Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Moon Time

Nancy Passmore's Lunar Calendar

I've been thinking a lot about the Moon lately.  Perhaps because of the upcoming Total Lunar Eclipse happening tomorrow (during the full moon no less!). Perhaps because my husband and I are very focused on getting pregnant and I am tracking my moon (menstruation) cycle very carefully.

I've always been fascinated by how we as women sync up with the cycles of the moon.  I just ordered Nancy Passmore's Lunar Calendar. I love how this calendar honors the spiral movement of the days (not the square graph of regular calendars). I plan to record my moon time on the calendar and see if there are any patterns with the moon and its cycles.

And all this talk of menstruation(!) reminds me of my friend and fellow John F. Kennedy University Arts & Consciousness graduate Leah Libow's wonderful blog: hyster-y. She has some really fascinating entries of late, discussing her most recent solo exhibition which explored "the Feminine psyche rediscovering itself through reconnection to the womb."

"Lilith 1: Blood Ritual" by Leah Libow (2007)
In reading her blog entries, I especially enjoyed her description of trying to define art to a patron. It's so wonderful, I am going to reprint here (but read the whole thing here):
On the last day of my exhibition I was standing around the corner from the entrance of the gallery where my full frontal with menstrual blood was hanging. I overheard a woman (who was standing in front of this photo) say "You call that art?!" in a very sarcastic tone. As she rounded the corner, I faced her and said "Yes, I'm the artist." She asked which artist, and I told her "the one exhibiting in the hallway." "You mean the one showing photos of women having their period?!" "YES."

I'll refrain from boring you with the rest of the dialogue. Mostly it was me trying to pick up the pieces of my ego and defend my work. I did not do a good job of it because I was coming from a place of fear, anger and defensiveness instead of power and strength.  And I soon realized that I was speaking to an audience (she was its representative) whose opinion of art most likely included the impressionists and perhaps a few abstract painters as well, but did not include the 70's feminist artists or any conceptual or performance art. And then, after I took a few breaths and calmed down, I recalled that I had taken an entire course in graduate school which focused on the question "What is Art?"... and that even a bunch of art school grad students had trouble answering that one.
I appreciate Leah's truthfulness and transparency in her life as an artist.  Such an inspiration! I highly recommend hopping over and checking out her fabulous scene.

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