Judith Bernstein Sees a World Screwed-up By Men

THE DAILY PIC: At The Box gallery in Los Angeles, Bernstein's "Screw Drawings" show a world poisoned by testosterone.

THE DAILY PIC (#1744): It is a simple, verifiable fact that the greatest evil done in the world has always been done by men. At the height of the medium-sized evil called the Vietnam War, Judith Bernstein made a series of images of phallic screws that expressed, in almost comic terms, the fury we all ought to feel at male depredations. A bunch of Bernstein’s screw drawings are now on display at The Box gallery in Los Angeles.

Today’s Daily Pic is the rarest of those drawings, the never-before-seen Circle Screw, from 1970. It is also the most atypical of them. Its screw, rather than stretching out to penetrate the world, has been engulfed and transformed into a globe. You could read this as portraying a world so thoroughly screwed that it is all screw, all the time.   Or it could also be a more optimistic image of a world that has the power to absorb the screwing force, or wrap it in a sort of force field that undoes its screwing potential.

But for me, Circle Screw most powerfully evokes early anatomical drawings of an eye in cross-section. Vision itself has been screwed – by the male gaze, and also by the maleness that has taken over all gazing.

Even a great feminist artist can’t see things otherwise. (Courtesy The Box, Los Angeles)

For a full survey of past Daily Pics visit blakegopnik.com/archive.

 


Follow Artnet News on Facebook:


Want to stay ahead of the art world? Subscribe to our newsletter to get the breaking news, eye-opening interviews, and incisive critical takes that drive the conversation forward.
Article topics
Subscribe or log in to read the rest of this content.

You are currently logged into this Artnet News Pro account on another device. Please log off from any other devices, and then reload this page continue. To find out if you are eligible for an Artnet News Pro group subscription, please contact [email protected]. Standard subscriptions can be purchased on the subscription page.

Log In