In 1981, the American feminist art magazine Heresies dedicated its 13th edition to the relationships between feminism and ecology. Entitled Earthkeeping / Earthshaking, this edition featured contributions from authors of various nationalities, including art critic Lucy Lippard, artists Ana Mendieta, Faith Wilding, Bonnie Ora Sherk, Cecilia Vicuña and Michelle Stuart, as well as writer Gioconda Belli.
Departing from the question “What can women do about the disastrous direction the world is taking?”, Heresies #13 intended to question the relationship between feminisms and ecology from multiple perspectives. Taking Heresies #13 as a starting point and as a historical and political archive capable of stimulating a fertile reflection on the triangulation between art, ecology and feminisms, the exhibition Earthkeeping / Earthshaking aims to affirm the pioneering role played by numerous artists in this specific context and, at the same time, analyse the potential of their ideas today.
The exhibition presents art works and ephemera by artists who – during the 1970s and early 1980s and by means of heterogeneous practices – questioned our individual and collective relationships with nature and the environment, the dichotomies between nature and culture, the traditional associations of the feminine with forces of nature, as well as the complex relationships between capitalism, colonial histories and environmental degradation.
Some of the artists whose work is presented here have contributed in different ways to Heresies #13, while others have been selected because of their practice and their challenging dialogue with the issues at stake. The exhibition Earthkeeping / Earthshaking – art, feminisms and ecology features works produced specifically for the occasion, as well as works from artists of a younger generations and artists residing in Lisbon. In addition to tracing significant historical backgrounds and demonstrating analogies between perspectives developed during the 1970s and 1980s and the present day, Earthkeeping / Earthshaking aims to inscribe the problems explored within a contemporary context and highlight the urgency for discussion in the Portuguese context.
This exhibition has been supported by: FLAD – Fundação Luso-Americana para o Desenvolvimento, Istituto Italiano di Cultura – Lisbona and Pro Helvetia.
– Giulia Lamoni and Vanessa Badagliacca, curators