Reflections: Dinner Party by Judy Chicago. Poem: Dinner Party

I recently had the opportunity to experience Judy Chicago's Dinner Party installation at the Brooklyn Museum. The exhibit consists of a thought-provoking triangular shaped table which celebrates the diversity and influence of woman throughout history. The tone and warmth of this thought provoking five-year project is prefaced by a banner at the entrance of the installation which suggests that every woman in history paves a new symbolic path of unity for the oncoming generations: 

"And She

Gathered All before Her

And She made for them A Sign to See

And lo They saw a Vision

From this day forth Like to like in All things

And then all that divided them merged

And then Everywhere was Eden Once again."

The self-proclaimed feminist artist, writer, and educator utilizes the creative space of a contemporary western table as a  presentation of 39 individually sculpted settings, each in honor of women who have  taken their seat at the dinner room table. As the aforementioned poem may suggests, the dinner party is both a sociological celebratoration and honor of women who have fought with might and intellect to change the course of their present, and in effect, the course of history.

The exhibit is simultaneously empowering and enlightening. Revealing and protective. Instructional and questioning. I left the museum with questions, discomfort, and satisfaction. Each a texture of an amazing and powerful piece of art. I highly recommend every person, young or old, visit the exhibit. 

The following poem is a reflection on the experience. In addition I would like to thank my wife, Tenisha Ureña, Hostos Community College, Professor Jerilyn Fisher, B.A., M.A., Ph.D., for the opportunity to experience the wonderful exhibit. As well as all the women honored in the exhibit, and those unmentioned. Thank you.

Dinner Party

Mother, have a seat.

Keep calm your calloused feet,

And let me be the busy being.

I've seen you fight,

As well as cry,

While serving bowls of endless rice.

Mother, thank you for the headaches

You've cured me of,

As well as lies from later times.

Mother, you've kept me young,

While you've grown old,

But now I think it's time you sit,

And enjoyed the feast at dinner time.

I too have hands and working legs,

As well as words to nurse and mend.

Mother, As you have so I can I,

Keep calm your calloused feet,

And let me be the busy being.