Guerrilla Girls Will Discuss Efforts to
Confront Sexism and Racism

Posted November 8, 2001

HOLLAND -- Hope College has some invited guests coming, but don't ask who they are--no one knows. Nor will anyone know after they leave.

That is just the way the Guerrilla Girls like things to work.

The anonymous group of women artists, writers, performers and filmmakers has been challenging the art world for over 15 years. The group uses gorilla masks to make people focus on the issues, usually dealing with gender and multicultural discrimination in the art world. Using posters as their main weapon, and wit as their best defense, the group has used clear messages to create discussion.

The Guerrilla Girls will give a presentation on Thursday, Nov. 15, at 11 a.m. in the studio theatre of the DeWitt Center, located on Columbia Avenue at 12th Street. The event will include short film about the group, and a presentation of the Guerrilla Girls' work dating back to 1985.

The public is invited. Admission is free.

Dubbing themselves, "the conscience of culture," the Guerrilla Girls have created more than 80 posters, printed objects, and actions to expose sexism and racism. Their third book will be released by Penguin in 2002, and addresses the history of female stereotypes.

Their posters, which are placed without warning at whatever location seems right to them, have generated the most publicity for the group.

One poster reads, "Do women have to be naked to get into the Met. Museum?" It then points out that while only five percent of the artists in the Modern Art Section are women, 85 percent of the nudes are female.

"Their posters have illuminated the gap between action and principle in an art world that thinks of itself as unusually liberal and enlightened," said Roberta Smith in "The New York Times."

The Guerrilla Girls have been the subject of countless feature articles, including in "Vogue," "Esquire," "The New York Times," "The Nation" and "The New Yorker." They have also been featured on NPR, PBS, CBS and CNN, and has been the subject for the documentary film, "Guerrillas In Our Midst."

The group's visit is being sponsored by the college's department of art and art history as well as the department of women's studies and student development, with additional support from several other departments at Hope. In addition to the presentation in the studio theatre, while on campus the Guerrilla Girls will also speak later in the day to a women's studies class.


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