The more things change, the more they stay the same…

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In my inbox this morning, I got my daily email from Hyperallergic, a blog on art and culture. I find their posts intelligent, informative and entertaining, although I must confess that lately I don’t seem to have much time to read them. A regrettable but necessary consequence of grad school’s Hoover-like tendency to suck up every moment of daily life.

The featured post this morning, however, turned that switch off. The lead post in the email included a graphic (reproduced above) showing current gender gallery statistics compared to the ones compiled in 1986 by the Guerrilla Girls. The new statistics were collected by the anonymous collective Pussy Galore and do show some improvements in representation of women, but there are some shockingly low numbers by many galleries. Of the thirty four galleries listed, only six have percentages greater than 50% (the post notes that Marilyn Minter corrects the Salon 94 statistic from 48% to 52% on her Facebook page).

The worst offenders deserve to be called out. They are Tony Shafrazi (5%), Marlborough (7%), Sperone Westwater (9%). Really? Is this shit for real? It makes me want to climb back in bed and pull the covers over my head, but I know that impulse is wrong. This sad news reinforces the notion that getting rid of bias demands active resistance and intervention. I feel powerless in my singularity but making this knowledge known and spreading the word feels like something. We can only hope that some public shaming will cause these powerful brokers of culture to rethink their own influence and power.

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