Artist/Mother, an Uneasy Marriage / Who Does She Think She Is?

Artist/Mother, an Uneasy Marriage

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Who Does She Think She Is?

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In a half-changed world, women are often forced to choose: Mothering or working? Your children’s wellbeing or your own own? Responsibility or self expression? Who Does She Think She Is?, a documentary by Academy Award winning filmmaker Pamela Tanner Boll, features five fierce women who refuse to choose. Through their lives, we explore some of the most problematic intersections of our time: mothering and creativity, partnering and independence, economics and art. Along the way, the film invites us to consider both ancient legacies of women worshipped as cultural muses and more modern times where most people can’t even name a handful of female artists. In the end, the diverse women in the film demonstrate that our creativity and our caregiving are not mutually exclusive, but deeply connected. In fact, their co-existence might just be the key to finishing the job. (via imdb)
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Maye Torres

We have 80 percent female students at the School of Visual Arts.
But in the real world, we have 70 to 80 percent male artists in galleries and museums.

These statistics, cited in a new documentary film, sound alarmingly like the numbers released by organizations that track the presence of women in the highest echelons of professions like law, journalism, engineering or finance. Yet, outside the art world, few people talk about the difficulties that female artists face when rising up in the ranks. As in these other fields, experts say the reason there are fewer women at the top is largely because of the difficulties in establishing or maintaining a careers while also raising children.

The new film, “Who Does She Think She Is?,” provides a nuanced look at the sacrifices and challenges facing female artists who become mothers. The stories of the diverse artists profiled in the film mirror those of many professional women — they struggle with periods of not making art; they watch their marriages fail when their commitment to their artistic talent doesn’t mesh with a partner’s vision of a wife; they do work they don’t really want to do to stay afloat financially. The film will leave you wondering whether art schools will follow the lead of business schools in offering on-ramping programs for alumnae working to combine raising families with making art. Obviously, words can only do so much when talking about art. So have a look at the film’s trailer.

The film was directed by Pamela Tanner Boll, an artist, filmmaker and activist, who was the co-executive producer of “Born Into Brothels,” and features commentary from smart thinkers like Courtney Martin, who visited Shifting Careers earlier this year for an intergenerational conversation about feminismwith Deborah Siegel.

By MARCI ALBOHER via The NYimes ~ October 14, 2008

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