Thursday, May 3, 2012

Ali Gonzalez Final Exam-Gender and the Home

Up until the mid-20th century, American women had a strong association to the home. The woman’s assumed responsibility as domestic matron, who took care of virtually every aspect of the house (illustrated below), was especially evident in the “Suburbia Age” of the 1950s. However in more recent times, women have been challenging the ‘perfect housewife’ stigma through their emerging roles as ‘modern day working women’. Contemporary women artists, particularly Judy Chicago and Lorna Simpson, are conceptualizing the idea of gender and the home through their daring use of space and vivid artwork.
Throughout her artistic career, Judy Chicago has consistently experimented with art and space according to her feminist views. She famously uses feminist iconography in her works, mostly consisting of “hollow, rounded forms and symmetrical motifs that evoked flowers, butterflies, and vulvas” (Fineman). Chicago’s most notable achievement and contribution to feminist art is her iconic installation The Dinner Party, which is currently showcased at The Brooklyn Museum. The installation represents 1,038 prominent women in history, “39 women are represented by place settings and another 999 names are inscribed in the Heritage Floor on which the table rests” (“Brooklyn Museum”). Her use of space is not only unified but also deliberate. For instance, the large banquet table is in the shape of an equilateral triangle, which symbolizes equality (Fineman). In the detail of The Dinner Party shown below, Chicago illustrates another prominent female artist, Georgia O’Keefe, through a dinner plate. O’Keefe painted flowers representing the relationship between women and their sexuality (Hayden). O'Keefe's painting Flowers of Fire (shown below) is an example of a flower as a vaginal symbol. Her “art was always an immediate response to her environment” (“Georgia O’Keefe”). Thus by representing important women throughout history, Chicago emphasizes the emergence of women’s independence and place beyond the home. Moreover, her clever use of domestic objects, such as dinner plates, references society’s assumption of a woman’s supposed 'duty' to her home.
Lorna Simpson is a female artist who also undermines the notion of gender roles and relates it to space. Her work Gathered, exhibited at the Brooklyn Museum of Art (pictured below), brings together “unidentified photographs of African American women to create compelling narratives” (Arterberry). Similar to Chicago’s Dinner Party, the spatial closeness of the photographs shows women’s unified identity as female. Although the photographs remain close in space, they are scattered and not aligned. This could symbolize their desperate desires to break free from conformity and traditional social roles that restrict them to the home. Moreover, the anonymous women illustrated in this work contradict Chicago’s use of recognizable women. By not naming her subjects, Simpson stresses the idea that it is every woman’s struggle to overcome the social role that has been bestowed upon her by society. The video embedded below illustrates the artist’s message of exploring identity.
The transition from women in the 1950s as 'domestic matrons' to the 'modern day woman' has been fundamental for gender roles and the home. During the 1950s, society accepted females as domestic workers. Even sexual services were considered to be “all in the day’s work for the housewife” (Hayden 116). Yet after this decade, women started to move beyond the stigma of a domestic housewife confined to the space of her home. Beginning with their fight for equal rights in 1960s, women have increased their social status, “Fifty thousand woman marchers moved down Fifth Avenue in New York City, demanding day care, abortion rights, equal jobs, and equal access to education” (Hayden 243). The video below further demonstrates women’s fight for equality. As Janet Abu-Lughod wrote in 1974, “The city we seek as women is a human city in which we all share in the pleasures and pains, where women will be neither dolls nor drudges, and where role specializations so idealized in the past--females nurturing and males laboring—will give way to whole and cooperating humans” (Hayden 245). The woman is now allowed more independence and for that reason there has been an increase in single hard workingwomen in America. The modern workingwoman today works a regular day job, exercises on her spare time but still uses the house as her social haven. Domestic spaces have been designed to reflect these social changes. For example, “Circulation within buildings are designed to balance sociability and privacy, exercise and ease” (Hayden 219). In addition, private apartments are more prevalent nowadays for independent, single women who do not need the entire space of a family home, “One-person units provide a bed/sitting room, half-bath, kitchenette, and dining area (floor plan is shown in image below). Independence is stressed by making it possible for residents to eat alone, yet the private dining tables are placed next to interior windows opening the corridor, to simulate a very small front porch” (Hayden 219).
The social role that women play in America is substantially different than in the past. Because of feminist movements and prominent women in history, including those represented in The Dinner Party, women have broken out of the limited position they once held in their homes. Both Judy Chicago’s work and the art of Lorna Simpson represent the important relationship between the past-perceived roles of women in society and the reality of real women today.
Works Cited
Anya Garrett. Georgia O’Keefe: Flowers of Fire. 2011. Photograph. Vintage Waldo
Arterberry, Marissa. "Lorna Simpson's Gathered: Creating Myth and Mystery." Her Blue Print. 2011.
Fineman, Mia. "Table for 39." Slate. The Slate Group, LLC, 25 Apr 2007. Web. .
"Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art: The Dinner Party." Brooklyn Museum. The Brooklyn Museum, 2011.
"Georgia O'Keefe." My Studios. N.p., 2012. Web. .
Hayden, Dolores. Redesigning the American Dream. New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 1984. 114.
Lorna Simpson: Gathered. 2012. Video. Her BluePrint, Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art at the Brooklyn Museum.
Private Apartment: Floor Plan. 2010. Photograph. Springvale Terrace, Silver Spring, MD.
Women During the Civil Rights Movement. 2009. Video. YouTube.
The Undomestic Goddess. 2009. Photograph. Wise Words of Love, Dating and Relationships Blog.

Tyler Tarun

My consumption poster is designed to showcase shopping in Winter Park as a social activity and specifically highlights shopping on Park Avenue.  To help provide contrast, I used a light backgroundon the poster.  Most of these pictures I took myself on a walk around the Park Avenue area. Winter Park.   I specifically used the Starbucks image because coffee has become a cultural and social events.  I am trying to show shopping both as an event where people acquire all they desire and get to socialize with their friends and family.The text is designed to sell the Winter Park shopping experience to tourists and other visitors.

My ideal home poster focuses on the ideal home as space with a variety of uses for different occupants. I use a floor plan as a background because all homes ideal and real begin with these conceptual floor plans.  I used the image of a luxurious living room to showcase what model homes often look like inside, however, very few people can afford homes with such a luxurious interior.   The text in my poster is designed to call to mind phrases that people might use to talk about residential luxury.  Our society considers luxuries such as sports cars and marble bathrooms to be “the finer things in life.” The picture of Windsong is relevant because that is an example of a fairly new planned neighborhood in Winter Park.   The picture of a house on a lake shows a luxurious accommodation of Winter Park.  As we talked about earlier in the semester, lakes add characterand value to private residences. 

My race and the home poster highlights the important and historic role race has played in the City of Winter Park.  I showcase photos of the past and present of Hannibal Square.  The Mount Mariah photo, which I took, showcases both the past and present at the same time.  The historical photos included on the right hand side of the poster showcase the past.  The left side of the poster showcases more of the present in Hannibal Square.  It shows a photo of a street and a photo of Dwight Howard’s barbershop.  I thought the background in this poster was appropriate given the color is associated with the handouts at the Hannibal Square historical center.

My gender in the home poster is designed to showcase gender stereotypes of this past century.  It uses photos of advertisements of the twentieth century to provoke thoughts of gender in the home.  All of these ads are targeted towards women.  Most of the advertisements were appliance advertisements.  The cigarette advertisement is important because it showcases how one industry used to market towards gender in a very specific way.  I used a blue background to provide contrast with the photos.  

Final Exam Essay Ideal Home

Tyler Tarun
Professor’s Simmons and Chambliss
RPG Art Class
03 May 2012
Final Exam Essay
Owning the ideal home is something that all Americans desire.  Over time minute details behind the ideal home have changed but the core values and basic necessities of the ideal home have stayed the same.   An ideal home is defined by having moral character, providing safety, being standardized, and is utopian.
The first aspect of that ideal home as it relates to space and place is the role of faith and moral character in the home.   The importance of faith in the home has been with society for centuries.  This was evident in the Puritan times as Gwendolyn Wright mentions, “For the Puritans, architectural structures were a microcosm of God’s exacting structure and universe a constant reminder of the way He wanted them to live.”[1]  This quote clearly shows that the Puritan house is designed around what they thought god wanted.  Today, people celebrate certain religious holidays with their extended families at their homes and after attending religious services people return to their homes and discuss what they thought of the service. 
Another key component of the ideal home is safety.  People want to feel safe wherever they live.  In many urban areas people do not feel safe outside at night.  Hayden states, “The Greenlight Program developed by the Women’s Safety Committee of City Lights in Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts, and the Safehouse Program created by Tenderloin tenants for Safer Streets in San Francisco were two programs designed to bring a greater sense of security in the 1980s.”[2]  This shows that some cities have taken the initiative to assist in the home becoming a safer place.  If the home was not a safe place why would anyone want to own one?  Andrea Zittel’s photos represent and show a lot about in home safety.
The ideal home is also utopic.  Hayden states, “The dream houses were utopian.  No one counted how much they might cost.”[3] This reinforces the notion of the dream houses being utopic.  The important thing to note is there are some flaws with the dream house being utopic.  If no one is concerned about the cost buyers could end up making poor decisions and it could lead to a lot of financial problems for the people purchasing the dream house.  We have seen this in the past decade with the housing crisis.
Along with it being utopic, the dream home is also standardized.  Standardization is a more recent phenomenon; the home has not always been this way.  Hayden mentions developers, “broke with traditional regional responses to climate (typical of the adobes of the Southwest or the saltbox houses of New England) in favor of using standardized plans and materials”[4] (Hayden 64)  Charles Ritchie’s photos seem to link most to standardization of the home. 
As we enter the 21st century it is important that we change our idea of what the model home should be.  For too long we have lived beyond our means.  Hayden reiterates this notion with, “Americans must search for an adequate way to organize and pay for the spaces we live in, a way more compatible with the human life cycle….We need to reconstruct the social, economic and spatial bases of our beliefs about individual happiness, solid family life, and decent neighborhoods.”[5]  During the past decade Americans thought they could purchase houses that were well above what they could afford.  As a nation we must fix this problem if we want long term prosperity especially with the home as it relates to space and place.
                When examining the ideal home as it relates to space and place there are many themes that are noticeable.  Over the past centuries many of the concepts of the home have stayed the same and a few have changed.  The most important aspect of the home that we need to remember is that as we enter this next century we need to find a way to enjoy the aspects of the home but also make sure what homeowners do is affordable and sustainable. 

Hayden, Dolores.  “Redesigning the American Dream: Gender, Housing, and Family Life.” W.W Norton and Company.  Copyright 2002. 
Wright, Gwendolyn.  “Building the Dream: A Social History of Housing in America.”  MIT Press.  Copyright 1981.



The first three photos, which were all by Andrea Zittel, show the home at its very basic level.  It’s a shelter for people to live in.  It is not necessarily extremely high end.  These homes are extremely basic. 

The final two works were created by Charles Ritchie.  These show the home as standardized.  It blends in very well with the surroundings.   The house to the viewer’s left of the featured house does not seem to differ very much from the featured house.

The video just covers America’s housing market recovery.  It mentions, in the future, we cannot expect housing prices to go up so quickly. 

[1] Wright, Gwendolyn.  “Building the Dream: A Social History of Housing in America.”  MIT Press.  Copyright 1981. Page 3
[2] Hayden, Dolores.  “Redesigning the American Dream: Gender, Housing, and Family Life.” W.W Norton and Company.  Copyright 2002.  Page 239
[3] Hayden, Dolores.  “Redesigning the American Dream: Gender, Housing, and Family Life.” W.W Norton and Company.  Copyright 2002.  Page 60
[4] Hayden, Dolores.  “Redesigning the American Dream: Gender, Housing, and Family Life.” W.W Norton and Company.  Copyright 2002.  Page 64
[5] Hayden, Dolores.  “Redesigning the American Dream: Gender, Housing, and Family Life.” W.W Norton and Company.  Copyright 2002.  Page 77

Final Exam- Gender Roles in Society

Both feminist artists, Judy Chicago and Lorna Simpson, have taken on the image of the woman’s vulnerability in different ways.  The role of women within society is a very objectified one; her role is traditionally to back up the man and these two artists display this idea and argue against this tradition. 

The photography of Lorna Simpson, particularly in the piece, You’re Fine, explores that role of women in society.  She has removed her from the home, a gender role greatly assumed of women; however, the woman is still figured as below the man. Taken in 1988, this picture is of a vulnerable woman’s silhouette laid out on what looks like a medical exam table.  This piece is powerful in how it speaks to the greatly diminished role of women in society.  Even though they were becoming more prominent in the work place at this time, it was still in secretarial positions, and this artwork makes one question what women are hired for, their brains or their bodies?  “While the numbers of employed women and women in active public life have increased, many spatial stereotypes and patterns of behavior remain” (Hayden, 226).  Simpson’s piece invokes social commentary and angers the viewer in the realization of how society thinks.
  You're Fine, 1988, Lorna Simpson

Women in terms of urban society are much more accepted today; however, there is still a stigma associated with women in positions over men.  “The working woman was no one urban man’s property (her father or husband had failed to keep her at home)” (Hayden, 226).  The role of women in urban society is a complex one. Professionals try and equate themselves with men, whereas others use their sex to their advantage, creating a double standard.  In order to overcome this double standard, “gender stereotypes must be eliminated form architecture, urban design, and graphic design in public space” (Hayden, 228).  One can see the gender stereotypes and difficulty to overcome them in Hyde’s, Running the Gauntlet.
      Running the Gauntlet, 1874, J.N. Hyde

Place setting of Georgia O'Keeffe in
Judy Chicago's, The Dinner Party
The Dinner Party, 1974-1979,
Judy Chicago
On the other hand the artist Judy Chicago also explores the vulnerability of the woman but in a very different way in her artwork, The Dinner Party, which was created between 1974 and 1979.  This complex piece speaks to the strength of women but also to their defenselessness and their traditional roles in the home.  She presents to the viewer a “dinner table,” with a different setting for thirty-nine women of importance throughout history.  Each setting is made up of a chalice, utensils, a tablecloth with their name, and most importantly, a plate, each bearing the artistic form of a vagina.  These plates display exposure in their naked form but then strength in that  too.  By displaying historically prominent women, does the opposite  from Simpson’s piece.  She shows the woman in a full and open way, not hiding her.  The strength of women, as displayed by Chicago, is also greatly seen in active protests during the feminist movement.  “The Women’s Strike for Equality… nationwide demonstrations were the largest since the suffrage movement.  Fifty thousand marchers moved down Fifth Avenue in New York City, demanding day care, abortion rights, equal jobs, and equal access to education” (Hayden, 243).  The unity and strength of women is displayed below in a photograph from the August 1971, Women’s March for Equality.

                                             Picture captured at Women's March for Equality, 1971

Both Loran Simpson and Judy Chicago create great social commentary in relation to the gender roles created in society by making the woman vulnerable and in the case of Chicago also making her strong.  Both of these works challenge the roles of women within society. “No country has yet created an urban fabric and an urban culture to support men and women on equal terms as citizens and workers” (Hayden, 245).  The below video captures the strength of women in the navy, but at no time are they seen with men and the advertisement is constantly aiming to feminize this profession.  This leaves to question the ability of society to overcome the double standards present.

Works Cited 
The Dinner Table. N.d. N.p., n.d. Web. 3 May 2012. <‌wp-content/‌uploads/‌2012/‌01/‌JudyChicagoTheDinnerParty-708371.jpeg>.
The Dinner Table- Georgia O’Keeffe. N.d. The Brooklyn Museum, New York. Brooklyn Museum. Web. 3 May 2012. <‌eascfa/‌dinner_party/‌wiki/‌images/‌39.718.jpg>.
Hayden, Dolores. Redesigning The American Dream. New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 2002. Print.
Hyde, J N. Running the Gauntlet. 1874. The Lost Museum. The Lost Museum. Web. 3 May 2012. <‌images/‌gauntlet.gif>.
Simpson, Lorna. You’re Fine. 1988. Lorna Simpson Studio, New York. Lorna Simpson Studio. Web. 3 May 2012. <‌photographicworks03.html>.
United States Navy. Women (re)defined- Megan, Erica, and Jessica. YouTube. N.p., 2010. Web. 3 May 2012. <‌user/‌UnitedStatesNavy?v=aGcthQE4lR4&lr=1>.
Woman Power- Women’s March for Equality. N.d. N.p., n.d. Web. 3 May 2012. <‌NY%20MARCH%2008%2026%201971.jpg>.

Rpg Final: Ideal Home

        The concept of the ideal home was one of the platforms of our society and the American Dream. But in the beginning a home was a just a shelter from the harsh weather found in nature “Nature was not considered a gentle, inspiring force to be courted…the wall of the house was decidedly a barrier to the outside.”  (Wright, 12) This blockade from the outside world was the ideal home at one time. But from this understanding a home became many interpretations, as seen throughout neighborhoods and cities. There are Mac-Mansions, apartments, condos, or just a simple town home. “A man’s house is his art-at least a house is the nearest to art that most men will ever come.” (Winton, 1) With this the home is specialized and characterized by those who live in it and by those who see it as what it is a work of art.

"Make a Wish Cottage" by Thomas Kinkade
         Thomas Kinkade shows his views of homes, placed in rural secluded areas, surrounded by  surreal aspects of the space around the home. His homes show a Disney-like sense of bliss with warm colors and perfect landscape. In this piece entitled “Make a Wish Cottage”, he shows a rustic old cottage nestled in the woods with flowered bushes and a warm light glow from within. You can almost see the happiness pouring from the home and the comfort found within this ideal home. In this portrayal you are in a safe haven from the outside within a perfect setting.  
"A Hometown Morning" by Thomas Kinkade

“A Hometown Morning” by Thomas Kincaid’s is similar style and feel but this time in a more crowded dimension where the hues and colors are the same warm blissful feeling. The homes still offer this yellow glow but now we see a whole neighborhood with a family walking down the street. Depicted is a lively neighborhood close to a church and even a few pets running through yards with white picket fences. This is the superb suburb where neighbors are friendly and welcoming, church is nearby, and everyone knows everyone type of home. "Concepts of the home as a private refuge, a place of peace and inspiration, became something more that abstract images."(Wright, 107)

"Three Windows" and "House 9" by Charles Ritchie

"Snow" by Charles Ritchie
         In contrast, we have Charles Ritchie, who portrays the home and neighborhoods in a night setting, where homes show an almost eerie bit of light that’s not warm or comforting. There is more of a mysterious sense offered in his paintings. Such as this work entitled “Three Windows” and "House 9" the homes are barely illuminated with cold dark tones. The houses don’t give off a haven like feel from the outside but a more cut off from the world shut in neighborhood.
         In "Snow" by Ritchie we see someone looking upon his neighbors from the inside of a home as a barrier from the outside with reflections of what's inside along the window pane. This one lacks any lights on inside homes just light from a street lamp illuminating the few leaf-less trees. Ritchie’s works relate back to the puritan concepts where “Surveillance of one another was necessary.”(Wright, 12) His homes show the outside as dark and ominous almost like a warning to leave your sanctuary.

In Hayden, from Kathleen Ann Mackie in speaking of the ideal home: “home distinguishes “familiarity from strangeness, security from insecurity, certainty from doubt, order from chaos, comfort from adventure, settlement from wandering, here from away.” (Hayden, 145) We see in comparison of Kinkade and Ritchie that ideal homes give security, familiarity, order, comfort, and settlement. We see more comfort from our perspective from Kinkade’s works but Ritchie shows that his views on the home are a more dreary approach to some but to him they are representations of the houses he sees and how he perceives them. His works show more of a fear to the outside and the unknown even within your own neighborhood. Is his home ideal? To some who have a fear of the unknown this is an accurate depiction of their home, secluded, separate, and safe.

Works Cited

Hayden, Dolores. Redesigning the American Dream: The Future of Housing, Work, and Family Life. New York: W.W. Norton, 1984.

Griffith Winton, A. "'A Man's House Is His Art': The Walker Art Center's Idea House Project and the Marketing of Domestic Design 1941-1947." Journal of Design History 17.4 (2004): 377-96.

Wright, Gwendolyn. Building the Dream: A Social History of Housing in America. New York: Pantheon, 1981. 

Digital Media