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Feminist art manifestos: Eva & Co., "The Manifesto"


#1

Continuing our series of feminist art manifestos, today we republish “The Manifesto” by Eva & Co., an art collective and magazine launched in 1981 by a group of women artists in Austria. According to one of the collective members, “the magazine contained theory, social issues as well as all forms of artistic expressions. Similar to the strategies of commercial campaigns, we tried to find a broader public for feminist contents via public relations, art competitions, and frequent presence in mainstream media.” The magazine and the collective lasted until 1992, when the emergence of the internet compelled the members to explore new avenues of art and activism.

THE MANIFESTO

Eva and Co has chosen to take her own life!

  1. Eva and Co has sinned. Against our better judgement, we have kept up too long with our non-conformist market attempts. Ten years Eva and Co – women´s artist´s group and feminist cultural magazine are enough! (or too much?)
  1. Eva and Co takes the first step; other institutions could follow us! Many of them are overdue and continue to exist only because they are too cowardly to draw the obvious conclusions from their paradoxical and unproductive work. Women are braver!
  1. We no longer secretly ask ourselves: for what?
  1. The magazine Eva and Co was expensive and elitist. We did not manage to make a mass circulation magazine out of it. Consumption is everything – as digestible and entertaining as possible, open to everyone, not too demanding and please, not too serious!
  1. Eva and Co served as the token presence of women in the art world. We are no longer the token! It is everyone´s responsibility that women appear more in the public domain.
  1. Besides: art is not wanted! You make yourself an enemy of the people. Official support barely keeps us alive. But one gets the impression that the officials themselves don´t know exactly why, and that they are only too cowardly to cut off the supply of money.
  1. An enemy of the state as decoration? Art as a piece of jewelry for politicians, fashionable urban citizens and image conscious companies. Art as enticement for streams of tourists. Graz as cultural city.
  1. The content of art, the subversive, the revolutionary, the questioning is silenced. Instead, formalities, cliches like “freedom of expression”, the art market, etc. are discussed.
  1. We know about our so-called artistic freedom to do as we please, but we no longer want to be the fools. We are serious about content.
  1. Today everything is valued through money. What we are doing obviously has no value – we draw the conclusions. Art is valuable only as an object of speculative investment
  1. We reject art! Women, stop producing art, it is pointless! Remember: women´s art is not in! The racism proliferating everywhere demands its victims. We are not the first!
  1. We refuse to continue creating art! Parties are cheaper and you can use something else for decoration
  1. Success killed us. And not only us – but we won´t allow it to bureaucratize us, to burn us out or to pacify us!
  1. Art should be a laboratory. The importance of an experimental stage has to be recognized and promoted. It is necessary for every innovation and indispensable for surviving.
  1. We demand diversity of art and not official decisions about what art is.
  1. Art is political and socially relevant
  1. Women artists are supposed to be perfect housewives, organizers, managers, gallery owners, etc. Enough! In the future, men will be allowed to organize; we will focus on our art.
  1. It is not sufficient to organize women artists in associations. We will develop better strategies and form ourselves anew! We will infiltrate everything! We will go underground and to the sky. And be warned: in the future we will camouflage ourselves.
  1. From now on we will again give free rein to our madness.
  1. Women artists will be as present everywhere as in Eva and Co
  1. Thus we demand: Only women´s art for the next ten years!

(Translation: Anna Wagner, Kristin Conradi)

Above image via grassrootsfeminism.net.