The Dancing Goddess: Principles of a Matriarchal Aesthetic

Heide Gottner-Abendroth, Author, Maureen T. Krause, Translator, Heide Gvttner-Abendroth, Author Beacon Press (MA) $19 (276p) ISBN 978-0-8070-6753-6
A heady mixture of art history, feminist theory and classical mythology, this abstruse volume promulgates an aesthetic based on the author's research into matriarchal societies of the past in different parts of the world, including Egypt, the Mediterranean, Oceania and America. In scattered detail, Gottner-Abendroth, who taught aesthetics at the University of Munich, examines in particular the worship of such cyclical, unifying forces as Mother Earth, the Moon goddess and the nine muses. Providing no broader historical or cultural context, she then proceeds to set forth ``Nine Theses on a Matriarchal Aesthetic.'' We are told, among other things, that ``matriarchal art knows no separation of artistic genres''; that ``eroticism is its dominant power''; and that matriarchal art, which is holistic and inclusive, neutralizes the aesthetic split caused by patriarchy into a ``formalist, elite, socially effective art and a popular, diffuse, socially despised ghettoized art.'' The second half of this study looks at how matriarchal art corresponds to contemporary women's art and spirituality. Although one's interest is occasionally piqued by some of the author's ideas, this is not a book for the lay reader. Photos. (Aug.)
Reviewed on: 12/02/1991
Release date: 11/01/1991
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