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Ana Finel Honigman
0:00:01.7 Leah Schrager: Okay, I’m very excited to have Ana Finel Honigman on… Did I say your last name correctly?
0:00:16.0 Ana Finel Honigman: You said it perfectly. Which never happens.
0:00:20.9 Leah Schrager: Wow. Okay, good. Welcome, Ana. Lemme, I’ll start by reading your bio and then we will get into it. Okay, Anna has been writing about art with a focus on sexuality, sex work, mental health and gender for 20 years. She’s been published in Art Forum, ART review, Frieze, Art in America, the New York Times, The Guardian and Vogue. She received her doctorate in 2013 from Oxford on a topic that much discussed now, how female celebrities vulnerabilities were exploited and abused and popular media, but treated with empathy by their contemporaries in the art world. Her recent books have been about cult artist and fashion designer, Alexander McQueen. Several years ago, she moved from her home in Berlin to Baltimore to complete a masters in Mental Health Counseling at Johns Hopkins, and now works part-time as a therapist in DC alongside art reviewing and related work. Awesome. Yeah. And when did we meet? I was trying to remember…
0:01:41.3 Ana Finel Honigman: Well, we definitely met pre-pandemic, I like a lot, is that recently, I was recounting to someone how we were essentially set up, I would hear about you endlessly everywhere, and it always started or ended with a sentence you two would be best fit, and there was like the child-like resistance of being like, Don’t tell me what to do, and then when he finally didn’t mean I was like, Oh, well, that’s an interesting case study where everyone’s writing. That’s awesome. I love that. I actually didn’t know that.
0:02:17.8 Leah Schrager: I don’t think…
0:02:18.5 Ana Finel Honigman: Yeah, I felt like, I guess we were just in circles with a lot of genes. It was like a constant fraud, you want molecular, the two people who I would get… Are you not friends yet? What is the starting? And.
0:02:39.2 Leah Schrager: Are you friends with Molly now?
0:02:39.2 Ana Finel Honigman: Absolutely.
0:02:39.2 Leah Schrager: Oh, that’s so funny.
0:02:43.6 Ana Finel Honigman: Everyone is right. Like the Popular consent. That’s awesome. Just outsourced my social life… Right, exactly. Imitates, that’s one of that.
0:03:00.9 Leah Schrager: Okay, well, I guess I’ll jump right in with some of these questions I have, I’ll start with, what do you see as the biggest challenges and opportunities for women now…
0:03:13.9 Ana Finel Honigman: Well, I think the biggest challenge is apathy and exhaustion and like the organic pendulum swing to something more conservative and reactionary and repressive because there’s been so much conversation and apparent progress in momentum, so much consciousness raised, but historically it doesn’t seem to stick. And so it feels like women, really, the whole panoply of people who are in position to be spearheading change are very vulnerable to having things snap back to what they were, and that’s the greatest danger ’cause it’s just maintaining momentum. Yes.
0:04:12.2 Leah Schrager: Well, side.
0:04:13.7 Ana Finel Honigman: I head… But then the opportunity is that there are inroads, and so many of these conversations are occurring and forging bonds and connections that can be endure.
0:04:29.5 Leah Schrager: Is there any particular examples you’re thinking of, or circumstances or…
0:04:37.3 Ana Finel Honigman: Well, I guess a lot of what I’m thinking, I was consumer fatigue, just the amount of stories of deconstructing and decoding images from the recent past that has some substantive meaning for people’s imagination or forming fantasies, and then finding a… Or the realities are really terrible, and maybe just needing to return to the illusion, at least, at least… Well, I guess on an individual creative level, but also just in the societal level, like having to have a break, but if that break persists, then that leads to their repression where these stories just stopping tools and bad behavior is normalized again.
0:05:27.5 Leah Schrager: Well, that’s a trap. Right, yeah. That’s tough.
0:05:33.4 Ana Finel Honigman: It is, it’s just about a lack of consensus and active opposition, but also that progressive movements are put down by mockery and just sort of bored him with hearing narratives, so… Those are the risks.
0:05:54.4 Leah Schrager: Yeah. Keeping interest and empty. That’s very well, so I hadn’t thought of that, but that’s totally true. Totally makes sense. Okay, Where and how do women find an agency? And empowerment and arts. Oh.
0:06:15.0 Ana Finel Honigman: Definitely, this way, conversation and discourse, I think telling stories in the way that the feminism of the 70s and 60s was based on elite sisterhood and female solidarity swapping narratives. I think this is it, it’s just friendship.
0:06:38.6 Leah Schrager: But substantive, the substantive friendship that comes from fellow travelers and supports, do you find it that it’s happening, let’s say online or in a city or… Where is it happening on a taping.
0:06:57.8 Ana Finel Honigman: A lot online, because people are in disparate places and lives do more than change, but the fact that we can maintain contacts and communication and continue to just slot back into relationships without their being the sense of rupture, that’s what creates this kind of community that hopefully I can just be a foundation for further advancement and to have, I guess the dispensing of the myth that women are somehow better, that we don’t have to be held to account in quite the same way, I think… The opposition to the girl boss narrative has been so necessary and potent to have, for example… There is this amazing Netflix documentary on the one taste cult. I don’t know if you’ve seen it, it’s called orgasm in. Have you heard of that? A…
0:08:03.9 Leah Schrager: No, no.
0:08:05.2 Ana Finel Honigman: Tell me about it. So, I forget her name, but there was a self-help guru who was championed by Gwyneth Paltrow, and her… Her shtick was essentially edging, she had a whole cult where maybe people do ultimately orgasm, but it was a largely men manipulating people with clitorises, and then everyone ended up giving all of their money and time to her. It was a very nefarious cult but its fascinating because it fits into the template of all other cults that are mostly orchestrated and run by men, and it just… Demonstrates power corrupts and ultimate power. Absolute power corrupts, absolutely. Or multi-level marketing is another example where women do affinity scams and trap other women… Yes, a really shallow slogans of empowerment, I think is definitely critically evaluating other women while maintaining the sister hood sensibility, it’s a really difficult balance, that seems to be the secret. Totally.
0:09:39.3 Leah Schrager: Oh, gosh, yeah, yeah, as you’re saying that, it’s making me think of a few stories, the first one is actually… I feel like for me, the only time I’ve been at the phrase, I guess, sexually molested is the right phrase, I was actually from a woman, and it was a big part, it was a female Curator, we were out of art event and then a bar, a lot of people from the opening were there, and I just… I did not have my guard up ’cause I was totally in this like, Oh, but I was… Men, I think I’m very good. I know where my boundaries are, I know what the lines are, I can really understand what’s happening and how to read them, but with her, I really did not see a coming and was not prepared. Not ready. Not just not ready for it. But yeah, and it was from a woman who also, of course, espouses feminism and female empowerment kind of stuff, but then behind the scenes, she has some serious issues and then it gets very complicated when you get into this, I’d be happy to share with you later more details, but it gets very complicated in terms of like…
0:11:01.4 Leah Schrager: Can you call someone out? She wrote a very long… Afterwards, she was a very long stop story to me apologizing and explaining why it happened due to her own abuse and basically asking me not to share and… So it’s very confusing, it’s like…
0:11:20.3 Ana Finel Honigman: Anyways, right, very much so.
0:11:25.4 Leah Schrager: Yeah. And then the other thing that actually move as well is kind of on a different note, but the sort of… I can’t remember there’s some phrase for it, something like a top top down scheme, is that what it is that… And I’ve seen this within… Actually the OnlyFans… Sorry, I’ve seen this within the OnlyFans community in terms of like some people will charge a lot of money for coaching or for supposedly in other models, but then not deliver anything or just deliver something that’s like elementary school level reading or something, just really bad. And it’s been an interesting thing, also lots of scams around that in terms of a lot of it’s on Telegram, lots of scams, people creating scam accounts and taking money, and it’s really wild, and again, to me it’s like… It’s confusing. I think I’d tell you, in a way, it’s confusing, at least for me, until I experienced it a few times and I was like, Okay, this is what I need to look out for, no more like blush colored blinders or lenses or whatever, and assuming everybody is great because just ’cause someone’s a woman does not mean that they’re not gonna fuck you over, I guess, or to mess with you, which is surprising when you think about the sisterhood things, I feel like the D falls to be like, Oh, everyone’s trying to help.
0:12:52.3 Ana Finel Honigman: But that actually is… Was so pernicious it because it uses the vocabulary of imparting… That’s the catch is, especially for the OnlyFans scam that you just described, but then in the more general population, you have like LuLaRoe, that leggings company or any endless number of MLM scams, mostly their targeting of stay-at-home moms and women who are seeking to enter into some form of independent identity or being a bit of a balance, and they do it through her holding ourselves as the source of fulfillment and friendship and meaning and purpose, and sometimes just survival, independence, but it’s… Predicate purpose of it is just a pain. People… And so that’s definitely a way to dismantle a revolution that’s true to a bit for individual gain, but yeah, no, the ethics of what you were describing with that woman is so it’s so fraud and very unclear. Yeah, and I think that’s also a complicated area because it can be easy to fall into the trap of thinking that there are templates in place for what is appropriate response, but we just have to be on a case by case, basis, Ya know, attentive to what feels the most human.
0:14:42.8 Ana Finel Honigman: Yeah. And sometimes its forgiveness. And sometimes it’s accountability.
0:14:52.1 Leah Schrager: Yes, yes. That’s true. It’s true. This is a really random thing, we actually… I don’t know, can you tell me real quick about the LuLaRoe… I can’t quite remember the details of that.
0:15:10.6 Ana Finel Honigman: It’s actually a bizarre story because I didn’t understand what MLM scams were when I came to this date is ’cause I’d been living in Berlin for a fundamentally like 12 year is like an amalgamation of Berlin and London, ’cause I’m always living between two places, usually an hour away, in this instance, I’m now live in between two different cities, but how is that to live between two places, cozy but chaotic. Yeah, and when it was London and Berlin, it was just an easyJet away, which was funny because now they’re not even… Now, England isn’t even Europe anymore. At the time, it felt pretty smooth, but now when I’m thinking of it, I’m like, Oh, those were glorious days, just not even thinking as I was bouncing on and off of airplanes, but because I was living in Berlin and I was doing early… I guess it was like early Instagram influencing in a way, ’cause I would be wearing brands but getting product and feeling like a big winner, although I wasn’t really being paid ’cause just new stuff when you’re young societies. Absolutely like Yes things, more things like soft in silky things. But when I got to the States and I was in school here in Baltimore, I was noticing that many of my classmates at Hopkins were wearing these multi-colored bright leggings and kept trying to get other people to be…
0:16:56.2 Ana Finel Honigman: Distributors of these leggings, and I thought that they were being brand ambassadors and we’re getting just the leggings themselves, which didn’t really appeal to me, and so I wasn’t planning to promote it, I didn’t understand that actually people who had fallen prey a massive scam and they were deeply in debt, ’cause in order to get to be a distributor of the legging is you have to invest, I think it was like many thousands of dollars in a stock, so people ended up in this pyramid scheme… The claim its not a pyramid scheme, but it has no other shape, but a part where they were living with warehouses filled of product that they couldn’t push, and it was a very interesting like, Oh wow, everything in America is kind of a scam… What… For me, where I was like, I met people were just not breaking even, they were just promoting thing, getting thing, but they weren’t being paid. And I was thinking, Well, that’s a little fucked up, like you should be paid for presenting something on the internet, and I’m not falling for that again, and I definitely now want those like is… And I didn’t realize it like, No, actually in America, it’s way, way worse.
0:18:18.5 Ana Finel Honigman: People aren’t just on flat grounds, they’re balancing above this big pit of debt, and I was like, That’s that dark. No idea who. That’s the literary… And there’s an interesting documentary about it, and I think it’s like an HBO documentary or Hulu, but yeah, they were subject to a lot of lawsuits, and it was mostly praying on mothers, stay-at-home mothers who wanted to contribute to their family is… But ended up instead, 30 grounds in a big hole.
0:19:00.3 Leah Schrager: Oh my god, Wow I didn’t knew about that that. Yeah.
0:19:04.2 Ana Finel Honigman: It’s not an only an American story, but it’s like… Definitely a quintessentially American scam. Scams are all over now.
0:19:14.0 Leah Schrager: It’s really wild. Is the art world a scam?
0:19:18.4 Ana Finel Honigman: Is always has been a bit of a scam. I think… Yeah, I think now there’s just such a vital and health, the amount of transparency and dialogue and discourse that didn’t exist when I started out, it was really interesting to talk to some friends recently and be like, we never talked about what people were paid… We never had a conversation with each other or… I don’t even remember the psychology of it, I think some of it was like… I don’t know, I don’t know why. For whatever reason, it took many, many years for me to, even with my closest friends be like, This is what I’m learning for an article, and that’s what you’re earning, well, this is not good, grease should definitely figure out alternatives or… Try to pull together to do something about this. Whatever the test might be, or just sort of figuring out people’s professional trajectory because it just seemed like people internalized a lot of stigma about what seemed to be being defined as failure and success, instead of recognizing that, yeah, there’s a lot of nefarious behavior, but also just the system isn’t really designed for sustainability… Yeah, so yeah, I think…
0:20:48.9 Ana Finel Honigman: Okay, scams like a really strong here, so not to go fully into that, but I’m gonna say… Yeah, no, it’s definitely good that conversations are occurring about labor and compensation. Yes.
0:21:06.4 Leah Schrager: Totally, totally. How has the place of women in and or as art changed over time and across different media…
0:21:21.0 Ana Finel Honigman: Well, we’ve been definitely a more agency and especially more freedom to create work that isn’t about gender, but… There’s an incredible podcast I was listening to earlier today, you know, The Art Angle, or our news is this podcast that I listen to compulsively mostly because Ben Davis is my favorite writer, and he’s on it all the time, and so I’m with a friend, but a fan, just like an absolute fan of his writing and thinking, but this was so riveting because it was a deep and dark dive into how real progress is for women, people of color, the whole intersectionality of identity and that there hasn’t been enough documentation or any… Actually, on whether people who self-identify as women are being included at a critical mass in museum collections or the number of exhibitions, the number of exhibitions that spiked during the MeToo movement versus now that there’s been a little bit of a dipping down of consciousness around those issues. And it’s a question whether all people who identify as women collectively are as much a part of the art market as Picasso, to the conclusion is apparently not…
0:23:24.2 Ana Finel Honigman: Wow, there were so many fillings in this, And among them were that there are essentially five female artists whose auctioning is sort of equal to their male counterparts, but it’s just the same perfectly worthy, like Louise Bourgeois one that it shouldn’t just be her and for others, I don’t remember the others are…
0:23:56.2 Leah Schrager: Yeah, they’re probably… Well, yeah, that’d be interesting. I feel like actually, my first podcast with Kathy, we definitely… We discussed how it was like the older women who are getting attention now, which is great, but then there also is like… I’m sure if we were to look at the stats comparing like, let’s say the older man versus the sort of emerging hot new thing, man, I don’t know how much there is that for women…
0:24:31.5 Ana Finel Honigman: Yeah, there’s a lot of press, but I don’t know if that ever moaning full. It was intact that about… I used to say it was like a hot girl does anything is a story to pitch to editors and everyone by is… ’cause I could put anything like anything from hot girl cupcake, hot girl does art, it doesn’t even matter how hot girl is, I think is a story. But then how does… How does hot girl eat? How does she pay rent? All of those. That sort of background doesn’t generate nearly as much interest and the press is not converting into cash. Right.
0:25:16.9 Leah Schrager: And is that still the case that you can pitch hot girl does anything or has that changed in the mainstream media?
0:25:25.2 Ana Finel Honigman: Yeah, I definitely feel that… Well, actually no, ’cause there’s a greater interest in diversifying beauty and a whole Powerplay different identities, and so it isn’t just that that’s like the catch all narrative, and a couple of the fact that hot has just a wider definition, owain one day, but I definitely do think that if I were to contact editors with petty person in a pass, ’cause it is like the up and coming, like all of these… All the excitement, it generates its potential and is being photogenic, does quality is a compelling…
0:26:21.3 Leah Schrager: But then does that generate to sales and a lifelong career, and then what happens over the Spanish titular, she reminds me of the topic of like, If you can get a lot of Instagram followers or one can, or especially in the art, especially in our world, an artist could, but actually… Is that potentially counterproductive? And some art Instagrams, I think are very intentionally non-aesthetic or non… Don’t know, very… Let’s say very personal or grunge, just not very… I catching in the art world, a very famous artist, and the idea of being actually in a way like not trying on Instagram or not trying, or not being, I would say pretty, is actually helpful in some… In some circles in the art world…
0:27:25.1 Ana Finel Honigman: Yeah, it’s crazy because I remember when I first started writing, I always know… Oh yeah, semi-choking.
0:27:35.4 Leah Schrager: Yeah, take a moment. No rush, if you want. Okay.
0:27:40.4 Ana Finel Honigman: It’s interesting ’cause when I started writing, the big debate was about being seen as serious, and it was like a relentless challenge, especially for women, to not be seen as frivolous and fluffy and for female friends who are very fashion-conscious and part of their… Just devotion to aesthetics was about beauty and the beauty being in their body embodying beauty and being in spaces where they were really playing with clothes and appearance and the performative nature of sexuality to disservice them, because they were seen as not serious people, not serious intellectual… There was a big stigma around what was superficial, which is ironic because art is surface, it has meeting a substance, but there’s meeting a substance, A fashion, there’s meaning and substance to all these interpersonal elements and… Yeah, there was definitely a divide and then there started to be this melding of the two mediums, people like Alexander McQueen, who I wrote about, but mortality and morality onto the catwalk, and there was just a greater use of arts interpretive skills into relating to fashion and vice versa. And now it seems like you have to… You actually participate and contribute on both like a surface and social level, much more, there’s much more of an aggressive need to do that, so I could see there being both pluses and minuses to maybe rewarding to…
0:29:48.0 Ana Finel Honigman: I guess a glamor of the law just wants to be in their studio and create as long as it doesn’t return to that sort of stigmatizing some of the more… Yeah, I guess surface aspects of presentation.
0:30:09.9 Leah Schrager: Do you feel like they’re stigmatized.
0:30:13.0 Ana Finel Honigman: To not do you, because you definitely had a lot of conflict about being an online entity… Yeah, yeah. I would say that.
0:30:28.7 Leah Schrager: Yeah, I have a pretty big Instagram that pretty… Has a pretty exclusively male audience on this Instagram, and some people would say that There’s… Actually, I’m not even sure if that necessarily counts as beautiful, but… Definitely. Okay, maybe I’ll be adjusting this question a little, but I do think actually something I’ve been thinking about is that these images that I kind of think of as salient, pin-up hetero arousing images of women, let’s call that… These kinds of images that let’s say are very… Can be very active and carry a lot of power on a platform like Instagram, it does not translate to the mainstream market, and I also think you don’t really see it in the art market unless it’s been appropriated by a male artist, so unless a male artist is presenting it, so it’s kinda gone through his hands, does that… So I would say, yeah. So what do you think of that?
0:31:49.7 Ana Finel Honigman: Yeah, that’s terrible, ’cause that means there is no progress has been done. Yeah, that’s the whole history prior to the 1970s, and to have it over and back to that, I’m just thinking of Richard Prince. Yeah, he’s the classic. Exactly, yeah, definitely his hand.
0:32:16.1 Leah Schrager: And I have to say with his work, I actually think appropriation art as a whole art form, that’s cool, but the important thing is that we… That we also accept the women who are doing the work, that it’s like… I feel like in an ideal world, it’s like we could see the value in the power of charente work at work and also that of, let’s say one of the models to be appropriate, but I feel like it’s those models that kind of get… Well, it is the models… To get the short end of the stick, I don’t think that’s a question. I would say it definitely is. Or the artists who are models, which is obviously something I have a personal investment in that kind of line of questioning. But yeah, I feel like they’re… Do you see it… Are there any… Are there.
0:33:14.4 Ana Finel Honigman: Any… Let’s say in this easement on that, because obviously the history of appropriation art is like barbecues very feel-based, and it makes a lot of sense to respond to the imagery that’s manufactured to manipulate and market is, and just rip it out of the magazine and put it back and so… Yeah, re-contextualize it in climate. What’s so interesting is, and I can never pronounce for Serna, I’m just gonna go with… Emily Ratajkowski, I think, is a sin. That’s how you say it. Yes, when she wrote about her response to Richard Prince taking her image and jam making money off of her, and I thought that was really, really strong ’cause she has the position and platform and her interpretation is absolutely correct. There is something, but sort of stealing your soul from a photograph… Yeah, yeah, especially when you are in a position to be a face and a name, and then you just become an object in someone else’s story, a name that I can’t pretty…
0:34:51.3 Leah Schrager: No, that’s interesting, that’s very interesting. Yeah, yeah, I’d have to watch that. I’d have to read it again. It’s been a while, I remember really liking article that she wrote and then it… She came up with a book recently that has more extended or a collection of her essays, I believe, on the topic, which is interesting, and then I think for her, especially because she is a model, like she is presenting herself and people are paying her right. To model… And then her image is being used as an object all over the place, and then where does she get to say, Oh, well, this is… This one here is the image that I have authored perhaps… Or is that important? Is sort of feeling the authorship up and important or is it not… And that’s something about Instagram, that’s very cool. Four models is that I… I don’t know technically, but theoretically, you would think that a model would own all the images that are on there, unless noted otherwise, unless… And they get to curate it, so it’s kind of their own voice, their own platform, in a way that let’s say if it’s an advertisement for someone else, it’s not…
0:36:13.9 Leah Schrager: So I think, I actually think of models as being a really… Having a very interesting position in the sort of arc of performance art or online art, because they probably own, not always, but often they will own images and then also they own the monetization that they do of the audience.
0:36:37.2 Ana Finel Honigman: Which is what they go back to your question about empowerment ’cause a real roto impairment is just being dependent Asians as much as possible, being able to… Obviously, it’s such a privilege to be in that position, but however we can wrangle in securing and working productively with an audience without an intermediary that is where power lies. And I have a tremendous… And I think rating is very creative and… Yeah, galleries were sacred spaces, but I also feel that are should be able to work directly with potential collector is just manage careers without the structuring system. Please curate more ananta. I really wanna do more curating around sex work, sex are… And that’s the area that interests me most…
0:37:51.5 Leah Schrager: Yeah, please, please. We need more of that, I think. And when I think about, I think pay income as power and as empowerment, and then the ability to really live your own life, do the kind of art you wanna make it super powerful, and I mean, I have heard the argument, and do you think there’s a lot of truth, in the fact that it’s very interesting, if you consider that, let’s say something like a female porn star is going to be making a lot more than the male porn star, and actually in sex work, the female performer actually gets way more money than the male performer versus, let’s say something like, I know soccer is a hot topic, so versus something like where the male performers or athletes are getting more or we’re getting more than a female, so I think that’s pretty… I think it’s cool that there is an industry in which women are getting more, however, it happens to be a very stigmatized industry that is rarely discussed when we discuss the pay and equal pay, but I do think it’s… I mean, to me, it seems like the in one industry were women actually totally out rank man and can rank them by a.
0:39:14.8 Ana Finel Honigman: Which is funny because the actual performance component is pretty challenging on the boys, it does require at the minimum medication. Yes, and like a whole other level of disassociation so I kind of feel bad for the boys. Because the scene only happens if they can finish it, I mean that’s it, but otherwise the same doesn’t happen. I think there’s so many aspects of this are positive, but there’s something also that’s a little bit problematic about it in a way that it’s like it’s me, it’s still working on the paradigm of men on sex always all the time under any circumstances, and that women’s sexuality is still more of a hardship when it should just be, well, at this work for everyone, like everyone was like… Yes. Yeah, just coming in for a job and just some people have to have some fathers that’ll help orthaga.
0:40:33.9 Leah Schrager: Yeah, that’s very interesting. So can a woman just be art…
0:40:41.4 Ana Finel Honigman: Oh, oh, that’s really interesting. Well, yeah, I think that I suppose modern concede as anything and everything can be so in our person hood with a… Right. Intellectual conceptual framework. Yeah, definitely. To putting it in the… I’m just thinking of Adrian Piper and the performative nature of just exist or like civically… Yeah, your travel, documenting your travel.
0:41:27.0 Leah Schrager: Does it require someone to say, I think of it as art, or I think of myself as art, or is it like Could it be implicit in a way… Oh.
0:41:39.9 Ana Finel Honigman: That’s so fascinating, ’cause is it almost like a magical phrase, it has to be spoken. You have to have it like that, ’cause there’s almost a itchiness to… That’s gonna… Wonderful. You just be like… And then art… Yeah, maybe you need to have to the space in the dialogue to step from it and wrangle with that, to give a breath to interpret and then… Yeah, that… It’s about how you define it. ’cause I was thinking the other day about one of the artists whose work I really love, I love everything that she does is Arabelle Raphael, she is artist-activist, porn actress, such an interesting woman, and she was especially vocal, like during the time, the covid lockdown about sex worker rights did a series of photographs responding to some of the abusive comments that she receives on Instagram, a lot of them were just horrifically anti-Semitic and misogynist, really vile, and… I’m trying to remember his Jewish, I think of Moroccan descent. And so it was like this wide range of racist abuse that she received, and she did the series of photos just in reaction to it, and it was obviously framed as art, and I was thinking, Well, that’s so wonderful because it creates a space for her to really refute and to just demonstrate the absurdity and file violence of how she was being responded to in the context of being a sex worker, so taking bad and being like, You know, I’m gonna take it out of the context of just being…
0:44:04.1 Ana Finel Honigman: Writing that angry retaliation, like just confrontation, and to put it into this other space, I gave her this power and freedom to like… That’s cool, really transcended and yeah, I think fight back very effectively, which seems to be one of her great gifts. That’s cool. It’s just something like a super hero season.
0:44:32.9 Leah Schrager: Who are some other artists who are really excited about…
0:44:37.2 Ana Finel Honigman: Oh, there’s this artist named Sasha Katz, who I’m kind of a little obsessed with, she was in this brilliance exhibition called gender bender in Berlin, organized by my friends Amir Fattal, who’s an NFT company, he launched in… I can’t remember exactly the name of the piece, but it’s right above this big set shop in Berlin, like this famous sex Emporium space in Berlin, and it was all around digital NTR. And ASCA is an artist whose digital portraits are about human frailty and the valuable of the female body, and these imperfect, highly human bodies, there’s sort of like a Jenny save sort of component to them, so it’s like poor in tears and stretch marks, and I… Off these questions about, what is a person? What is a human… What is AI? AI so triggers all of these, what we think of as the thing that makes us the most human, which is like our empathy… There was a very funny mean that I look at him, laugh at relentlessly, where it said, I used to think that it was my ability to love that we be human, but it’s actually my ability to check which boxes have a boat and such cases work reminds me of how I use this app, Hotels Tonight, all the time, and I’m constantly in my travel chaos, having to cancel last minute.
0:46:50.1 Ana Finel Honigman: And I’m at level 63, ’cause I use this so compulsively every time I go anywhere, so they kind of… They don’t have a cancellation policy, but they’ll be pretty nice, so I’ll write something like Balaban pretty much nine times out of 10. They’re lovely, and we’ll forgive me and let me cancel, but I would be receiving these emails that were so sweet and polite and well-written, and I was always responding what an eloquent… Lovely touching, personal message. Really, really long land. It was really within the last month that I was like, Oh my God, they’re from different people, but they’re all in the same voice, they’re all equally as long and equally as sweet and touching, I wonder if this is a bot and I in… Oh my God, that is so nice. You’re the most beautiful company, you’re so, so much better than any other human I’ve encountered because it’s automated to be like the perfect person, and I’m like… ’cause it’s like these imperfect people, but they’re digital, and that’s a creeping clever.
0:48:05.5 Leah Schrager: That’s cool. Please send me a link. I detail.
0:48:12.8 Ana Finel Honigman: But then also honestly, as… As awkward as this is to say, You are one of my favorite artists, I… Thank you. I, I love your work. And all of it… Yeah, just for a FERS beauty, but then also for the software fucking component, but also for its beauty is so it’s like just the perfect package as thought and those wonderful feelings that come from… Owego.
0:48:43.2 Leah Schrager: Thank you. Thank you. So I guess on that topic, I have another question for you.
0:48:56.3 Ana Finel Honigman: I think of the day for you… Oh, I think we heard…
0:49:01.0 Leah Schrager: I can hear you, can you hear me? Yes. Okay, great. I’ll just note that down at it or not, we’ll see a Judith much… I wanna try to keep it super clean or keep it real. Okay, so one question I’ve been thinking about, I think I’d like to really hear your thoughts on… So in 2010, I was first accepted into an artist open studio and then removed from it, it was the West Chelsea artist open studio by the director, and he said the reason for my removal was the submission that I made was an ad and not art. It was an image that had a URL on it, and I believe it’s the URL and… Or the nature of the image that made him say was an ad, but kind of regardless, I’m curious if you think that ads can be art or if art is As… And if it has an ad element, does that make it not art?
0:50:21.4 Ana Finel Honigman: That’s… Wow, that’s so interesting. Well, first of all, I’m trying to think of any number of endless exhibitions that I’ve been to that fashion photography in a museum that’s a really… That’s a very fluid slide and really… Well, as tallah… Yeah, artist commercial or less in this cultural context is collectable, and our prices captured public imagination much more maybe than the Inventory often. Yeah, it’s a really in comprehensive… Well, I… Anytime for somebody to say like, this object is there to be purchased, but you can promote its existence in another form I embedded into the object that like logic doesn’t make any sense in in order for that to be true, it would have to be outside of a commercial context, but it isn’t… End maybe in some instances. Yeah, most definitely. There’s a lot of art that is and ought to be, and arguably, much more should be, and you know the market is toxic, but realistically, art is seen usually to be so old, it… So… Yeah, that doesn’t make sense, right?
0:52:23.0 Leah Schrager: I agree. Are your scrambles? Oh, okay. The WiFi might be a little.
0:52:29.9 Ana Finel Honigman: But this… That’s really interesting. Were you able to contest that? I did.
0:52:37.7 Leah Schrager: I think I asked him and I tried to contest it, but he wouldn’t let me back in, but actually it ended up working out well in the end, because I ended up doing a press release on it and then the practice it… And that was really cool. I can’t remember exactly the art publications that were writing on it, but this was before I was sharing publicly that I was an artist, so I started as an artist and I kind of moved into this online stuff, but I wasn’t linking my names yet. It was an anonymous project at the time, so I think it was Art info culture bought Art News, Huffington Post, all these great people wrote about it as this question of, Is it an ad or art? So it actually worked out really great in the end, but at the time I was very upset very… I felt personally attacked, I guess, that that I would be considered that my art was an ad, whereas obviously, like you’re saying, it’s like all artists meet to be sold unless it’s not for sale, but I don’t know, is there… I’m sure someone’s a conceptual project to…
0:53:56.3 Ana Finel Honigman: I feel like implicit, not is the assumption that artists have to maintain the illusion of Navan, and it goes back to that if you are commercially-minded than you’ve sold out, so you have to be serious and order to be serious, you have to pretend like you’re not involved in a commercial. Never, exactly. But yeah, that’s a fallacy or fantasy Eastport not to be making work exclusively for audience consumption, there should be a component of authenticity and personal, but you can’t pretend that it’s not gonna endu ideally in a collector as well that…
0:54:43.2 Leah Schrager: Yeah, and some of the best selling artists who I know personally, or I guess have even just heard, talk on podcasts, they’ll often speak about like… I’m thinking of a couple of painters in particular, they’ll talk about it just very placental is like, yeah, it’s just my day job, or I’m just like, I’m getting my hours in, I can only do this many paintings in this much time, and I’m doing it for this gallery for this, it’s very practical and very… It sounds like it could be a business plan that they’ve written up and they know exactly what they need to do to get what… The income they need, etcetera. So I haven’t thought till then that that’s also…
0:55:27.4 Ana Finel Honigman: That’s the thing that is so disturbing, is that the goal, everyone’s goal is to really love what they do professionally, you would want to be enumerated, to be rewarded, to be able to sustain yourself with a skill and a passion, and so they shouldn’t… Yes, there shouldn’t be a complex… You shouldn’t have to see something as pure, if there’s not a transactional element, there can be both, both can exist. You can also hate aspects of work or heat some projects, but have chosen to do a specific profession and sort of love it either in theory or love the majority of it… Yeah, that should be what’s ultimately happening… Yeah, it would be in everyone’s best interest to not see those as an opposition as there being a defiance, but then again, think a lot of people really do at the work that they do, and so it’s hard to sort of wrap your head around not resting there being a financial aspect to creating.
0:56:54.4 Leah Schrager: Isn’t that true of a lot of professions, or there are a lot of professions that have both good and bad, I don’t know, is there any profession that is just all good… I don’t know.
0:57:07.1 Ana Finel Honigman: I think there are people who are in those professions who may see it as all good, but inherently non-everything… Yeah, unless you’re at a level where you have sufficient sort of privileged and support that you don’t have to do our own admin, for example, if you do… Yeah, are just cloistered. But even that, I… That there’s probably something. Exactly, ’cause I was just thinking, I was like, I’m thinking of basket being locked in his basement by his dealer swords to pain compulsive. Yeah.
0:57:47.5 Leah Schrager: Any other thoughts or comments or anything?
0:57:53.0 Ana Finel Honigman: Yeah, this is really fun. I definitely love to do more of this, I guess that thought or just… I really wish there were more artists who are doing the work that you do, and not to see that you are, but it would be wonderful if there were more on you and I could just care a show together or something. A bunch.
0:58:18.4 Leah Schrager: So I think anyone who’s listening should email Anna, if you do this kind of you.
0:58:24.9 Ana Finel Honigman: We need to put together a… So good to just have more people working in the intersection and… And about the complexity is… ’cause it would be… It would just be speaking of labors of love projects, I would… Yeah, curating something together would be my dream thing, so that…
0:58:48.5 Leah Schrager: I hope so. Hopefully, hopefully.
0:58:54.7 Ana Finel Honigman: One 203 right. Kantha was amazing, thank you.
0:59:04.7 Leah Schrager: Thank you so much. Really awesome to hear your perspective. And you’re so eloquent in EE.
0:59:11.0 Ana Finel Honigman: Eloquent, have talking about New York. Oh, right.
0:59:18.4 Leah Schrager: That’s how… We started before the podcast, New York. Yeah.
0:59:24.0 Ana Finel Honigman: Yeah, with a love-hate relationship, but I saw up in Manhattan. So for me, it was always normal and every place else was a Loring and in thinking because of its different, but now going back to New York, and it just feels really necessary just to share the magnitude and the expensive… It is really comfortable in the way that I can only Isle best when they’re like people screaming and Carson, I look all the time for ambient sound podcasts that are not running water or just like people fight it straight. It’s amazing, really sad. I’ve actually, I’ve tried to record outside the lower side in the summer when the windows are open or in London, I did and somehow it didn’t take and I went to sleep so happy ’cause I was hearing all of this madness in the street, and I was thinking, I got it, I finally got it. It was well over and my laptop to it and it didn’t catch, but being just a real New Yorker, that’s my habitat, I still feel like I’m so grateful I got out and live some place a lot more reasonable and peaceful. Yeah, just the tranquility of not having that relentless pressure that I was…
1:01:00.6 Leah Schrager: That was a lot.
1:01:01.5 Ana Finel Honigman: Of… I say it’s nice, it’s just nice to go back and be like, Oh wait, I forgot that everything is… Everything feels more real, and it just feels like it has more consequences, it has a intent and the cinema quality to it, it’s like, Okay, this is really happening. I’m an adult and I’m on the street and I’m going somewhere, I exactly doing and I’m living a life that kind of out… It’s also nice to just like hibernate and… Yeah, for me at the moment. That’s Baltimore.
1:01:39.6 Leah Schrager: That’s cool, that’s really cool. Yeah, I feel like part of the goal… I have also recently moved out in New York, and I feel like part of the goal is just to feel the purpose that sort of living in New York helped, I think Menifee, but while out of New York, like to feel in the cinema as on the screen, and things are happening when there isn’t the screaming outside your window, but that’s… I feel like maybe a lifelong process of learning that I.
1:02:15.7 Ana Finel Honigman: Actually… I do feel like Instagram does help a lot because you’re not totally dispatched, like thinking of I… Ultimate Melissa Benz, who I went to college was run Marfa Art Fair, National marar, and her fee of X New Yorker imagery has been an inspiration for you where I’m like, Quit, of course, there is a universe outside of Manhattan, it’s delaval and filled his peace and purpose. Yeah.
1:02:56.4 Leah Schrager: When is the art fire, do you know on top of your head.
1:03:00.4 Ana Finel Honigman: Happens… Yeah.
1:03:02.3 Leah Schrager: People were there. Is that why they were there…
1:03:04.4 Ana Finel Honigman: Yeah, that’s why that thinks would be a good person for this act Oooh. Good. Yeah she she’s so smart and sassy and.
1:03:16.9 Leah Schrager: I that’s cool awesome.
1:03:18.6 Ana Finel Honigman: I’m definitely listen to that when you guys do it yeah.
1:03:23.7 Leah Schrager: Well thank you so much I’ll stop the recording now thank you and see you on Instagram yeah wait what’s your ad can you share with the.
1:03:36.1 Ana Finel Honigman: Cats man and cats okay cases was actually an art gallery that I was gonna start with an X in San Affine Mexico in my ex New York and London attempt with Santa Fe wow so that’s awesome but now I assume involved a.
1:04:04.9 Leah Schrager: Awesome thank you do.