Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art: Feminist Art Base: Joan Arbeiter

Trapped In The Text

Trapped In The Text

Joan Arbeiter. Trapped In The Text, 2004.

Trapped in the Text (part of Portrait of the Artist as a Young Girl Fulfilling Society's Limited Expectations Series)

These 1949 advertisements and Cosmopolitan magazine article exhort young women to smell good, be dainty, and "let men wear the pants."

Here I am - first as a child (absorbing) and later as Prom Queen (reflecting) these lessons.

In her 1963 book, The Feminine Mystique, Betty Friedan wrote that married, college educated American women living in the suburbs were suffering from "a problem that has no name."

Could their "vague yearning" and "quiet desperation" have been the result of a shallow and unfulfiling lifestyle?

Portrait of the Artist as a Young Girl Fulfilling Society's Limited Expectations Series

There are three main elements in the mixed media assemblages. Each begins with vintage photos of me during my formative years, then docu­ments the timeframe in question with an authentic period magazine illus­tration and finally, updates and completes the message by including posi­tion statements from contemporary feminist books and periodicals e.g. Kate Millet, Betty Friedan, N.O.W., Feminist Majority, and Girls, Inc.

It took the Women's Movement to help me to see these cute snapshots in a different light: as a record of my being prepared to assume the then prevailing gender roles.

Mixed Media

mixed media, vintage advertisement, The Feminine Mystique, assemblage, collage, Betty Friedan, vintage photographs, appropriation

Trapped In The TextThis Is For KeepsCheesecakeWhat! Can Anything Be Better Than Tide?Where Were We Supposed To Go? What Were We Supposed To Do? (Wonder Woman)Head To Toe

Metuchen, NJ

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Metuchen, NJ 08840

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