Minutes of second planning meeting, 1977, page 2
It was stressed here that we must avoid the "star syndrome” and recog- nize that even visionary work is not done in a vacuum but is built on the work of a scholarly or artistic community. It was hoped that we could provide this recognition and at the same time acknowledge that some work is truly visionary and does break new ground. We might some- how docuent the process of synthesis and collective work, while show- ing the flashes of insight which allowed someone to step outside trad- itional boundaries, because our goal is to help open the way for other scholars to move beyond past sexist scholarship. This brought the discussion back to the connection between feminist ar- tists and scholars. It was hoped that the conference could include vis- ual examples of creative "explosions"--in painting, sculpture, film and video--as well as literary analyses and creative works on the structures of language and myth that now quite literally shape our visions as well as our thought. It was suggested that we might invite a woman artist to talk about her work and a feminist scholar to analyze it——and feature a discussion of the relationship between knowledge and vision. This cooperation of scholars and artists raises the question of socie- tal paradigms of "The Scholar” and “The Artist", working collectively or individually. Artists, more than others, are seen as working alone, hav- ing private, individual visions. It might be pointed out that in art, just as in scholarship, there is both collective and individual work, though they may be in different proportions for or seen differently by artists and scho1ars.A feminist artist, it was thought, might see her life in the world as the collective part of her work, drawing from the work and visions of others. But at the same time we should recognize that a denial of individuality has been the traditional fate of women and collectivity must be examined critically before it is accepted as a femi- nist goal or norm. Collectivity can be destructive without critical exa- mination and a better understanding of how the collective process works, and how it does or does not foster the discovery and expression of indi- viduality, too. At the conclusion of the meeting we felt as if we had narrowed our focus and were ready to test it by thinking of possible participants who could analyze and/or exemplify the discovery and development of a new non-sex- ist vision. And we reaffirmed our willingness to include those who are arriving at new paradigms and new concepts as the result of work that is unquestionably "sound" by the canons of accepted scholarship Egg those who have taken a chance, opening themselves to either being ignored or attacked because they want to try out a new method, a new concept, a new .vision. The next meeting was set for Friday, October 7 at 1:00 P.M. in the Women's Center. Committee members are asked to come prepared with names and con- crete suggestions for speakers and workshops.