Lynn Hershman Leeson’s film !Women Art Revolution (!W.A.R.) (which will be playing at the Walker in November in conjunction with our upcoming film series And Yet She Moves: Reviewing Feminist Cinema) has been nominated for the prestigious 2011 Freedom To Create Prize. The winners will be announced at an awards ceremony in Cape Town, South Africa, on November 19. Other nominated artists include Ai Wei Wei and Wafaa Bilal. The nominated entries will be showcased at an open air exhibition that will remain open for the public from November 17 until December 18 before embarking on a global tour.
Freedom to Create writes, “Through intimate interviews, provocative art and rare historical film and video, Lynn’s film reveals how art can address the political consequences of discrimination and violence. She has been working on this project for 42 years, amassing 13,000 minutes of footage, documenting courageous and heroic artists who challenged the limits of freedom of expression imposed by repressive cultures throughout the world.
“Lynn has also become part of the change she has documented. She is making all her work available online and ‘democratising history’ to allow women around the world to reshape and rethink their futures, uploading their own art and opinions and engaging with each other, creating an unprecedented repository of information, community and female empowerment.”
Freedom to Create is an international organization that supports artists who use the tranformative power of the arts to inspire social change in the face of oppression, discrimination and socio-economic challenges. The Prize money of US$100,000 is awarded across two prize categories, Main and Imprisoned Artist. The entries are judged by a panel of luminaries, including Nelson Mandela Foundation chief executive Achmat Dangor, acclaimed author Salman Rushdie, ballet legend Mikhail Baryshnikov, Hollywood actress, documentary filmmaker and activist Daryl Hannah and social activist and writer Fatima Bhutto. Additional information is at http://www.freedomtocreate.com/lynn-hershman.
In addition to the honor from Freedom to Create, New York’s Museum of Modern Art has acquired !W.A.R. alongside three other feature-length films directed by Hershman—Strange Culture, Teknolust and Conceiving Ada—and a significant selection of photography from the Roberta Breitmore series.
Distributed by Zeitgeist Films, !WAR was forty-two years in the making. The film charts the history of the Feminist Art Movement in America from the 1960s to the present and illuminates how this under-explored movement radically transformed the art and culture of our times. !WAR includes appearances by countless groundbreaking figures such as Yoko Ono, Miranda July, Judy Chicago, The Guerrilla Girls, Carolee Schneemann, Martha Rosler, Yvonne Rainer and many others. For additional info see www.womenartrevolution.com.