Psychoanalysis, politics and the art of French feminism

By Rakhee Balaram



  • Hardcover

Book Information

  • Format: eBook
  • ISBN: 978-1-5261-2518-7
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
  • Published Date: December 2021
  • BIC Category: Art History, HISTORY / Europe / France, SOCIAL SCIENCE / Feminism & Feminist Theory, ART / History / Contemporary (1945-), Psychoanalytical Theory (Freudian Psychology), Feminism & Feminist Theory, France, The arts / History of art & design styles: from c 1900 -
  • Series: Rethinking Art's Histories


Counterpractice highlights a generation of women who used art to define a culture of experimental thought and practice during the period of the French women's movement or Mouvement de Libération des Femmes (1970-81). It considers women's art in relation to some of the most exciting thinkers to have emerged from the French literature and philosophy of the 1970s - Hélène Cixous, Luce Irigaray and Julia Kristeva - forcing a timely reconsideration of the full spectrum of revolutionary practices by women in the years following the events of May '68. Lavishly illustrated with over 200 images, the book also features an illuminating foreword by art historian Griselda Pollock.


'Counterpractice provides an ambitious survey of the events leading up to May '68 and an invaluable document of the women artists who were working in Paris around that time. Taken together with her careful account of the ground-breaking feminist theory that informed their activism, Rakhee Balaram has made an essential and lasting contribution to the field.'
Mary Kelly, Judge Widney Professor, Roski School of Art and Design, University of Southern California

'This pioneering book is a major contribution to the history of feminist art, writing, theory, and activism. Rakhee Balaram has done meticulous research, placing the movement in its historical and political contexts and interpreting the issues debated and contested among these women. No stone is left unturned. Enjoy your journey with these original, stimulating artists, and with this wonderful author as your guide.'
Gloria Orenstein, Professor Emerita of Comparative Literature and Gender Studies, USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences


Foreword by Griselda Pollock
1 On the streets: from May '68 to the MLF
2 The MLF 1970s
3 Libération-création: MLF, women artists and the militant body
4 Instase: Psychanalyse et Politique and the spaces of women's art
5 Women's groups and collective art practices
6 Hard politics, soft art: subversive practices from écriture féminine to soft art


Rakhee Balaram is Assistant Professor of Global Art and Art History at State University of New York-Albany

To purchase as an ebook, please visit your preferred ebook supplier

Apple Kobo

Newsletter Sign Up

Manchester University Press

Your cart is empty.

Select your shipping destination to estimate postage costs

(Based on standard shipping costs)

Final cost calculated on checkout
Promotional codes can be added on Checkout