Are Feminists Funny?

Monday, November 7
Conversation with Melinda Guillen, Susan Mogul, and Kristina Wong

7pm - 9pm
Historian Melinda Guillen, artist Susan Mogul, and performer Kristina Wong discuss humor in women’s performance art.

About Melinda Guillen
Melinda Guillen is a writer and curator specializing in post-war American contemporary art history and feminist theory. Recent projects include the essay “Time Spent” (on the artist Laurie Jo Reynolds) in What’s the Use: Constellations on Art, History, and Knowledge – A Critical Reader (Valiz, Amsterdam, 2016) and the exhibition No Longer Extant: artistic production and structural demolition featuring work by Cayetano Ferrer and Adela Goldbard in the Visual Arts Gallery at UCSD in 2015. She also produces a zine called Sensitive Boys exploring humor, gender, and emotions in and out of art. In 2012, she was part of the organizing team for Suzanne Lacy’s Three Weeks in January as part of the Pacific Standard Time: Public Art and Performance Festival. Guillen is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Art History, Theory, and Criticism at UC San Diego and her dissertation is a radical separatist feminist revision of the history of conceptual art on the work of Adrian Piper, Lucy R. Lippard, Lee Lozano, and Ana Mendieta.

About Susan Mogul
Having been involved with video since the early 1970s, Susan Mogul is a pioneer of the medium. Initially producing an important series of humorous and staunchly feminist performance videos, her practice quickly expanded to more complicated and experimental forms of narrative, including feature length work. Mogul’s video/film retrospective was presented at “Visions du Reel” International Film Festival in Switzerland in 2009. Driving Men (2008), a feature length film, was on the film festival circuit in Japan, Italy, Portugal, Switzerland, India, Serbia, Estonia, Poland, and Taiwan. In 2011, Mogul’s video art and photo collages were in five “Pacific Standard Time” exhibitions in California. Mogul has been a recipient of numerous grants including a Guggenheim Fellowship, ITVS commission, National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship, Getty Trust Fellowship, Tree of Life grant, and Center for Cultural Innovation innovative project grants. Women of Vision: Histories in Feminist Film and Video, devotes a chapter to Mogul's work and career, and, the UCLA Oral History Program printed the volume, “Susan Mogul: An Oral History.” Mogul’s museum exhibitions include: the Getty Museum; Centre Pompidou, Paris; Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Denmark; MOCA, Los Angeles; and the Museum of Modern Art in New York City.

About Kristina Wong
Kristina Wong is a performance artist, comedian and writer who has created five solo shows and an ensemble play that have toured throughout North America and the UK. Wong has been a commentator for American Public Media’s Marketplace, PBS, CNN, Jezebel, xoJane, Playgirl Magazine, Huffington Post and a guest on Comedy Central’s The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore and FX’s Totally Biased with W. Kamau Bell. She’s been an actor on General Hospital and Nickelodeon’s Nicky, Ricky, Dicky, and Dawn. She has received grants from Creative Capital, The Map Fund, Center for Cultural Innovation, the Durfee Foundation, National Performance Network, and Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs. She has been awarded residencies from Ojai Playwrights Festival, New York Theater Workshop, Montalvo Center for the Arts, The Hermitage and the MacDowell Colony. Wong was a former instructor in the MFA Creative Writing Program at CalArts.


Beta Main’s first commissioned project, Performance Lessons: Suzanne Lacy Teaches Andrea Bowers Performance Art, centers on the profoundly influential trajectory of performance art in California between 1968-1980, reanimating and contextualizing this rich artistic history through durational performance, conversations with practitioners and theorists and inquiry on politics and pedagogy.

Performance Lessons follows the artists’ durational installation at The Drawing Center in New York in 2014, where Andrea Bowers taught Suzanne Lacy how to draw. Using the practice Lacy was foundational in forming, roles are reversed this time and Lacy teaches Bowers how to do performance art. For ten days, the pair will live in Beta Main while Bowers is assigned lessons, develops performances, and undergoes the formal critique process art students endure as part of their education. The lessons, taught by Lacy and other renowned artists, will be free and open to the public.