Why Do We Have No Great Woman Artists?

How Art Made the World

If Gaugin asks "Where Do We Come From? What are We? Where Are We Going?" (1897) representing a "primitivist" meditation on the ritual "nature of life", then Courbet's "The Origin of the World" (1866) offers one "artistic realist" answer. If humanity "stands on the shoulders of giants", then Nigel Spivey's "How Art Made the World" provides a shamanistic "sympathetic magic" vision of Paleolithic art conceived from ritual altered states of consciousness.

One conclusion, the anthropological birth certificate of human consciousness and the imagination comes from the ethological evolutionary "magical" cave art of forgotten dreams. The anthropological study (1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8) of the forgotten language of dreams (9) of the "noble savage" reveals the creative social and cultural anthropological "will to art" (10,11,12,13) of the Neolithic philosophical theory of mind (14,15).

From the grand ethological "natural history" project of anthropomorphic performance art as a symbolic system (16,17,18,19,20,21,22,23,24), the caves "speech acts" serve as a mimetic magical religious "memorial" (25,26) to the artistic "magic circle", ritual word magic (27), ritual hunting magic (28), ritual fertility magic (29), number magic (30) and ritual magical sign thinking (31), of the earliest totemist "cultures of remembrance" (32,33) of our ancestors, and their epic anthropogenic mimetic story telling (34,35).

Your shaman dream "spirit guide", and your story telling totem pole can provide an epic "diegetic" story telling arc for the "Great Conversation" of the "Story of Art" (36,37). Seen from a classical Greek "life imitating art" perspective, Memnosyne (seen as the symbolic anthropological spirit guide of individual and collective memory), the mother of the Muses can provide a "liminal" artistic way finding "path integration" map, from primitivism to post-modernism (38). The past philosophical "paratextual" twists and turns on our mimetic oneiric road map of art history and its' aesthetic architectural "horizon of expectations" (41,42) that lies beyond our present anthropogenic epochal "optical unconscious" (39,40), represents our potential liminal paratextual future.

The neoclassical altered states "royal road" of the artistic, poetic and philosophical journey represents the mimetic "school" of the ethnographic (43,44), and ethographic flow of human history (45,46). This anthropological artistic flow can be seen and is ontologically defined by the mimetic symbolic zone of proximal development (47,48,49,50,51,52). With Tolstoy we can ask, "what is art"? We can also ask, why does Raphael's art work "The Parnassus" (ca 1511) include only two women Sappho and Euterpe in the artistic group of poets? Does this constitute a Western historical "mimetic asymmetry" (53,54) of artistic gender roles? Are these philosophical questions not part and parcel of women's rights and the "women's question"?

"Why Have There Been No Great Women Artists?", asks the feminist art historian Linda Nochlin. Nochlin's answer develops the argument that women's artistic development has been arrested by being outsiders to the male dominated mimetic art world (55). Freud's "Interpretation of Dreams" uses almost an exclusively male mimetic rhetorical perspective, just check the literary topoi found in his "General Index" (56). Have you taken up the rhetorical mantle for women artists' "amusement art" (57) of the depth psychological ilk? From a literary mimetic and diegetic (show and tell) perspective, we can associate an anthology of books to your cyber-dream vision art work and your woman's artistic "Voyage of Life" (Thomas Cole, 1842);

A Woman's Artistic Journey (58,59,60,61,62,63,64)
o Homage to Hundertwasser (65,66)
o Pareidolia (67,68)
o New York (69,70)
* Luna Park (71,72)
o Boston (73)
* Harvard Lampoon (74)
* Charlie's Kitchen (75,76)
o The Mask Awakens (77,78)
o Moon Spirit (79)
o Dybbuk (80,81,82)
o Pytho (83)
o Totem (84,85)
o Biofractals (86,87,88,89)

There are a couple of dream art images such as Huasca and Astroid for which you have not provided a hermeneutic context, so they are difficult to read. Although, the Astroid image appears from a Shamans perspective to hermeneutically point in the ethological "dream time" direction of primitive aboriginal "astobiological" art (90). Seen from the topical perspective of the Neolithic revolution of primitive humans 15,000 years ago, we can anthropomorphically imagine their tribal mythological projection of mental images unto nature's creative forces at work, believing in a collective religious consciousness totem "classification" (91,92,93,94,95) and the symbolic artistic interplay between understanding astronomic laws (mathematical order) and the vegetable and animal life rhythms (biological order).

Berthold (96) conceived that humans' cosmological symbolism evolved, passing through the following mythic paradigmatic projective stages; animism:totemism:megalithic:lunar and solar art cultures. The historical "hermeneutic circle" has been hard at work, an endless mythic path of cultural art, dialogue and interpretation (97,98,99,100,101,102). Can we still ecologically see, hear, smell, taste, touch and feel these artistic echoes of the creative (103) psychoethological paradigmatic ritual and mythic stages in our individual and collective ontological artistic hermeneutic dream world?
Our ethological dream world is not made up of, or ecologically produced by "biofractals" alone, instead it is a symbolic blending with predatory and destructive "necrofractals", which play a fundamental role. This artistic "gothic tapestry" of Nature's ethological "game of life" (104,105,106) will always stand in a deep ecological Nash "ludibrium" (107,108) of both biophilic and necrophillic (109) self organizing game forces that are at work on the planet and in the universe as we speak.

Pathologically splitting this unified ethological process, is the face to face communicative basis for the "uncanny" (110,111) MAD schizotypal group narcissistic (112,113) processes found in our post-modern collective "evolutionary game theoretical" dream world. This "ethopathological" (114) clear and present existential danger of the monsterous destructive technological forces of humanity, forensically point in the anthropogenic dialogical direction of T.S. Eliot's "The Waste Land" and a global village tragedy of the commons (115).

While you may pay artistic homage to Hundertwasser, I would potentially create a forensic rhetorical "counterpoint" narrative with an "architectural uncanny" (116) DeepDream inquiry of Adolf Wölfli, a Swiss representative of "outsider art" (117). As a clinical psychology student at the University of Zurich (118,119,120,121,122), one of my practicum rotations was the 4 months I spent in 1980 at the Waldau clinic in Bern, where Wölfli spent much of his adult life. Of ironic note (as it relates to Hundertwasser) is the fact that Wölfli's art images have a musical notation, this notation was used by the New Zealand composer Graeme Revelle who released an LP entitled "Necropolis, Amphibians & Reptiles: The Music of Adolf Wölfli ". Sound uncannily familiar?

Perhaps, from a forensic rhetorical "optical" and "auditory" unconscious perspective, Western civilization's (123,124,125,126) epic classical (127,128) "Architect's Dream" (Thomas Cole, 1840) of creative evolution (129,130,131) and artistic mimetic constructive (132,133) liminal dream time ritual energies have been exhausted (134,135,136,137,138,139,140,141,142,143). Will the "School of Athens" (Raphael, ca. 1511) and the philosophical "dreaming by the book" somniloquy (144) of the "Great Conversation" (145,146,147,148) also come to an end (149,150)? There is one certainty, the dream, nature's ethological "self referential" communication and artistic and scientific bridging and salvation device (151,152) will continue to be hard at work, with or without humanity and the Earth (153), take that to the liminal ethological ritual bank (154).

1. Bronislaw Malinowski, Magic, Science and Religion
2. Edward Burnett Tylor, Primitive Culture
3. James George Frazer, The Golden Bough
4. Claude Lévi-Strauss, Structural Anthropology
5. Ruth Benedict, Patterns of Culture
6. Mary Douglas, Natural Symbols
7. Jackson Stewart, The Dream in Primitive Cultures
8. Victor Turner, The Ritual Process
9. Erich Fromm, The Forgotten Language
10.Soren Kiekegaard, Either/Or
11.Arthur Schoepenhauer, The World as Will and Representation
12.Alois Riegl, Historical Grammar of the Visual Arts
13.Otto Rank, Will Therapy
14. David Lewis-Williams, The Mind in the Cave: Consciousness and t
15.David Lewis-Williams, Inside the Neolithic Mind
16.Susanne Langer, Mind: An Essay on Human Feeling
17.Clifford Geertz, Art as a Cultural System
18.Ernst Cassirer, Philosophy of Symbolic Forms
19.Ernst Gombrich, Art and Illusion
20.Erwin Panofsky, Perspective as Symbolic Form
21.Nelson Goodman, Languages of Art: An Approach to a Theory of Symbols
22.Niklas Luhmann, Art as a Social System
23.Heinrich Wölfflin, Principles of Art History
24.Gyorgy Kepes, Language of Vision
25.Jan Assmann, Cultural Memory and Early Civilization
26.Bruno Bettelheim, Uses of Enchantment
27.Steven Pinker, The Language Instinct
28.Walter Burkert, Homo Necrans
29.Penelope Shuttle, The Wise Wound
30.Marie-Louise von Franz, Number and Time
31.Joseph Chilton Pearce, Magical Child
32.Gaynor Kavanagh, Dream Spaces: Memory and the Museum
33.John Mack, Museum of Mind: Art and Memory in World Cultures
34.Francis A. Yates, The Art of Memory
35.Claude Lévi-Strauss, The Savage Mind
36.Patrick H. Hutton, History as an Art of Memory
37.Hanne Berwernick, The Story Tellers Memory Palace
38.Stephen Halliwell (2002). The Aesthetics of Mimesis: ancient texts and modern problems.
39.Susan Buck-Morss, The Dialectics of Seeing: Walter Benjamin and the Arcades Project
40.John Berger, Ways of Seeing
41.Hans Robert Jauss, Towards an Aesthetic of Reception
42.Pierre Bourdieu, Distinction: A Critique of the Judgment of Taste
43.Paul Parin (et al), Fürchte Deinen Nächsten wie Dich selbst. Psychoanalyse und Gesellschaft am Modell der Agni in Westafrika
44.Mario Erdheim, Die gesellschaftliche Produktion von Unbewußtheit. Eine Einführung in den ethnopsychoanalytischen Prozess
45.Arnold J. Toynbee, A Study of History
46.Douglas B. Wilson, Romantic Dream: Wordsworth and the Poetics of the Unconscious
47.Lev Vygotsky, Psychology of Art
48.Lev Vygotsky, Thought and Language
49.Edward Elling Berg, L.S. Vygotsky's Theory of the Social and Historical Origins of Consciousness. PhD Thesis, University of Wisconsin, 1970
50.Marcel Mauss, Les Technique de Corp
51.David Foulkes, Children's Dreaming and the Development of Consciousness
52.Elisabeth Lenk, Die Unbewusste Gesellschaft: Über die Mimetische Grundstruktur in der Literatur und im Traum
53.René Girard, A Theatre of Envy
54.Laura Mulvey, Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema
55.Arthur Danto, The Artworld
56.Ernst Robert Curtius, Europäische Literatur und lateinisches Mittelalter
57.R.G. Collingwood, The Principles of Art
58.Christine de Pizan, The Book of the City of Ladies
59.Geoffrey Chaucer, The Legend of Good Women
60.Johann Jacob Bachofen, Mother Right
61.Micea Eliade, Myths, Dreams and Mysteries
62.James George Frazer, Golden Bough: A Study in Magic and Religion
63.Robert Graves, The White Goddess
64.Patricia Garfield, Women's Bodies, Women's Dreams
65.John S. Hendrix and Loren Eyen Holm (eds), Architecture and the Unconscious
66.Alexandre Kostka and Irving Wohlfarth (eds), Nietzsche and "An Architecture of Our Minds"
67.Erving Goffman, Interaction Ritual: Essays on Face to Face Behaviour
68.Roland Barthes, Arcimboldo
69.Jane Jacobs, Death and Life of Great American Cities
70.Kevin Lynch, The Image of the City
71.John Barth, Lost in the Funhouse
72.Neil Postman, Amusing Ourselves to Death
73.Henry James, The Bostonians
74.Jan Lewis, American Synechdoche
75.Margaret Visser, Rituals of Dinner
76.Piero Camorese, Bread and Dreams
77.Claude Lévi-Strauss, The Way of Masks
78.Camille Paglia, Sexual Personae
79.Linda Nochlin, Representating Women
80.John S. Feinberg, The Many Faces of Evil
81.Paul Ricouer, Symbolism of Evil
82.George Bataille, Literature and Evil
83.Gerd Sauer, Traumbild Schlange
84.James George Frazer, Totemism and Exogamy
85.Edmund Leach (ed), The Structural Study of Myth and Totemism
86.Gillian Beer, Darwinian Plots
87.D'Arcy Wentworth Thompson, On Growth and Form
88.Ernst Haeckel, Kunstformen der Natur
89.Rachel Carson, Silent Spring
90.Chris Impey, The Living Cosmos
91.Emil Durkheim, Marcel Mauss, Primitive Classification
92.N. J. Allen, Categories and Classifications
93.Arnold van Gennep, The Rites of Passage
94.Michel Foucault, The Order of Things
95.James Land Jones, Adam's Dream
96.J. E. Cirlot, A Dictionary of Symbolism, (discussion of Berthold's theory)
97.Ferdinand de Saussure, Course in General Linguistics
98.G. Spencer-Brown, Laws of Form
99.Mikhail Bakhtin, The Dialogic Imagination
100. Arthur Koestler, The Act of Creation
101. Thomas Kuhn, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions
102. Clifford Geertz, The Interpretation of Cultures
103. Howard E. Gardner, Creating Minds
104. Karl Sigmund, Games of Life: Explorations in Ecology, Evolution and Behaviour
105. John Maynard Smith, Evolution and the Theory of Games
106. Irenäus Eibl-Eibesfeldt, Love and Hate: the Natural History of Behaviour Patterns
107. Chymical Wedding of Christian Rosenkreutz
108. John von Neumann, Oskar Morgenstern, The Theory of Games and Economic Behaviour
109. Erich Fromm, The Anatomy of Destructiveness
110. Ernst Jentsch, On the Psychology of the Uncanny
111. Julia Kristeva, The Powers of Horror
112. Didier Anzieu, The Group and the Unconscious
113. Wilfred Bion, Experiences in Groups and Other Papers
114. Mihai Spariosu, The Wreath of Wild Olive
115. Al Gore, The Future
116. J.P. Telotte, Animating Space
117. Walter Morgenthaler, A Psychiatric Patient as Artist
118. Inge Strauch, In Search of Dreams
119. Verena Kast, Träume. Die geheimnisvolle Sprache des Unbewussten
120. Detlev von Uslar, Tagebuch des Unbewussten: Abenteuer im Reich der Träume
121. Peter Seidmann, https://www.zb.uzh.ch/Medien/spezialsammlungen/handschriften/nachlaesse/seidmannpeter.pdf
122. Gerhard Wehr, Pioniere des Unbewussten
123. Norbert Elias, The Civilizing Process
124. Hans Peter Duerr, Traumzeit
125. Erich Auerbach, Mimesis: Representation of Reality in Western Literature
126. Marjorie Garber, Academic Instincts
127. György Lukács, The Historical Novel
128. Henri Bergson, Creative Evolution
129. Erich Neumann, Art and the Creative Unconscious
130. Paul Klee, The Thinking Eye (The Notebooks of Paul Klee)
131. Walter Benjamin, The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction
132. Johann Joachim Winckelmann, History of Art in Antiquity
133. Sigmund Freud, Interpretation of Dreams
134. Sigmund Freud, Civilization and its Discontents
135. Sigmund Freud, Psychopathology of Everyday Life
136. Oswald Spengler, Decline of the West
137. Harold Lasswell, Psychopathology and Politics
138. Gordon Claridge (ed), Schizotypy
139. Robert Fliess, Dream, Symbol and Psychosis
140. Jacques Derrida, Archive Fever
141. Anthony Vidler, Warped Spaces: Art, Architecture and Anxiety in Modern Culture
142. Gilles Deleuze, Felix Guattari, Capitalism and Schizophrenia
143. Anthony Vidler, The Architectural Uncanny
144. Pedro Calderón, Life is a Dream
145. Harold Bloom, The Western Canon
146. Carl Gustav Jung, Memories, Dreams and Reflections
147. Kenneth Burke, Attitudes Towards History
148. Lucien Goldmann, Towards a Sociology of the Novel
149. Christopher Caudwell, Studies in a Dying Culture
150. Arthur Danto, After the End of Art
151. Jean Starobinski, The Living Eye
152. Jean Piaget, Play, Dreams and Imitation in Childhood
153. Carl Sagan, Cosmos
154. Manfred Eigen, Ruthild Winkler, Laws of the Game
Further Reading
Antonio De Ieva (ed), The Fractal Geometry of the Brain







All material Copyright 2006 International Institute for Dream Research. All rights reserved.