ABSTRACT

In considering what difference it makes when art is produced by a woman, it is impossible not to confront the problems of conventionally defined histories, limited concepts of the subject as an autonomous ‘I’ and understandings of art which reinforce canonical exclusions and evaluate women’s work negatively. Indeed, such conceptual frameworks are interdependent. Moreover, as feminist philosophers and theorists have demonstrated, the ‘postmodern’ and poststructuralist critiques of these meta-narratives have not always provided better or more useful models of female subjectivity, nor paradigms of histories or aesthetics which can account for sexual difference. In instances where poststructuralist theory itself ascends to the summit of presumed sex-gender-‘race’ neutrality and takes on the mantle of universal, abstract meta-discourse, it only serves to reinforce the very system it initially critiqued.