The project was born of necessity. When Judy Chicago and Miriam Schapiro began the Feminist Art Program at CalArts, the school’s new Valencia campus was not complete, so they had to work off-site. They decided to use a soon-to-be-demolished 17-room house in Hollywood with broken windows, no plumbing and no heat as their studios and exhibition hall. Students worked together for weeks clearing rubbish, replacing and glazing windows and painting walls, while also developing their art and their confidence as artists. With group sessions that Chicago calls content-searching and others call consciousness-raising, the programme was so physically and psychologically demanding that alumnus Mira Schor compares it to boot camp. “It was very intense—unlike anything I had ever experienced before,” she says, “and I made sure never to experience exactly that again.”
Organised by Anat Ebgi gallery called Womanhouse 1972/2022 (18 February-2 April) exploring the Feminist Art Program, its origins and its legacy.