Connecting Conversations, Interviews with 28 Bay Area Women Artists

Moira Roth edited this collection of interviews conducted under her supervisory eye by her students at Mills College (some of whom had never used a tape recorder or a “Macintosh” before). I discovered this book from the Painterland book, and also discovered that I was reading an essay in the 12th anniversary edition of Heresies by Moira Roth at the same time. The collection was less inspiring than I’d hoped; one of the best parts came from the book designer (Kathleen Walkup)’s introduction, discussing the four-column grid and hierarchical presentation of the information along with Palatino type. This is never a good sign for the content of the work if the best part is the design description. Contains somewhat un-illuminating interview snippets with Jay DeFeo, Joan Brown, Judy Chicago, Linda Montano, Lynn Hershman. Minimal inclusion of women of color and when they were interviewed, there’s this weird terse dynamic that comes through, “anything else you’d like to add to this interview” type questions that none of the other interviews had. Lots of women only too ready to disavow their gender (post-gender isn’t mentioned, but it’s humming beneath the surface of some of them), probably because they’ve not yet awakened.