Women in the Arts: Charlotte Day – 艺术中的女性:Charlotte Day

Opinion - 13 Aug 2018

Women in the Arts: Charlotte Day

‘We need more advocates across gender lines and emphatic leaders in museums and galleries to create inclusive, supportive and generative spaces’

By Charlotte Day

For our series celebrating the achievements of women in the arts, the Director of Monash University Museum of Art, Melbourne, shares her experience of working in the museum sector, the many women and colleagues who have influenced her and provided professional support and what steps need to be taken to tackle unconscious gender biases.

My own story is not one of hard luck. I had access to a good (mostly free) education at a time when there were fewer university graduates (and fewer with a curatorial focus) so there were more opportunities and less competition for jobs. For more than 20 years, I have worked with lots of inspirational women and men who have been amazing mentors, shared their knowledge and created opportunities for me and many other young women. Rose Lang and Bala Starr at 200 Gertrude Street in Melbourne took me in as an intern and taught me a great deal. Jenepher Duncan, then Director at Monash University Museum of Art (MUMA), where I now work, and the Australian Centre for Contemporary Art (ACCA), first employed me and has always been very encouraging. One of the earliest projects I worked on was artist Kathy Temin’s low-fi, Frank Stella-inspired floor sculpture Indoor Monument … Hard Display at ACCA in 1995 which was a powerful demonstration to me of how women artists can occupy space and be bold and provocative in doing so. ACCA’s later directors, Juliana Engberg and Kay Campbell, and Maudie Palmer, Director of TarraWarra Museum of Art, each taught me a great deal and I continue to be inspired by the ambition of their thinking and commitment to artists and art practice.

There are so many fiercely independent, intelligent, committed and extraordinarily capable women artists who have profoundly influenced me – for example, Megan Cope, Agatha Gothe-Snape, Bianca Hester – and who constantly redefine art’s borders and negotiate new ways of working together. I have been thrilled by the ambition of the sculptural practices of Nairy Baghramian, Fiona Connor, Mikala Dwyer, Alicia Frankovich, Monica Sosnowska and Justene Williams, again to name just a few. They have led me to be more conscious of the ways in which we occupy space, and guided my approach to commissioning art in the public realm.

Being thrown into the deep end in my late 20s as Assistant Director at a small independent art space, 200 Gertrude Street, was the best thing that could have happened to me. With the-then Director, Rose Lang, going on maternity leave, I was entrusted with the organization and got to sink my teeth into running it. I had wonderful support from a staff of two and many interns and volunteers. We worked hard together and achieved a lot.

Rose once said something to me that I often share with others: if you don’t know something or are unsure of what to do, just ask for help – there are many people out there who are happy to assist. I have called on numerous people over the years and continue to benefit from the support of colleagues. I hope that I am one of the people that others can call on, too. Collegiality and reciprocity are the things I value the most.

I worked semi-freelance for around ten years, thanks to the support of many colleagues. It was great for my family life and allowed me to be project-focused in a creatively enriching way. I acknowledge, however, that I worked without much income for an extended period, and that this is the reality for many women across all work sectors when they have children. I have to include my mum in this narrative, as I wouldn’t have been able to install projects or travel (which is a bigger deal in Australia than in many other places, especially in a job where to be connected means a lot) without her support. From early on, she looked after my daughters when I wasn’t around, and I am forever grateful to her.

I took on a new director role soon after having my first daughter, a combination I wouldn’t recommend and later felt compelled to put a disclaimer to – I didn’t want to become the poster girl for ‘we can do everything at once’! I love both my work and my family, but it has always been an ongoing negotiation between the two and they are not always easily reconcilable. We do seem to be moving to a model of relationships in which partners play a more active role in early parenting and the responsibilities of family life are better shared. On a practical note, that there is legislated maternity leave in Australia combined with some available government/employer paid maternity leave is a big step forward. There remains, however, the issue of prohibitively high childcare costs, which is an acute problem, especially for women without regular employment.

There are problems at an institutional level, too. I recently participated in a museum leadership program run by the Getty Leadership Institute in which 31 out of the 37 participants were women. With the high proportion of women working in museums, it is logical to assume that many of them are seeking further training. But I believe that there is a bit more to the numbers than that. Despite the fact that women are well-represented in the arts – as in most other fields – not many have been promoted to the most senior roles in Australian museums and elsewhere.

This imbalance means that the career paths for women are less visible than they are for men. Many women (and other people who are subject to the many forms of subtle and not-so-subtle discrimination) believe they need to up-skill to qualify for a more senior role, while their male colleagues tend to more readily believe themselves to be role-ready.

The best employers have wised-up to this disparity. There are many ways we can tackle indoctrination and unconscious bias: we can be clear about our organizational values and seek to redress the gender, generational, racial and cultural imbalances of who is involved in decision-making. But I think it also requires a deeper shift in thinking, which moves away from the idea of a sense of confident authority being the key entitlement to a position of greater responsibility. This puts the onus back on us to change the systems and structures in which we work, to ensure that they are inclusive and fair.

Gender and related issues of inequality have always been a concern to me but have become more pressing in recent years – partly through my own maturing, I suspect – but they have also been influenced by broader cultural shifts and non-shifts. I am not necessarily always in favour of quotas, nor for stand-alone feminist or women artists’ group exhibitions, although I recently saw a wonderful exhibition at the Brooklyn Museum, ‘We Wanted a Revolution: Black Radical Women, 1965–85’ that I’ve been thinking about. For change to be enduring it has to be integrated and pervasive. Whatever approach we take requires constant vigilance, as what works at one time may not continue to be the best approach in the future. It is on the record that Australian women artists earn on average 30 percent less than their male counterparts. In my current role, one of my first priorities was to work on improving the gender representation in Monash University’s art collection and to address historical imbalances. While we have been able to improve the number of women artists and the number of their works represented, I am now also looking at our acquisition plan from the point of view of evenly distributing the budget to attempt to better counterbalance inequalities in the art market.

Artist Elvis Richardson’s CoUNTess blog, which assembles data on gender representation in the arts in Australia, is an important analytical tool. It shows that gender remains one of the key determinants of an artist’s opportunity/profile/representation, although there have been some improvements. Richardson’s site has had a strong impact on the arts community here and has raised awareness about how we must continually be alert to inequalities and recognize how entrenched they can be.

Having a voice and finding the right way to advocate and debate issues publicly is one of the most important things we can do. We need to create new ways of communicating that don’t just mimic well-worn and, at times, disingenuous formats. The best example I can think of is the comedian Hannah Gadsby’s recent show Nanette, which is available on Netflix. It is emotionally intense, bravely raw and vulnerable but also expertly crafted and articulated, bitingly critical and provocative – a commentary on misogyny, violence against women, stereotyping, and much else. It is compelling viewing.

The great thing about #Metoo is that it is public and pervasive. It sends a clear message about what is and what is not acceptable behaviour. I am less sure about the public outing of men before they are convicted but appreciate that there are huge disparities in how legal systems manage such cases. I want to have faith in the Australian legal system but that may not be realistic in all constituencies. A recent confluence of events has led to increased media attention in Australia to our own disturbingly high rate of violence against women and reported incidents of sexual harassment. I have two teenage daughters and I don’t want them to grow up fearful – and they shouldn’t have to. Universities in Australia are proactively addressing this challenge on campuses. Many more people are speaking up, including politicians – seemingly from a genuine desire for change rather than just to attract women voters.

We need more advocates across gender lines. But we certainly need to be emphatic leaders in our museums and galleries in creating safe and inclusive, supportive and generative spaces. To effect real change and to make sure that #Metoo isn’t just a slogan, we need to do more than just talk.

Main image: Charlotte Day. Courtesy: Monash University Museum of Art, Melbourne

Charlotte Day

Charlotte Day is Director of Monash University Museum of Art (MUMA), Melbourne, Australia.

Women in the Arts
Charlotte Day
Monash University Museum of Art

意见- 13八月艺术2018妇女:夏洛蒂日“我们需要更多的倡导者跨越性别界限和强调领导人在博物馆和画廊,创造包容,支持和生成空间”的Charlotte Day为了庆祝艺术领域的女性成就,墨尔本莫纳什大学艺术馆馆长分享了她在博物馆工作的经历,许多影响过她并提供专业支持的女性和同事。需要采取措施来解决无意识的性别偏见。我自己的故事不是一个倒霉的故事。在大学毕业生数量较少的时候,我获得了一个良好的(大部分是免费的)教育机会(很少有一个策展焦点),所以机会更多,竞争更少。20多年来,我一直与许多鼓舞人心的女性和男性一起工作,她们是了不起的导师,分享知识,为我和许多其他年轻女性创造了机会。Rose Lang和Bala Starr在墨尔本格特鲁德街200号带我去实习,并教了我很多东西。Jenepher Duncan,当时在莫纳什大学艺术博物馆(MUMA)的主任,我现在工作,澳大利亚当代艺术中心(ACCA),首先雇用我,一直是非常鼓舞人心的。我研究的最早的项目之一是艺术家Kathy Temin的低Fi,Frank Stella启发的地板雕塑室内纪念碑……在1995的ACCA硬展示,这是一个强有力的演示给我如何女艺术家可以占据空间,大胆和挑衅这样做。ACCA后来的导演Juliana Engberg和Kay Campbell和塔拉瓦拉美术馆的主任Maudie Palmer都教了我很多东西,我继续受到他们对艺术家和艺术实践的思考和承诺的鼓舞。有许多非常独立、聪明、忠诚和超凡能干的女性艺术家对我有着深刻的影响——例如Megan Cope、Agatha Gothe Snape、Bianca Hester,她们不断地重新定义艺术的边界,并协商合作的新方式。我对Nairy Baghramian、Fiona Connor、Mikala Dwyer、Alicia Frankovich、Monica Sosnowska和Justene Williams的雕塑实践抱有极大的震撼。他们使我更加意识到我们占据空间的方式,并指导我在公共领域中调试艺术的方法。作为一个独立的艺术空间的助理导演,我在20多岁的时候被抛到了深渊,200格特鲁德街是我能遇到的最好的事情。当时的主管Rose Lang正在休产假,我被委托给这个组织,我必须开始运作。我得到了来自两个和许多实习生和志愿者的工作人员的大力支持。我们一起努力,取得了很大成就。罗斯曾经跟我说过我经常和别人分享的东西:如果你不知道什么,或者不知道该怎么做,那就去请求帮助吧。多年来,我呼吁很多人,并继续受益于同事们的支持。我希望我是其他人也可以拜访的人之一。合情合理和互惠互利是我最珍视的东西。在很多同事的支持下,我在半个自由职业生涯中工作了大约十年。这对我的家庭生活很好,让我专注于一种富有创造性的方式。然而,我承认,我工作了很长一段时间没有太多的收入,这是许多妇女在所有工作部门的现实,当他们有孩子。我必须把我的母亲包括在这个叙述中,因为我不可能安装项目或旅行(这在澳大利亚比其他地方更大,特别是在一个连接很多的工作)没有她的支持。从很小的时候起,她就在我不在的时候照顾我的女儿,我永远感激她。在我有了第一个女儿后不久,我就开始了一个新的导演角色,这是一个我不推荐的组合,后来我觉得不得不提出一个免责声明——我不想成为海报女郎,因为我们可以同时做任何事情。我爱我的工作和我的家庭,但这一直是一个正在进行的谈判这两个,他们并不总是容易和解。我们似乎正在走向一种关系模式,在这种关系中,伴侣在早期养育中扮演更积极的角色,家庭生活的责任更好地分享。在实践中,澳大利亚的立法性产假与一些政府/雇主带薪产假相结合是向前迈出的一大步。然而,仍然存在高昂的育儿费用问题,这是一个严重的问题,尤其是对于没有正规就业的妇女来说。在制度层面上也存在一些问题。我最近参加了由盖蒂领导学院举办的博物馆领导计划,其中37名参加者中有31位是女性。在博物馆工作的女性比例很高,假设她们中的许多人正在寻求进一步的培训是合乎逻辑的。但我相信数字比这个数字还要多。尽管女性在艺术方面表现得很好——和大多数其他领域一样,但在澳大利亚博物馆和其他地方,没有多少人被提升为最高级的角色。这种不平衡意味着女性的职业道路比男性更不可见。许多女性(以及其他受多种微妙而非微妙歧视的人)认为她们需要提高技能以获得更高的职位,而男性同事则更倾向于相信自己已经准备好了角色。最好的雇主已经克服了这种差距。我们有很多方法可以解决灌输和无意识的偏见:我们可以清楚地了解我们的组织价值观,并寻求纠正参与决策的人的性别、世代、种族和文化的不平衡。但我认为这也需要一个更深层次的思维转变,这就偏离了一种自信权威的观念,这是获得更大责任的关键权利。这使我们改变了我们工作的体制和结构,确保它们是包容性和公平的。性别和相关的不平等问题一直是我关心的问题,但近年来变得越来越紧迫——我怀疑,部分是通过我自己的成熟,但他们也受到更广泛的文化变迁和非转变的影响。虽然我最近在布鲁克林艺术博物馆看到了一个精彩的展览,“我想要一场革命:黑人激进妇女,1965到85岁”,但我并不总是赞成配额,也不一定赞成独立的女权主义者或女艺术家的团体展览。为了持久的变化,它必须是综合的和普遍的。不管我们采取什么样的方法都需要不断的警惕,因为一次工作可能不会继续成为未来最好的方法。澳大利亚女性艺术家的平均收入比男性低30%。在我目前的角色中,我的首要任务之一是致力于改善莫纳什大学艺术收藏中的性别代表,并解决历史失衡问题。虽然我们已经能够提高女艺术家的数量和作品的数量代表,我现在也看我们的收购计划,从均匀分配预算的观点,试图更好地抵消不平等的艺术市场。艺术家Elvis Richardson的伯爵夫人博客是一个重要的分析工具,它汇集了澳大利亚艺术中的性别代表性数据。它表明,性别仍然是一个艺术家的机会/轮廓/表示的关键因素之一,虽然有一些改进。理查德森的网站在这里对艺术界产生了强烈的影响,并唤起人们对如何持续警惕不平等现象的认识,并认识到他们是如何根深蒂固的。有一个声音,找到正确的方式公开倡导和辩论问题是我们能做的最重要的事情之一。我们需要创造一种新的交流方式,不仅仅是模仿陈旧的,有时是虚假的格式。我能想到的最好的例子是喜剧演员Hannah Gadsby最近的节目纳奈特,它可以在Netflix上买到。它在情感上是强烈的、勇敢的原始和脆弱的,但也有精心制作和表达的,尖锐的挑剔和挑衅——对厌恶女人、对女人的暴力、刻板印象以及其他许多东西的评论。这是引人注目的观察。关于它的伟大之处在于它是公共的和普遍的。它传达了一个明确的信息:什么是什么,什么是不可接受的行为。我不太确信在被判有罪之前,公众的出游行为,但他们知道法律系统如何管理这些案件存在巨大的差异。我希望对澳大利亚的法律体系有信心,但这在所有选区都不现实。最近发生的一系列事件导致了澳大利亚媒体对我们对妇女暴力行为的高度关注,并报道了性骚扰事件。我有两个十几岁的女儿,我不想让他们长大恐惧-他们不应该。澳大利亚的大学正积极应对校园的挑战。更多的人在讲话,包括政治家们——看起来是出于对变革的真正渴望,而不仅仅是为了吸引女性选民。我们需要更多的跨越性别界限的倡导者。但我们确实需要在我们的博物馆和画廊中加强领导,创造安全的、包容的、支持性的和创造性的空间。为了实现真正的变革,并确保“Meta”不仅仅是一个口号,我们需要做的不仅仅是说话。主要形象:夏洛蒂日。礼貌:莫纳什大学美术馆,墨尔本


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