CultureGates
Pyramid or Pillars
Women in Cultural Policies
RECOMMENDATIONS *

Recognising Diversity Through Increased Visibility of Female Artists

Considerable attention and effort is required to increase the visibility and "value-perception" of women artists from a historical and contemporary point of view. This is vitally important in order to (re)construct references, to promote role-models in the process of artistic professionalisation and to re-construct the "box of professional tacit knowledge". A considerable rewrite of text books and other publications of reference is required to include the history of women's achievements and their current contributions alongside those of their male colleagues.

Additional specific measures should secure the participation of women in key platforms and publications which distribute information about artistic works. For example, the EU could support the enlargement of existing directories or encyclopaedia, such as the one on new media artists (www.newmedia-arts.org), to include information on female pioneers and emerging artists which are not necessarily found in mainstream festivals, on programming lists or in the collections of the major contemporary art museums in Europe.

Information campaigns are required to address the image of female artists as well as to counteract the way they are presented in the media, press and publications of reference (critical reviews/columns) which form public opinion and perpetuate a canon of artistic aesthetics based on a narrow world view. At present, female artists, particularly in the field of music, continue to be presented in the media as sexual objects on the one hand and/or whose talents are qualified based on their appearance/sexuality.

Information gate-keepers in the media and in academia should adopt a new role and perspective in order to counteract the myth that there are few women artists available to be recognised, programmed or exhibited and that "special (male) qualities" are needed for the creation of successful works of art.

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