Famous Feminists

Hannah Wilke

A Temple alumnus!

“Since 1960, I have been concerned with the creation of a formal imagery that is specifically female, a new language that fuses mind and body into erotic objects that are namable and at the same time quite abstract. Its content has always related to my own body and feelings, reflecting pleasure as well as pain, the ambiguity and complexity of emotions.” (comment on her project, “Intercourse with…”)

Hannah Wilke Through the Large Glass documents one of Wilke’s most effective and well-known performances, in which she performs a deadpan striptease behind Duchamp’s The Bride Stripped Bare by Her Bachelors, Even (also known as The Large Glass) at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Dressed in a fedora and a white suit, and evoking the style of 1970s’ fashion icons such as Helmut Newton and Yves Saint-Laurent, Wilke strikes a series of poses and then strips. She is seen through the glass of the Duchamp sculpture. In her self-conscious affectation of the often absurdist posturing of a fashion model, Wilke willfully uses her own image and her sexuality to confront the erotic representation of women in art history and popular culture.”

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