a project by Andrea Geyer. 2012 - ongoing

Revolt, they say!
By Susana Vargas Cervantes

Geyer's colossal mapping on the relationships of love and labor of the three women founders of The Museum of Modern Art in 1929—Lillie P. Bliss, Abby A. Rockefeller, and Mary Q. Sullivan— has recorded, so far, a network of 850 women. These women have shaped the American cultural art landscape as we have come to know it today.

Tracing the links between the relationships these women had with each other not only shows how social and cultural exchanges took and take place, as pointed, it also recognizes women's contributions in the building of a Modernist movement; a history that as the other piece of this diagram shows, Insistance, is not a history only of the past, but that remains alive and is continuing to be built.

Revolt, they said! shows us the deep and intimate connections that have always exited between women, connections that are so powerful as to reshape cultural and social life or to fight for social reforms.

To me, the kind of revolt this beautifully crafted map illustrates for us, is made present by the hand draw lines that connect each women to one another. The subversiveness lays in the ways the bonding in their affective relationships happened, as it rearticulates and reshapes hegemonic and dominant understandings of how kinships are constructed. The way these women reformulated what constitutes mothering, sistering, or romantic relationships, redefined and continues to do so, normative understanding of connections and affinities.

Temple of Friendship, Salons, Cosmopolitan Women's Clubs, just to name a few, built a community that cared, sheltered and enabled each other to accommodate new subjectivities. Revolt, they say, shows us bondings which continue to resignify dominant ideas of the family.

This kind of revolt and subversiveness is alive today. Revolt, didn't end when Bliss, Rockefeller and Sullivan created these intimate bonds and redefined kinships. It only started, for when the reach of their significance continues to signify today. Their connections were and remain to be subversive, because they continue to redefined what and how intimate bonds are constructed and rendered meaning.

Revolt, they say! to create a transnational solidarity of bondings in which gender, sexuality, class and race are not problems but opportunities to continue to revolt.