Dinner at Jane's

2000 | 00:52:19 | United States | English | Color | Stereo

Collection: Single Titles

Tags: Activism, Chicago Art, Documentary, Feminism, Food, Gender, History, Home DVD, Politics

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Executive produced by Sara Diamond at the Banff Art Centre, co-produced by Michelle Baughn and Suzanne Lacy, directed by Tom Weinberg and Dick Carter, and edited by Holen Kahn.

A century after the founding of Chicago’s Hull House by Nobel Prize winner Jane Addams, fourteen women from around the world, including Anita Hill, Gloria Steinem, and Nawal El Sadawi--gathered there to reflect on the global condition of women. In the manner of turn-of-the-century Hull House, when agendas for change and visions of a better future were part of each evening’s meal, fourteen impressive international women activists were invited to dinner. The dinner was the opportunity for them to participate in a work of art by actively envisioning the future within the context of Hull House, rich with historical significance for women and for a changing society.

The documentation of this memorable dinner, with guests that included Hill, Steinem, El Sadawi, Dolores Huerta, Susan Faludi, and Wilma Mankiller, positions a very contemporary discussion within the context of a rich history of women’s activism in Chicago. This video concludes Full Circle, a public artwork celebrating women’s accomplishments in the public sector, with an overnight placement of 100 half-ton rock monuments on the sidewalks of downtown Chicago. Each rock bore a bronze plaque acknowledging the important contribution of a Chicago woman, ninety from current time and ten from the past. In a city with no major monuments to women, 100 sprang up over night, greeted by media coverage and controversy that lasted for months. Of the ten women represented from Chicago’s past, many were active during the early part of the 20th Century at the Chicago Hull House. Jane Addams, the social activist who founded Hull House, was among the 19th Century reformers whose vision was to create a center for poor people and for theory and practice in education, public policy, labor organizing, art, and a host of social justice concerns.

Full Circle was a two-part public artwork created by Suzanne Lacy for Sculpture Chicago's Culture in Action, curated by Mary Jane Jacob. Historical photos were provided by the Jane Addams Memorial Collection at the University of Illinois at Chicago, and the Chicago Historical Society.