Tagged: jennifer dalton

Where the ladies at?


In her new installation at the Winkleman Gallery, Jennifer Dalton picks apart the lack of female guests on the Daily Show with Jon Stewart, among other programs. (Image courtesy of Dalton and the Winkleman Gallery.)

Jennifer Dalton’s latest exhibit began with an inkling. She was watching the Daily Show, in which some male guest was expounding at length about something when she realized she couldn’t remember the last time a woman had sat in that place. “I thought it was me, that I was just looking for that,” she says. “Then I went into the archives and I was like, ‘No fucking way.’” Dalton counted up all of the guests listed on the program’s online archives for all of 2010. During this time, 79% of the Daily Show‘s guests were men and only 21% were women.*

She then went and performed the same exercise on a bunch of her other favorite programs. All of them featured an overwhelming majority of male guests. The Colbert Report had a guest line-up that was 82.5% male. Charlie Rose came in at 80%. Bill Maher had 74%. And Rachel Maddow — Rachel effing Maddow! — featured dudes 80.5% of the time. Public radio fared somewhat better: Leonard Lopate‘s guests were male 66% of the time, while Brian Lehrer came in at 68%. Fresh Air, however, which is hosted by a woman, checks in with a low lady-guest ratio. More than 79% of Terry Gross’s guests are male. (Bands and other groups were counted as single guests, hence the fractionals.)

Dalton's "What does an important person look like?" (Click to supersize.)

“My gut is that it’s entropy,” says Dalton. “It makes me think that people are lazy. Like they’re just reblogging the same stuff.” The artist, who has previously charted the ways in which female cultural figures have been visually portrayed in the New Yorker (hint: cheesecake), has used this research to create new works for her latest solo show at the Winkleman Gallery. The central piece (shown at right) is devoted to the Daily Show, the program that spurred Dalton’s recent quest. In it, she has organized the guests by subject areas (authors, athletes, etc.) and placed the men in gold frames and the women in silver ones. The colors say it all.

Dalton says the piece was born of equal parts rage and glee. “These are heroes of mine and I think they’re doing really important work,” she explains of figures such as Stewart and Colbert. “But I just end up confused. It’s like are you with me or against me? I think of you as on my team, but maybe you don’t think of me as on your team?” She hopes that her work might get someone in some aspect of the media business to think a little bit more critically about what they do: “I would just love for these producers to be like, ‘Here’s a pile of women we rejected. Did we reject them too quickly?’” In order to do that, some of these programs might have to start by hiring a few more.

Jennifer Dalton: Cool Guys Like You opens today, at the Winkleman Gallery, in Chelsea.

*Update: Made a small correction to the Daily Show figures above. I previously had them as 78/22 male/female. The correct figures are actually 79/21.

**Further Super Duper Important Update (9/12 at 8:50pm): Some of the discussions I’ve seen on the internet about this piece suggest that Stewart’s male/female ratios are skewed towards men because he interviews so many political figures and most politicians are men. That is not the case. According to Dalton: only 18% of Daily Show guests are political figures. Of those 25 guests, only one was a woman (for a male/female ratio of 96/4). Just so you can draw some sort of comparison, the 111th Congress, which was in session when Dalton created the piece, was 17% female.

It’s actually authors and actors that make up the majority of Stewart’s guests — not political figures, as is frequently assumed. Together, these two arts-related categories make up 63% of the Daily Show‘s guests. And within these, the male-female breakouts remain nothing short of depressing. Of all the authors featured on the program in 2010, only 25% were female. Of all the actors, only 33% were women. In several categories (chefs, military figures, and filmmakers), the line-up was 100% male. Though, to be fair, he only featured one chef. What does this mean? It means that culture, as viewed through the Daily Show lens (as much as I love many parts of it), is heavily male. And don’t make me go to the gallery to count the minorities. ‘Cuz I’m sure that area is probably a hot mess, too.

Which brings to mind this delicious little video that Dalton recently Tweeted: Too Many Dicks on the Daily Show.

Get Ready to Shred. And many other happenings at #CLASS.


Ready to go all Ollie North on your art and other meaningful pieces of paper. (Image courtesy of Steve and Jaime at Brooklyn Street Art.)

There is all kinds of goodness going down at the #CLASS show at Winkleman Gallery in the coming week and I’m hoping you join us. On Saturday (as in tomorrow), William Powhida will be leading a gallery walk/slush in Chelsea, Mira Schor will be reading from her essay On Failure and Anonymity and blogbuds Barry Hoggard and James Wagner will be talking all about collecting. On Sunday, there will be hanging out, Battleship and artsy talk in Second Life. And, next Wednesday, at 2pm, I will be assisting my partner-in-crime, El Celso’s performance of Art Shred, in which he will dispose of several dozen works of  art, meaningful love letters and one-of-a-kind family photos. If you haven’t submitted anything for shredding, no worries: walk-ins are welcome. I’ll personally be disposing of a raft of love letters from someone who I once had a kind of intense mind-meld with. Yes, it will be wrenching to see them destroyed.

Plus, a list of other #CLASS related projects and information:

Plus, a small video preview for Art Shred:

Get some #CLASS: Take on the art industry at Winkleman in NYC, starting Sunday.


William Powhida and Jennifer Dalton organize a month-long lab — and I’m part of it. (Image courtesy of Winkleman Gallery.)

Needless to say, the last few months in the art industry have been highly entertaining. There was William Powhida’s Brooklyn Rail cover last November, which picked apart the internecine machinations of a buncha high-powered types at the New Museum. Then, there was the announcement that a major commercial gallerist has been named director of a super mongo museum in L.A., an institution whose obscenely-rich trustees saw fit to spend its endowment into the ground. And then, of course, there’s Jerry Saltz’s Facebook, which is keeping the art establishment’s hairs on end wondering who the heck he’s gonna call a ‘dick’ next. In other words, there’s been a LOT going on. And most of it doesn’t make a lick of sense.

Which means that #CLASS — a think-tank about the art industry — organized by artists Powhida and Jennifer Dalton and hosted by the Winkleman Gallery, couldn’t come at a better time. This special project will turn the city’s artistic gaze from its navel to the art industry through a month-long series of events that will include a raft of insightful happenings: guerrilla gallery tours, frank Q&As with established art dealers, work sessions, panels, beer-drinking, chalkboard-writing, art-shredding, motivational speaking and even art yoga (led by me). In other words, the plan is to terrorize Chelsea for a month. (I’m not positive that this is indeed the plan, but it’s certainly my plan.) The best part: anyone is welcome to be a part of this. And it’s all FREE.

You can find the entire schedule of events at the dedicated #CLASS website. But here is just a taste of what’s to come:

  • Sunday, Feb. 21, 4pm: The party gets rolling this weekend, so peel your ass off the couch and get down to Chelsea for the first official #CLASS social. An Xiao will serve as social media paparazzi paparazzo. :-p
  • Friday, Feb. 26, 6pm: A session on Bad Curating by Stamatina Gregory and Jovana Stokic. (I believe that attendance is required if you work at the New Museum.)
  • Saturday, Feb. 27, 2pm – 6pm: All kinds of juicy stuff is going down on this day, including a guerrilla gallery tour being led by William Powhida and a how-to on collecting by blogbuds James Wagner and Barry Hoggard.
  • Sunday, Feb. 28, 5pm: Debbie Ainscoe leads a session in Second Life — from the UK. Nerdarrific!
  • Wednesday, March 3, 2pm: ART SHRED is an on-site shredding service that will help artists and other participants liberate themselves of important works of art, meaningful love letters and one-of-a-kind photographs.  This session will be led by my partner-in-crime, Celso. If you have something of consequence that you would like to have shredded, e-mail him at celso[at]elcelso[dot]com. Walk-ins welcome.
  • Thursday, March 4th, 4pm: A discussion/rant/12-step program about art school and the ivory tower, organized by Sharon L. Butler.
  • Friday, March 5, 2pm: Art Yoga with C-Mon: Bow to the Art Industry. Get body and mind ready to navigate the hazards of the art world with a 75 minute yoga class geared at those who want to re-contextualize the nature of liminal space while remaining lithe enough to be considered for possible art/fashion spreads in T Magazine. Class will be led by yours truly, a certified yoga teacher (Om Yoga Center, class of 2003 — seriously). The session will begin with sun salutations to Marina Abramovic and quickly spiral downwards from there. Bring a mat and an open mind. Class capacity 18; first come first serve. Later that same evening, at 6pm, artist Nic Rad will present his ‘Celebritist Manifesto,’ a defense of celebrity culture that will make clear that James Franco is the most important artist of the decade.
  • Saturday, March 6, 6pm: Rod Verplanck, a motivational speaker who, among other things, will teach you that “the very smallness of your ideas is the key to wild success.” Sounds like a must-do. (Courtesy of Schroeder Romero.)
  • Wednesday, March 10: Again, all kinds of good happenings will occur on this day, including balloon-popping with Man Bartlett, a kindergarten class tour of Chelsea with Jennifer Dalton, a feminist tea party and a merciless ask-the-dealer session with Postmasters gallerist Magda Sawon in which she vows “to truthfully answer any and every question posed to her as long as it does not involve her weight, social security number or other people’s money.”
  • Wednesday, March 17, 4pm: Art World as High School. Which class of retainer-wearing nerd are you? Find out with this helpful and informative session.
  • Saturday, March 20th: Another full roster on this day, including art gift wrapping with Zoe Sheehan Saldaña, assessing assessments with important-sounding people from Princeton, and a closing-night event that’s all about ranting!!!

There’s much much much much more going on, and it’s all listed HashTagClass, so get over there already. Plus, you can read more about it at Art in America and the Wall Street Journal. Update: And ArtNet!!