Fog Clearing

My previous post brackets from the following question. Is it possible to produce a work focused on women with little or no reference to the marginalization of the female experience? I’ve been reflecting on this in one form or another for some time, informing my intention since the start of the (women in punk) project.

As I move forward, new questions form which help clarify the scope and focus of the story. The post title encapsulates how I visualize my current understanding of the subject. It began with a layer made of fog that clears with each new source. I’ve found more questions than answers, which tells me I’m on the right path.

Of the many, one consistently presents itself. Riffing on the initial query, can the conversation shift and maintain focus on the subject at hand (female innovators of punk) rather than be entwined with the erasing or minimizing of women. The research seemingly says this is somehow inevitable. Even before I considered this, I’d been keenly aware of the premise (I address it in a post about Alice Guy-Blaché). Still, holding and making room for this prospect has opened some interesting possibilities.

There are several themes that have bubbled up which feed my intentions. The first, is a realization that the most feminist individuals in my life are cisgender males. On reflection, this was a surprise as well as an interesting data point on who I’ve found kinship with.

The second was a reflection on Reebee’s visualization, ‘Geneology Of Rock and Pop’ which I wrote about in a post about genealogy as a storytelling device. It has served as an easily referenced roadmap when building a timeline to help contextualize characters.

The third centers on the business of art. I had the opportunity to speak one-on-one with Ann Magnuson and Exene Cervenka a few weeks back. In the course of conversation, each touched on the financial aspects intrinsic to their respective punk scene. A kind of East Coast vs West Coast cultural context made itself clear. Whereas in the East there’d been an institutionalized environment of patron and artist (one notable example is Andy Warhol and The Velvet Underground), the West Coast was fully DIY because the dynamic (of patron and artist) existed elsewhere – Hollywood. Even though the Studio system was essentially over, the metaphor simply morphed to accomodate the changing times.

It’s more than a bit thrilling to have these topics serve as potential landmarks from which to work from. If these casual, isolated chats are any indication I’m in for a brilliant ride.

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