Can the artist speak?[1][2]

The question we are asking is this: whether the artistaa [3], as a woman, and/or a student, and/or a graduate, and/or a master’s degree holder, and/or a doctor, and/or an intellectual, and/or an activist, and/or a feminist, and/or a radical, and/or university professor, and/or a researcher, and/or precarious worker in and out of the academy, and/or a mother… in her current subaltern condition, has suffered such displacement that no longer considers the possibility of being an artist in the present context. Or, in other words, whether the glass ceiling, which symbolizes the dynamics, rhythms and priorities that women see themselves exposed to in order to be able to reach the highest levels in the hierarchy, despite their achievements and merits, is an unattainable position within the art system or even a desirable place at all.


Our subaltern condition is now evident and this is something we must take into account in order to value our situation as women and artists. The reflection that we are engaged into and which we believe necessary, is whether we just want to have a presence in the artistic sectors by perpetuating the same dynamics, priorities and rhythms. Or else is our intention rather proposing and articulating other conditions, in which a critical view of artistic practice is tackled, as well as its implicit ideology, its incidence in society, and the conditions of its production.

That is why we believe it necessary to keep working in new models, new ways of doing, new ways of understanding… keep working for the demystification, the overcoming and the re-elaboration of the idea of identity/subject/artist, of the categories of artistic object, of the idea of exhibition and space, etc.


This project, artistaa.org, intends to offer a database as an online directory of women and other subaltern artists. All those who want to be in, have a space in here.

[1] The article presented here is a synthesis of the text "¿Poden parlar les artistes?", which is currently in the editorial phase.

[2] The title of this text is a twist of the title words in Spivak’s text “Can the Subaltern Speak”, SPIVAK G. A. (1999). Colonial Reason: Toward a History of the Vanishing Present. Cambridge, Mass: Harvard University Press.

[3] The term artistaa was first used by Silvia Martí Marí in Artistaas: Violencias, Afectos, Diálogos, Creaciones , a book published in 2016 by the University of Zaragoza, to speak about the woman artist. We have reapropriated it to designate the woman artist as subaltern in the art world.