Thursday, 17 October 2019

if you’re not at the table, then you’re on the menu

First exhibited at the Brooklyn Museum as a temporary installation on this day in 1980 before its 2007 return as a permanent acquisition, The Dinner Party by Judy Chicago is esteemed as the first modern, epic feminist artwork, depicting a symbolic history through elaborate and personalised placesettings around a triangular table for thirty-nine legendary and historical female figures.
Each wing accommodates thirteen banquette guests with different epochs of civilization dining together, including Boadicea, Eleanor of Aquitaine, Hildegarde of Bingen and Mary Wollstonecraft. The table itself rests on a dais called the Heritage Floor composed of floor tiling inscribed with nine-hundred ninety-nine names of woman whom contributed towards the advancement of equal rights with one man made an honourary member, misgendered by oversight, the classical Greek sculptor Kresilas. The fact that that footnote outshines all the other names shows that there’s quite some distance left to cover to earn a place at the table.