff Wall and Ian Wallace’s works from the mid-to-late 1970s are analysed. This demonstrates how both artists actively integrated feminist theory and ideas into their visual work, even as they directed critical attention away from it by instead stressing their works relationship the history of European avant-garde critique within modernism.

Engendering an avant-garde

The unsettled landscapes of Vancouver photo-conceptualism

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