Suzanne Santoro's Towards new expression: An Interference in Carla Lonzi's Theory of Sexuality and Aesthetics


  • Sara Colantuono Brown University


In 1974, the Brooklyn-born artist Suzanne Santoro published, in Rome, a small volume of photography titled Per una espressione nuova / Towards new expression with the feminist publishing company Scritti di Rivolta Femminile, founded by Carla Lonzi and the women of the radical feminist group Rivolta Femminile in 1970. The artist’s book was animated by the question of how the representation of women’s bodies – especially the erasure of women’s genitals in the history of art – had conditioned women’s self-determination and their knowledge of their own sexuality. Towards new expression was in dialogue with Lonzi’s ideas about women’s sexuality and especially with her La donna clitoridea e la donna vaginale (The clitoridean woman and the vaginal woman, 1971) but nonetheless, as soon as it was printed and started to circulate, Lonzi expressed her disappointment and discomfort with it. This reaction, and the accusations it contains, are for me the starting point for a reflection on the relationship already investigated by many scholars between art and feminism in Lonzi’s thought.




2022-03-15 — Aggiornato il 2022-04-08