Oral history interview with Guerrilla Girls Rosalba Carriera and Guerrilla Girl 1, 2007 Dec. 1

Guerrilla Girls (Group of artists) , est. 1985
Artists group
Active in New York, N.Y.

Size: 3 wav files (1 hr., 34 min.) digital
Transcript: 69 p.

Format: Originally recorded on 1 sound disc. Reformatted in 2010 as 3 digital wav files. Duration is 1 hr., 34 min.

Collection Summary: An interview of the Guerrilla Girls using the names Rosalba Carriera and Guerrilla Girl 1 conducted 2007 Dec. 1, by Judith Olch Richards, for the Archives of American Art at iCI, 799 Broadway, New York, N.Y.

Biographical/Historical Note: Guerrilla Girls (est. 1985) is an anonymous group of feminist artists in New York, N.Y. Judith Olch Richards (1947- ) is former executive director of iCI in New York, N.Y.

This interview is part of the Archives of American Art Oral History Program, started in 1958 to document the history of the visual arts in the United States, primarily through interviews with artists, historians, dealers, critics and administrators.

Funding for the digital preservation of this interview was provided by a grant from the Save America Treasures Program of the National Park Service.

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Interview Transcript

This transcript is in the public domain and may be used without permission. Quotes and excerpts must be cited as follows: Oral history interview with Guerrilla Girls Rosalba Carriera and Guerrilla Girl 1, 2007 Dec. 1, Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.

Interview with Guerrilla Girls Rosalba Carriera and Guerrilla Girl 1
Conducted by Judith Olch Richards
At Independent Curators International offices in New York, New York
December 1, 2007

Preface

The following oral history transcript is the result of a digitally recorded interview with Guerrilla Girls Rosalba Carriera and Guerrilla Girl 1 on December 1, 2007. The interview took place at Independent Curators International offices in New York, New York, and was conducted by Judith Olch Richards for the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.

The reader should bear in mind that he or she is reading a transcript of spoken, rather than written, prose.

Interview

JUDITH RICHARDS: This is Judith Richards interviewing Rosalba Carriera and Guerrilla Girl 1 at iCI's offices, 799 Broadway, New York City, on Saturday, December 1, 2007, for the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution. Disc number one.

So, let me start by asking you each individually - I will start with Rosalba Carriera - when did your involvement with the Guerrilla Girls begin?

ROSALBA CARRIERA: It began either in late 1985 or early 1986. And I was active until 2000.

MS. RICHARDS: And how did you become a Guerrilla Girl?

MS. CARRIERA: The way I became a Guerrilla Girl was I had a very good friend who was a founding member of the Guerrilla Girls and moved away from New York. And she suggested to another founding member of the Guerrilla Girls that I would make a good Guerrilla Girl, based on the fact that I was committed to my art, and I was angry enough about what was going on in the art world to want to help do something about it. So, that's how it happened.

MS. RICHARDS: Did you have a particular assignment from the start, in terms of your activities with the group?

MS. CARRIERA: No. In the early days, we all just did whatever we needed to do. I would poster in the early hours of the morning. We all brainstormed posters. We - one of the early things I did, it wasn't - maybe it was a year later - was we did an action at the [Solomon R.] Guggenheim Museum [New York City], where we had little stickers - I'm trying to remember what they said - it had to do with the inequality of women in the Guggenheim - and I went with my sweetheart on Valentine's Day. We went into all the bathrooms and stuck them up.

And it was basically these clandestine actions that we would do, and - but we didn't do it - I didn't do it in a mask, it was just sort of infiltrating at that point, infiltrating, and people not knowing what we did, like, you know, hit and run. You do it, you'd leave, and something would be there. Nobody would know that we had done it, because we were just kind of doing it quietly.

We had panel discussions that - we organized panel discussions at Cooper Union [Advancement of Science and Art, New York City] that was -

MS. RICHARDS: And this is still the early years?

MS. CARRIERA: Very early.

MS. RICHARDS: Perhaps around 1985?

MS. CARRIERA: Yes. We had a panel discussion of, you know, the state of the art world. And I don't even remember anyone in that panel, except for Holly Solomon, because we thought she would kind of, like, be on our side, and say what we felt.

And her big statement was, "Why do they have" - we were wearing masks at this point - "Why do they have to wear such ugly things like gorilla masks, why can't they wear Cinderella masks?" [Guerrilla Girl 1 laughs.] And I personally think you should use your power as a woman. And my power is in my breasts. Every time I go to the bank, or I do business -

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: I flash my breast.

[They laugh.]

MS. CARRIERA: You know, so it was very interesting. It was an interesting time, because it was really off the cuff. We just did things.

MS. RICHARDS: Let me turn to, now, Guerrilla Girl 1.

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: Right.

MS. RICHARDS: And ask you the same questions. When did you join?

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: Well, I joined, I think, in - you know, I can't remember the year, but I would say it was probably about '89, something like that. And I was a Girl for about 10 years. Yes.

MS. RICHARDS: And how did you join?

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: Well, I had a friend. I - same thing, very similar to Rosie - I had a friend, and she wanted - she thought that I would be a very good Guerrilla Girl, because of my work, and my energy, and my humor, and moxy.

And also, I really related to the situation that women were not getting their due, historically, as well as currently. And you find that many times people go to an art school, women go to art schools, and all of the sudden they become wives and other things. Now, that was not my - that did not happen to me, but the point here is that they were forgotten.

And I use the term Guerrilla Girl 1, because I like it, and it's catchy, and all that. But it doesn't mean I was the first Girl. It really had to do with the fact that it was women who were forgotten. And those women who didn't even have a name, they were anonymous, they never even got to the stage, where Frida Kahlo and all these other women who we know about, in spite of the discrimination.

So, I use the word "Guerrilla Girl," and I felt that it worked for me. And also, it's very easy to remember. [Laughs.] You don't have to have those hard names to spell, you know? Yes, yes.

MS. RICHARDS: I guess I will ask you at the same time -

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: Sure.

MS. RICHARDS: I will ask Rosie, Rosalba. How did you pick your name? And, if you could, both speak about the process of the naming of a new Guerrilla Girl.

MS. CARRIERA: Well, this is what I wanted to interject. I was the one who came up with the idea that we should adopt dead artists' names, so that they wouldn't be forgotten.

And I was reading Letters on Cezanne [Maria Rainer Rilke. New York: Fromm International Publishing Corporation, 1985], by Rilke, and there was a footnote about Rosalba Carriera. And I had never heard of her. And I thought, well, she obviously did enough to be a footnote in this book, and who heard of her? I didn't know anyone that had ever heard of her.

And it was in the beginning days, when I just started being a Guerrilla Girl, and I suggested it to the group, I said - because we would be getting interviews -

MS. RICHARDS: This is before you had masks?

MS. CARRIERA: I'm not quite sure if we had masks yet or not, but the point was that we were doing lots of things on the phone. And it was kind of confusing, because somebody would call and they would say, "Well, I spoke to someone," because we were always anonymous, "I spoke to someone," and there was no way of differentiating who anybody was.

And then, when we would go out in public, it was like you kind of nudge each other, or something, because we couldn't use our names. So I thought, "Why don't we just take on the names of dead women artists, so that they have a voice, that people don't forget about them," which is, you know, what Guerrilla Girl 1 was saying.

MS. RICHARDS: Yes.

MS. CARRIERA: But she's right, there are some that never even made it to -

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: Even made it to that level, by the way. That a name is not in any footnote anywhere, they are completely anonymous.

MS. CARRIERA: Exactly.

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: Yes, yes.

MS. CARRIERA: But I mean, I picked Rosalba Carriera because she was so remote. And when someone came into the Guerrilla Girls, they were just allowed to choose whatever name they wanted.

And I always thought it would be great - the names that people never heard of were the better ones, because everyone has heard of Frida Kahlo and Georgia O'Keeffe and Lee Krasner.

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: Yes.

MS. CARRIERA: But people were allowed to - you know, we're not a corporation. We don't have directives.

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: Yes, you choose your own, yes, yes, yes.

MS. CARRIERA: About anything, really. That's - you know, it's like - it's a collaborative group. And so, people - you know, we decide within - it's a very loose framework of whatever we're talking about, and then everybody does what they want to do within that loose framework. So people just choose their own names.

MS. RICHARDS: Do you have anything else to add to that?

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: I will tell you the truth, I don't remember when I got into the group. When I said 1990, I think it was maybe 1988 or 1987, but I can't remember. It was not the first wave.

But, nevertheless, we all picked names, and they were - and it kept going on. But there were a lot of names that were selected. But, somehow, every time we did a gig, we would go - we would even sometimes rename the girls in the gig something that was more well known, so people would - from the audience - would know Georgia O'Keeffe, or they would know Frida Kahlo -

MS. CARRIERA: Well -

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: - or whatever. You did not, by the way -

MS. CARRIERA: Wait, wait, wait. I held -

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: You did not, by the way. You held on to your name, as I did, too.

MS. CARRIERA: I did, but the point is that I - we didn't -

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: Some of them just gave it up.

MS. CARRIERA: We didn't rename them.

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: Yes.

MS. CARRIERA: But there were several people in the group who really were attached to the names -

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: Absolutely.

MS. CARRIERA: - Frida Kahlo and Georgia O'Keeffe -

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: Yes, absolutely right. That's right, that's right.

MS. CARRIERA: - and really identified very strongly with those women. So that's why there were a few of them.

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: That's right. Yes, yes, yes.

MS. CARRIERA: I mean, it was less for the audience purpose, I think -

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: That's right.

MS. CARRIERA: - than for the association that - it was an empowering thing -

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: Right.

MS. CARRIERA: - to go out and feel that you were embodying the spirit of Georgia O'Keeffe.

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: It shows you the importance, actually, of a name. It really does. And also, the fact that you identify with it so strongly.

MS. RICHARDS: Now, during - so we're looking at what years that you were both involved, in terms of the activities -

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: Oh, we were involved in the formative years, yes.

MS. RICHARDS: So you talked about, Rosie, not being a corporation and not having a structure. But was there - how - what was the leadership? There must have - was there any designated leader - [Carriera laughs] - or was there a rotation of leaders, or did you have - just take turns making decisions? How did meetings get called? How did decisions get made?

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: Oh, if -

MS. RICHARDS: How did actions get decided -

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: We fought a lot, by the way.

MS. CARRIERA: If you think about it now -

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: We would all call up and say we have to have a meeting. We would meet, actually, much more frequently in the beginning.

So there - and we decided that there was so much inequity within the art world, and you're talking about - people were complicit. There were dealers who were complicit, writers who were complicit, artists who were complicit. And it was an evolved structure.

So, therefore, artists were showing with - in galleries that had no other women, no women represented. There was also dealers who had no women in their gallery, or less than 10 percent.

So, what we did was we named names, and that was an important thing. Before, people just were kind of very generalized. And we actually did statistics. We would go to the Met [Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City], and we made a weenie count. We would go to -

MS. CARRIERA: I did that, I personally did that.

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: [Laughs] She counted every weenie. We have an example here of a weenie counter, by the way.

MS. CARRIERA: I'm a weenie counter.

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: Absolutely. She was a head weenie counter, by the way.

But, nevertheless, we found out that at the Met there were - and when we did the poster in '85, that was - we had a - there was only five percent -

MS. RICHARDS: Which poster was that?

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: That was one that you have, a woman lying - an [Jean Auguste Dominque] Ingres, it was a take-off on an Ingres. And the woman is lying on the couch. Basically, you see her back, and you see her gorilla mask, and she is saying that there is five percent - less than five percent of the modern art collection is comprised of women. And there are 85 percent of the nudes in the museum that are woman. So, "Do you have to get naked to get into the Met Museum?"

And, actually, what happened was that they did the same count in 2005 at the Venice Biennale, and they found that the statistics were actually even lower. There was only 3 percent of the modern art collection that were women, and that there were 83 percent of the women in the - that were nude, basically.

MS. CARRIERA: Well, that's Italy for you. [Laughs.]

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: Yes. No, no, no, no, no. It was still at the Met, but it was done at -

MS. CARRIERA: Oh, oh.

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: - the Venice Biennale. But, nevertheless, what we had is we had report cards. We had galleries like Mary Boone, we had galleries who - and we had to count how they were doing, so that these critics will not - write about less than 10 percent women, these galleries show less than 10 percent. So we kept a count. And then, we even had one that was - it's even worse in Europe. So we also used a tremendous amount of humor, which was great, you know? And that got people's attention.

And everyone wanted to know if they were going to be on a poster. And we would call up people and say, "Would you want to - would you" - we would call up artists and say, "Would you speak to your dealer, and say you want more women in your gallery?" And some said yes and some said no.

The ones that said yes, we put on a poster, so that even if they never spoke to their dealer, they were on that poster, so we got the credit for that, anyway.

MS. CARRIERA: Saying that these are Guerrilla Girls. So we had a poster one year that was, like, thousands of names of people who -

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: This is different.

MS. CARRIERA: Oh.

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: This is entirely different.

MS. CARRIERA: Oh, okay. But we did that, too.

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: What I was referring to - I was referring to men -

MS. CARRIERA: Oh, oh. Oh, the men one, right.

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: Mostly men, who were not - who were showing in galleries with less than 10 percent women.

MS. CARRIERA: Those were the good guys.

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: And they would speak, by the way, to their dealer to get more women in their galleries.

Now, we were going to, by the way, for the people who said, "No," we were going to do white male blackmail, but we didn't do it. We didn't do it. We didn't go that far. [Laughs.]

MS. RICHARDS: Let me go back to the early years, as you two experienced them.

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: Right.

MS. RICHARDS: So, I'm still trying to understand how the group - how the Guerrilla Girls functioned, and how you maintained a level of activity without having - because you are all busy in your individual artist careers, how all the actions were carried out -

MS. CARRIERA: Okay.

MS. RICHARDS: - you know, in a - and not simultaneously, in a chaotic way, but in a very focused way, and that you also - you could speak about if you use PR, how you organized, and do you have any paper records so that you perhaps had an agenda for a meeting, you created a list of priorities, or - and where were those early meetings, if they were all focused in New York, and -

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: Definitely New York.

MS. CARRIERA: Everything was New York.

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: Everything is about New York. We went to - this is the center, we live here, we work here, it's New York.

MS. RICHARDS: So, can you speak about how it really functioned without a leader?

MS. CARRIERA: Well, let me say some things. First of all, it was - I would say it was like mini-dictatorships at certain times. [Laughs.]

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: [Laughs] Yes.

MS. CARRIERA: You know, like somebody would, like, get an idea, and they would, like, be really attached to it, say, "Okay, we've got to do this idea."

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: Right.

MS. CARRIERA: And anybody else who thought that would work on the idea. And they would form a subgroup, and they would work out an idea and put it on - make a poster about it. All the posters were generated and done within the group.

So, they - the poster would come, we would have - a poster would kind of be made, or would - in a mock form, and then we would have a meeting of all the Girls, whoever wanted to come, and everybody would tear it apart, and hash it out, and give their opinion.

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: Yes.

MS. CARRIERA: And that's how it happened. It would get worked on and reworked on and reworked on until there was a consensus of, "Yes, this is great." And that is how, basically, everything happened.

But Guerrilla Girl 1, when she was saying about the counting, that was the main function, in the beginning, was statistics. Because we knew that if we counted, and we presented statistics on posters, they couldn't be refuted. And they were so abominable, as far as women in the art world went.

And the overall feeling to people who weren't in the art world, or who might be in the art world but not feel very activist in it, was, like, "Well, we're all in the art world," or people from the outside would say, "But all you artists, you're all together, aren't you?" I mean, nobody outside the art world had any idea of the hierarchy occurring, and the discrimination. People would just think, "Oh, well, they're artists."

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: Well, you know also, I will tell you something. There is also the feeling that when you have a show, if you have a sculpture show, and they are all guys, you say, "This is a sculpture show." When you have a show that's all women, they say, "It's a feminist show."

So, there - and there was a lot of - they said, "Oh, you know, there is no discrimination now," but the statistics were irrefutable. So that is what we - now, statistics are not the only issue. But, nevertheless, we started with that, and that was very powerful.

MS. CARRIERA: And, you know, so different people would find it interesting to obtain different statistics. Like, I love going to museums and counting. I thought that was really -

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: It was a lot of fun.

MS. CARRIERA: It was fun. It was -

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: It was fun, it was fun.

MS. CARRIERA: - fascinating, and I loved going to museums and putting things up when nobody was looking.

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: Yes.

MS. CARRIERA: You know, different people like to do different things.

And so, basically, everybody did what appealed to them. And anyone with an idea brought up their idea, and ran with it with whoever else wanted to run with it.

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: They also would have - when things come up in the art world - for example, at that time - now things have gone astronomical.

But, nevertheless, when Jasper Johns' work went for $17.something million, we said that all the women artists that we had on this list - and it was an enormous amount, by the way, Frida Kahlo, et cetera, Georgia O'Keeffe - you could buy one work of all these women, and there probably were 100 women, you could buy one work of all these women for the same amount as one Jasper Johns.

So, therefore, we were very - we hit on stuff, the Tremaine [Burton G. and Emily Hall Tremaine Collection] auction and the Andy - and the Warhol auction. How many women were in it? Zero. And we had it in bananas. So we had these things very pointed, good graphics, and very simply placed, and also very funny.

MS. CARRIERA: And then there was, you know, the Whitney Biennial [Whitney Museum of American Art, New York City], we did our own survey of the Whitney Biennial; I think in 1989, I think we did that. And ever since Marcia Tucker left the Whitney as a curator, there were no women being shown there.

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: Yes.

MS. CARRIERA: And we totally deconstructed the process of how the Whitney biennials are - how they get the artists. And we had an environment, we made an environment - it's one of the few times we've really done that.

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: That's right, at the Clocktower.

MS. CARRIERA: We did an installation at the Clocktower ["Guerrilla Girls Review the Whitney." The Clocktower, New York City, 1987], and each wall was -

MS. RICHARDS: Do you remember what year?

MS. CARRIERA: I think it was 1989. I'm pretty sure it was 1989.

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: I think it was 1989 too, but I'm not sure, yes.

MS. CARRIERA: And we had that whole booklet, because I remember -

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: Yes.

MS. CARRIERA: - which I would bring to the gig thing, because I was in charge of gigs and we traveled all over the world, actually, presenting all this information. And we presented this a lot.

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: And it was. And you know something? It had very funny - they had, like, a big nipple, by the way. Can you do better than the Whitney curators?

MS. CARRIERA: With a little gun, with the suction -

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: And with a little gun.

MS. CARRIERA: - with the suction cup on it.

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: That's exactly right, with a suction cup that goes to the nipple, you know, like a target.

MS. CARRIERA: Yes.

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: So they -

MS. CARRIERA: It was like a game.

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: Yes.

MS. CARRIERA: It was like going into a carnival.

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: That's right.

MS. CARRIERA: There were all these activities you could do, but they were all, you know, informational. There was Monopoly - there was a Monopoly board, you know, how to get into the Whitney Biennial, and like, each stop would be, like, "Have tea with the curator," "Sleep with So-and-So," I mean, it was just all the little steps.

And we - but it was all, once again, based on real research. We had a Deep Throat at the Whitney, who gave us a lot -

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: Yes.

MS. CARRIERA: - of information.

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: Right.

MS. CARRIERA: We linked the collections of the people who were on the board of the Whitney to who gets shown at the Whitney. And then who, further, gets bought at the Whitney.

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: Yes.

MS. CARRIERA: We linked the galleries that had connections with the members of the board of the Whitney. We had a wall of the businesses of the people on the board of the Whitney, where most of these businesses catered to products for women, like the Lauders, and I forgot other names, but it was all, like -

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: Yes.

MS. CARRIERA: It was all products that women buy, high-end products that women buy, so - yet women are buying things, making these men richer, and these men are using their money to influence the art world to buy male art, because it all comes down to a reflection of the male - white male - patriarchy, and their tastes.

And it's - and to see their taste glorified and reflected in the institutions they support was, like, how it was done.

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: They also had very strong ways that you made connections. They say these people on the boards of Sotheby's and the connection between the museums and the directors, and what happens when they're on the boards, and how they have their own collection that they have a vested interest, in terms of having a show of a specific artist, and how that enhances their collection, there is a - and enhances the value of their collection.

So, we made a lot of connections that were very good, so that it's not all a mystery.

MS. CARRIERA: And, again, based in -

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: Fact.

MS. CARRIERA: - in real fact.

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: Fact, fact, fact.

MS. CARRIERA: Lots of research, and presented in a very funny way, and we had graphs and games.

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: Yes.

MS. RICHARDS: Did - in those early years, did women artists from other countries contact you and talk about creating similar organizations, and did they ever?

MS. CARRIERA: Yes. We had cells. We have cells all over the world. We discussed how we wanted to do that, because we didn't want people thinking they were a branch of us, because other Guerrilla Girls would do things that we would never do, and that we felt this isn't our style, and isn't our fight, and it is great that it is their style and their fight, but they should keep it over there, because - and not so much in other countries, but in other parts of this country.

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: Well, you know, also, we thought that it would be very good for them to actually deal with local issues, so that they could get more out of it. When you're talking about bigger issues that - in New York, this didn't - it didn't work as much - it didn't work as well for them.

Now, actually, statistically, the closer you are to power, the less women have. So, New York, with the center of power, women have less. Places that are outside of New York, women have more. And that also works in Europe and other places. We found that when you would go - for example, Sweden had - was much more powerful than Norway -

MS. CARRIERA: Do you remember when we -

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: - and Finland.

MS. CARRIERA: We went to Norway, and -

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: We went to - yes.

MS. CARRIERA: Many, many women were being shown in Norway.

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: That's right, a lot of women. And you know something? When I went to Finland - did we go to Finland together?

MS. CARRIERA: No.

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: No, we didn't. When I went to Finland, they had an ombudsman. So that was less power. So, in Sweden, there was a more male hierarchy, because it was closer to power, and they had a lot of very well-known museums and things that show male art, as well as other things.

And then, Norway, you had more women shown, and also more women directors, and more women of power. And then, in Finland, you had even more, because it was away from the center of power. The more - the closer to the center of power, the less women had. So - and, of course, New York is the top of the line.

MS. RICHARDS: In the earlier years, did you - do you remember discussing, as a group, how to deal with these potential offshoots, potential people claiming to be Guerrilla Girls who weren't?

MS. CARRIERA: Well, we -

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: That still happens, by the way, and we allow it, by the way.

MS. CARRIERA: Yes -

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: We allow it. You know something? If they want to be a Girl, good for them, by the way.

MS. CARRIERA: If they believe in that, sure.

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: Sure. And you know something? It can only enhance us by having people of power who have been given credit for being a Girl, even if they were never a Girl. And that's certainly happened at this point in time.

MS. CARRIERA: But that bring me back to the cell thing, because I had gone - in the very early days, I had gone to San Francisco, where I personally had been - my whole art education was there. And we talked there. And they started a group there with an artist who is very well known in San Francisco, but they called themselves the Guerrilla Girls. And the things that they did there we really wouldn't do here.

And so, we had to make it clear to them that they should call themselves Guerrilla Girls San Francisco, or come up with another name, because their issues were different in San Francisco - they are different, when it comes to the regional thing.

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: Sure.

MS. CARRIERA: And so, we decided that we really wanted to make that clear, that anyone who wanted to form a group, a Guerrilla Girl type group, should, absolutely, but should differentiate themselves.

And we had gigs. We have been all over the world, and all over this country. And you and I have gone on a lot of them.

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: Absolutely.

MS. CARRIERA: A lot, and -

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: And, believe me, it was a lot of fun. [Laughs.]

MS. CARRIERA: It was fantastic.

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: It was fabulous, fabulous.

MS. CARRIERA: Except -

MS. RICHARDS: These trips -

MS. CARRIERA: Well, I got -

MS. RICHARDS: - are being paid for by you, personally?

MS. CARRIERA: No.

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: No, no.

MS. CARRIERA: No. I was the one who arranged them and sent out letters, and did all the paperwork, and just - you know, was, like, the Guerrilla Girl travel agent, in a way.

But the Gig Girl, I was the Gig Girl for many years, like, maybe for 11 years. So people would contact us, and they would - they were usually schools or art organizations, and they would pay for our airfare -

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: Or museums.

MS. CARRIERA: Or -

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: Yes, yes.

MS. CARRIERA: Pay for our airfare, put us up in crappy little hotels, or someone's house, if they couldn't afford it.

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: And they would give us a per diem, by the way.

MS. CARRIERA: They gave us a per diem, so we could eat.

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: Yes, yes.

MS. CARRIERA: I mean, it was no - it was not, like, a big expense account, or anything.

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: Initially. Initially, yes, yes.

MS. CARRIERA: And, you know, lots of times we were put up, like, in people's houses.

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: That's right.

MS. CARRIERA: When we went to Norway, we were in someone's house, right?

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: I know, yes, yes. [Laughs.] On a couch.

MS. CARRIERA: Right. But -

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: None of this single room, high-end stuff.

MS. CARRIERA: No, no. I mean, when I went to Argentina, I got violently ill, because -

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: Oh, really? The food was terrible?

MS. CARRIERA: Well, I didn't eat meat, but the room I was in was really bad, it was like a cot.

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: Oh, wow. Oh, wow. Oh, wow.

MS. RICHARDS: When -

MS. CARRIERA: But so -

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: You know something, also? The Girls, individually, did get some money for it, by the way. We got a little bit of money for doing the gigs, per day. But really -

MS. CARRIERA: Right. What did we get?

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: - it was so nominal.

MS. CARRIERA: What did we get, like $50, $100 a day?

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: Yes, yes. I think we got $50 a day, plus we got $175, I think we got, or $150, to do the gig, you know? So it was very nominal. But it did give us enough so that it wouldn't cost us, you know, that much to do the stuff.

MS. CARRIERA: Well, that was the point -

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: Yes, yes.

MS. CARRIERA: - so that we wouldn't be losing money by doing it.

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: We wouldn't lose money by going over there, is what it came down to, yes.

MS. RICHARDS: Are you aware of whether, in the early years, or during your time, there was any conscious effort, in terms of recruiting, or inviting new members to represent more than one generation of artists?

MS. CARRIERA: Oh, definitely.

MS. RICHARDS: And -

MS. CARRIERA: Definitely.

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: Yes.

MS. RICHARDS: And, also, to - how long - at what point - and I believe this happened - at what point did you move from exclusively focusing on visual art to include or maybe -

MS. CARRIERA: No, you're right.

MS. RICHARDS: I guess just the members, the members -

MS. CARRIERA: Then we went to theater -

MS. RICHARDS: How did you think about the membership, in terms of generations, and agree what that should be like -

MS. CARRIERA: Well, we -

MS. RICHARDS: - as the group evolved, and those -

MS. CARRIERA: The -

MS. RICHARDS: - members, in terms of their work?

MS. CARRIERA: Well, the group has always been that, you know, we get members from people in the group, you know? Like, someone will say -

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: Recommendations, yes.

MS. CARRIERA: "So, this person would be a great person." And so, it started out - well, there is also the thing of color, because -

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: Yes.

MS. CARRIERA: - not long after we were dealing with sex discrimination, we decided, well, there is also race discrimination in the art world.

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: Yes.

MS. CARRIERA: So, we made an effort to think of all the artists of color that we really respected and knew. So -

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: We actually made a real effort to get artists of color in the group, as you do in academia. It didn't just fall to us. We really went all out to find women of color -

MS. CARRIERA: But -

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: - to be in our group. Yes.

MS. CARRIERA: But women of color that we knew would bring really good things.

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: Yes, yes.

MS. CARRIERA: I mean, it wasn't like Affirmative Action or anything.

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: That's correct. Yes, absolutely.

MS. CARRIERA: And, yes, there was also - there was a concerted effort to try to do - have intergenerational. And we did.

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: Yes.

MS. CARRIERA: I mean, I would say the founding members were maybe all around the same age at the time. No, they weren't -

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: Yes, yes, okay.

MS. CARRIERA: There was, like, about a 15-year span.

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: Yes, but that's still a fair amount. That's still 15 years.

MS. CARRIERA: It was, like, at least a 15-year span in the beginning.

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: Yes, yes. No, no, no, no, I thought you meant they were all the same age, but they really - I'm sorry.

MS. CARRIERA: No, no.

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: Yes.

MS. CARRIERA: And then - but very shortly after that, people ranged from their twenties to their seventies.

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: Yes.

MS. CARRIERA: So, you know, there has always been a big span.

And the thing with the artists of color, though, was that, like, we had some really fabulous Asian artists, but then they started Godzilla, which is an Asian artist activist thing.

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: Yes.

MS. CARRIERA: And so they all went to that -

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: We lost members to that, yes.

MS. CARRIERA: Well, we lost all our Asian members to that.

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: I know. [They laugh.] I'm trying to be, you know -

MS. RICHARDS: Was that difficult?

MS. CARRIERA: Well, you know what?

MS. RICHARDS: Was that -

MS. CARRIERA: But the thing is, there was no animosity. We still, like, fed each other.

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: Yes, yes.

MS. CARRIERA: You know, information still went back and forth. Sometimes we did joint things. I mean, none of this was every difficult, because the more people that are aware -

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: Absolutely.

MS. CARRIERA: - and are committed to changing things, it doesn't matter what group they're in, because information travels, and activities encompass. So it's never a bad thing. And it's not.

I mean, I think when you talk about other branches from the visual arts is when you should start talking to Gertrude [Stein], because she brought in a lot about performance art.

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: Absolutely.

MS. CARRIERA: And she would be the one to talk to about that whole shift.

MS. RICHARDS: So, in the early years -

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: We focused on the visual arts, yes, yes.

MS. RICHARDS: - with all the statistics, it was a focus on the museums, on the galleries, on the art world, which is basically a visual art world.

MS. CARRIERA: Right.

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: That's right, yes. You know something? We felt that we could make - first, we didn't have - and, you know, we didn't have millions of people working for us. And, also, it was easy to target it. And it was also by doing posters, which was very low-end, you know, in terms of how much money it would cost to poster, we could get a lot of bang for it.

And that is much harder in some of the other fields. You know, for example, the movie industry, you're talking about a whole different level, yes.

MS. RICHARDS: When you were recruiting, did you have - I hear you've said the more the merrier, in a sense, and yet, of course, you were only recruiting friend to friend. Was there a sense of the number that would be the right number of members at any one given time?

MS. CARRIERA: No -

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: No, no, no. We just - we left it quite open, you know? More members? Fine. Because, you know something? It was a group, also, that was in flux. It was not like, "Hey, we've got the number, we're cool with this, this is like a corporation."

It was much looser, by the way, than you have in a corporate America. It was just much looser. Everyone, you know, brought in different things that they thought would be of interest. We had people that came in and just stayed for a night, you know.

MS. CARRIERA: Right.

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: So, it was very fluid.

MS. CARRIERA: And, you know, a lot of times people wouldn't show up for a few months, because they would be -

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: They had a show, or they had other things.

MS. CARRIERA: They had a show, or they had a residency out of the city, or -

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: Yes.

MS. CARRIERA: - out of the country.

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: Absolutely, yes.

MS. CARRIERA: And, I mean, I think it's kind of funny, because some people that came and maybe participated one or two meetings, they feel like - they really have a very strong identity with our group, and it's like -

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: Yes.

MS. CARRIERA: - we will get e-mails from them, and I'm thinking, "Who was that?"

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: "Who was that person?"

MS. CARRIERA: Yes.

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: Yes, yes. They once showed up. What meeting was that?

MS. CARRIERA: I know.

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: Yes, yes, yes.

MS. CARRIERA: You talked about statistics, and how they were - could be so powerful. Did you - and as the membership evolved, you had new ideas brought to the table because -

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: That's right, sure.

MS. CARRIERA: - of the diversity of the members. Did you measure the impact, and was the perceived or certain impact of certain campaigns influential in deciding to continue in that direction, or were the individual, or - and were the individual members' new ideas, new members, the priority?

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: No. I would say, frankly, it was - we just - we would discuss how important that idea was at this point in time.

Now, for example, there was a very successful, great poster, which is "The Advantages of Being a Woman Artist." Now, this was just absolutely fabulous. We took all the negatives, by the way, oh yes, you know, being in a - what were some of them?

MS. CARRIERA: Having - well, just things that really were personal things, like having your husband leave you for someone who was younger, or -

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: Well, it was -

MS. CARRIERA: - or not having to wear those expensive Italian suits while you're painting, or smoke a cigar, or -

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: Or smoke the cigars.

MS. CARRIERA: Or not having -

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: But I will tell you something. There was -

MS. CARRIERA: Not having someone take your ideas and then being called a genius.

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: Yes.

MS. CARRIERA: You know?

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: Actually, the word "genius" actually has to do with male genitalia. So, originally, the derivation of that word - but there were other things that were very good.

And also, it was applicable to a lot of other fields. It was not just the art field. So, it was - I'm kind of losing some of the specifics of it. But it was not being stuck in a tenured position, you know, and having the advantage of having four freelance jobs, and things that -

MS. CARRIERA: Right.

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: - are very specific, and are what makes it impossible to actually rise within the hierarchy of the art world. So it was very specific. And also, the advantage of being photographed in a gorilla suit, you know. [Laughs.]

But, nevertheless, it was - it worked very well. And that poster became - we had a benefactor who took the ad out in Artforum, and that gave us a lot of punch. Plus, the fact that it was such a great poster, anyway. And, as I said, it went through all the - so many other fields.

MS. CARRIERA: That was one of our most successful -

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: Yes, yes. Definitely, definitely.

MS. CARRIERA: - posters, yes.

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: And it was also fun, and we got a lot of laughs out of it, as well as a lot of laughs because there was a lot of recognition from the audience about, "Oh, my God, so true, so true," you know. [Laughs.]

MS. CARRIERA: See, yes, and when you say "the audience" -

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: Yes.

MS. CARRIERA: - these gigs were, I think, a very important part of what we did, because we would go to these little towns in Kansas and in Kentucky and in Missouri, and you know, these colleges -

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: Yes.

MS. CARRIERA: - and, I mean, I just went - I went someplace in Indiana, where the kids were totally redneck, and they were throwing things at us. It was the only negative time, and I was on hundreds of gigs.

MS. RICHARDS: Wow.

MS. CARRIERA: They couldn't understand it. They couldn't understand why we would be up - they were making fun of the fact - how ugly we looked in gorilla masks, how anything - everything we were saying, "What do you mean, that women aren't allowed to do this?"

MS. RICHARDS: Yes.

MS. CARRIERA: It was a really hostile crowd. However, of course, the people who didn't feel that way are the people who brought us, and those students that supported it. It was so important for them to have us there, to have their concerns voiced.

MS. RICHARDS: Yes.

MS. CARRIERA: Usually, we were talking to the converted, and - but giving them strength. To me, it was just so amazing, because every single time we would go on a gig, at least one person would come up to me and say, "You changed our life. I really have the strength to go on now, and do my art."

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: Yes, yes.

MS. CARRIERA: "I really feel I can make it, you've been an inspiration to us." I mean, how amazing is that?

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: You know what I found amazing is I know when I went to the Art Institute, the Art Institute of Chicago, we were like rock stars. It was unbelievable. We came out, and they were screaming and yelling. It was unbelievable.

MS. CARRIERA: A lot of places are like that with -

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: You know, like -

MS. CARRIERA: Yes.

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: Yes, and - no, we had a fair amount. That shows you the enormous need for women to have a voice. And we actually were their voice. So, they felt very empowered by us coming there, and they identified with us, which was so great.

Plus, it's not just great for our ego, it's about the group itself. It's not the specific person.

MS. CARRIERA: No, it's about the -

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: Absolutely. It's about the issues.

MS. CARRIERA: - spreading the word, and -

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: That's right.

MS. CARRIERA: - and changing -

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: And changing.

MS. CARRIERA: I mean, to me, that's like grass roots changing -

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: That's right.

MS. CARRIERA: It's affecting kids who are in college, saying -

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: That's right.

MS. CARRIERA: - "We don't want to be on the negative side of the statistics" -

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: That's right.

MS. CARRIERA: - "we want to be on the positive side of the statistics."

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: And then you have older people. When you had the "Advantages of Being a Woman Artist," they had "Being in revised, you know - being revised shows in art history books," and stuff like that. Of course, better revised than none at all, I might add, but nevertheless, it was enormous.

And also, the range in the audience. You would have older women, by the way, who were saying, "Oh, my God, you know, and you've made so - and I can go on," and all that. It was really quite -

MS. CARRIERA: Families.

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: It was unbelievable.

MS. CARRIERA: Families.

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: And young, and of course, art students. And most people, most students, don't realize at the student level what it's about. They really get the word as they're older. Because, within academia, they don't see themselves being discriminated against.

And, of course, there are many more women now who go to art school than men. And, all of the sudden, they're cut out. The door is shut right in front of them when they go out into the world.

Now, it's better. There is no question it's better. But it's still not good enough. Now, we don't have a specific - every time we see a show, it's not that every show should have 50 percent women. But the fact is, the statistics should be far greater than what they are.

[END MD 01 TR 01.]

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: Yes.

MS. RICHARDS: Is there an area of work that you most enjoyed, being a Guerrilla Girl, that you maybe spearheaded, or initiated, or you feel you made the most impact in, as Guerrilla Girl Number One?

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: I happen to love going out and performing. I have to tell you, I just loved it. I just loved it. And it was amazing to get that rapport with the audience. And you had that audience, and they were just with you. You read those lines, and they were just - and, also, I used my own humor to it.

And one of the best gigs I had was in New Orleans, and they were just - everything I said, "dy-na-mite," you know? It was just great, by the way, so I would say that that was something that I found enormously enjoyable.

I think that it was also fun to go to the meetings. When we went to the meetings, we would actually try to figure out lines that were amusing, by the way. You know, "Okay, Senator [Jesse] Helms, you know, the art world is just like your kind of place," [laughs] you know, and things like that.

So, we would get good lines, we would - and then we would go, you know, the ten best list, by the way. So it worked very well for us, and it was also a lot of fun. And it was also - the camaraderie of the other women. So you had a feminist group that was all on your side, and all working for, you know, the same issues.

MS. CARRIERA: Well, I had organized the gigs, and stuff, and I loved going on them, and I think that was my most favorite thing. And besides just being up there, and doing it -

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: Right.

MS. CARRIERA: - what I loved also was, like, we would - I would be on gigs in countries where they would want us to do workshops where they would come up with their own posters.

And my favorite was in San Sebastian, Spain, and we worked with this art group for a week, coming up with posters for their issues. And it was, like, amazing. It was just amazing. It was amazing being in a place that was, like, so totally different than New York, and seeing what their issues were. And there was a revolution going on, while we were there, in the streets. It was just amazing.

And the same in Argentina, working with them and doing posters with them in Argentina. And, you know, you would give your presentations in various places - because I was in each of these places a week, working every day with the people there. And other places, too, but those two were like the most amazing for me.

And, also, I worked on this project in a homeless shelter, where we worked with Coalition for the Homeless. And there were just a few of us Guerrilla Girls, and this woman who had this group, Coalition for the Homeless. And we would go into the homeless shelter, and speak to the women, and make posters in their voice. I think that's, like, what I really liked. I loved -

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: Those posters were very effective, yes, yes.

MS. CARRIERA: I loved our making posters, but for me, I also loved being - going out and helping other women make posters in their voices.

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: Yes, right.

MS. CARRIERA: Through, using us as a vehicle. I thought that - that was like, to me, it had a more profound effect.

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: There was a - yes?

MS. CARRIERA: Also, the camaraderie-ship.

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: Yes, we -

MS. CARRIERA: You know, we became very close friends.

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: That's right, yes.

MS. CARRIERA: And, you know, we celebrated each other's life occasions, and it was - but not in the old feminist way. It was much more in a kind of cutting edge, and -

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: Yes, that's right.

MS. CARRIERA: - funny way, not - it wasn't as - a nurturing way, particularly. I wouldn't say this is a nurturing group.

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: Well, you know, I will tell you something. You also have some very ambitious women. You have smart women, ambitious women, angry women, people who want to get their due. And you know something? And that is always, I want to tell you - I've been in a lot of groups, by the way - that is always a tricky business.

But I will tell you something. The women are great. They are great, and they are fun to be with, but it can be - we know that - it can be, by the way, sometimes, a little abrasive. But it's still - it was worth the trip.

[They laugh.]

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: We were thinking of some of the people. [They laugh.]

MS. RICHARDS: Could you speak, each of you -

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: Yes?

MS. RICHARDS: - about how you think your participation in the Guerrilla Girls affected your own personal work, if it did or it didn't, and if that's -

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: Well, I will tell you, frankly, that my own work was very outrageous before. So, therefore, I have to say that it just - it didn't affect my own work, more than I - I brought that to myself, and to the group. And I had been with the guys, in terms of art schools, and stuff like that.

So, nevertheless, I had gone to Yale [University, New Haven, CT], and there was, you know, three women in my class, a big class of guys, you know, et cetera, so there was a lot of competition around. So I knew what that was about.

But, you know, the women have gotten a lot less. And many times they were truly - they were angry, and they had a right to be angry, because they had work that was valid, and they were not getting - now, there are always some women who do get through, and that happens, and good for them, by the way. But it's just that more women wanted to have access to the system, and that was - you know, that was an important thing.

And even now, what you - there is still enormous need for - in spite of - when you go to other countries, especially, and you go around the country, you see how important it is to get that support from the Guerrilla Girls, as a group.

And if it were not necessary, then the group would just disappear, which is fine, too, by the way. That would be great if there would be - at this point in time, which is great, in New York you have two shows. You have Martin Puryear, an artist of color, and you have Kara Walker. So you have the Modern [Museum of Modern Art, New York City] and the Whitney showing two people of color, and it's an extraordinary time. So things -

MS. CARRIERA: But you have Richard Prince at the Guggenheim.

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: [Laughs] A white guy. Well, you know, they always say -

MS. CARRIERA: A white guy who is saying nothing.

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: Well, he's saying -

MS. RICHARDS: It's very -

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: No, no, no, no. He's saying a lot of sexist things, by the way. He is not saying nothing. [Laughs.]

MS. CARRIERA: It's true, it's true.

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: But he's reinforcing some of the things. But, nevertheless, he is reinforcing a lot of the things that we are against.

MS. CARRIERA: No, you're right.

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: But, nevertheless, it's a better time frame. No, it's not going to - I don't believe, in my lifetime, frankly, it will be equitable. But it will be much better. And that, alone, is worth the struggle.

And, not only that, you keep going a certain amount forward, and then going back. There were more women who were shown in the 1970s than there were in the 1980s. As soon as the art world starts getting more money, there are less women out there. When they want work that doesn't cost that much, they come in with the women. So there is an economic factor, too.

And now, of course, they're going to very young people, who are untried in a lot of ways, right from art school, because their work also goes for less money, initially. Then it goes higher, of course.

But things - the art world, as all things, are in flux. So, we just wanted to make sure that our agenda is out there. And there is a need for feminism because there is not justice for all women everywhere. And not only within the art world, but other issues, broader issues.

So, I - it's important. But we felt that we had to focus on the specifics of the art world. That was our agenda. And that's something we could make a difference. George Bush will not listen to me or a Guerrilla Girl poster on a building. But, nevertheless, within the art world, people wanted to do what was political correct.

MS. RICHARDS: Right.

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: Yes.

MS. RICHARDS: And, Rosie, how about you, in terms of your art, your career, as - I mean your work. And how did that -

MS. CARRIERA: As -

MS. RICHARDS: - connect to being a Guerrilla Girl?

MS. CARRIERA: Well, my work is not particularly political, my own personal work. And I think that it probably might have been more political if I was not a Guerrilla Girl, but I did - but I put all my political art energy into my Guerrilla Girl activities.

So, it - as far as my visual artwork goes, if you saw it, you would never know I am a Guerrilla Girl. There are certain Guerrilla Girls, if you saw their work, you would say, "Oh, they must be a Guerrilla Girl." Absolutely.

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: Sometimes that's not true, by the way, but at least it gives that appearance, yes.

MS. CARRIERA: Yes, but -

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: Yes.

MS. CARRIERA: - there are a lot of people who are Guerrilla Girls, that you would see their work, and -

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: That's correct, too.

MS. CARRIERA: - and you would say, "They must be a Guerrilla Girl."

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: Absolutely right.

MS. CARRIERA: If you saw mine, you would never say that. But what it has influenced is that I have really become much more of a speaker, and - verbally. And I find it very easy to -

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: Much more articulate, yes.

MS. CARRIERA: - speak in a group. I have no fear. I could speak in front of 500 people, and without a mask, because I did it with a mask -

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: Right.

MS. CARRIERA: - about, you know, what I believe in, because I am active in lots of things that are not the Guerrilla Girls at this point. And the Guerrilla Girls has given me the power within myself to speak my beliefs. And I think that is, like, an amazing thing.

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: You know something? It really is amazing, the fact that - just to be able to say - to be empowered to say something direct, not always with anger, but just with basically, "This is the situation, and this has to change." And this is not, you know? Yes.

MS. CARRIERA: And not only in groups. I mean, I find in my everyday dealings - because my everyday dealings far outstretch the bounds of the art world right now - that I am - I mean, I have heard people say that I am a force to be reckoned with. And I know that happened by being a Guerrilla Girl. It really, really empowered me.

MS. RICHARDS: In the - when you - do the Guerrilla Girls think about the relationship of their group to the politics of activism in general, and politics in the United States, and how their activities are influential or influenced - effective, more effective, less effective - depending on the tenor of the times in the country?

You think about the 1960s as the age of protest. And in the 1980s, I don't know, I don't remember how much of that was going on.

MS. CARRIERA: That was the age of decadence, that's why we -

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: That's why we formed.

MS. CARRIERA: That's why we formed the way we did.

MS. RICHARDS: So, and now -

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: You know, I will tell you something. Yes.

MS. RICHARDS: Now we hear it's said that college students, who used to be at the foreground of protest, are not that any more at all, but -

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: Well, you know, I will tell you something.

MS. RICHARDS: And you have new members who are of that newer generation. So this is a kind of question about the atmosphere, and how it affects you.

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: Well, I will tell you something. At this point in time, you find that, in academia, there is not an enormous amount of political interest, the way it was in the 1960s.

Now, the 1960s had another time frame. You had Vietnam [War], you had the draft. Now we have an anti-war movement, but if you had the draft, you would really have a movement, in terms of college students. We do not have the draft.

I have - we are, of course, very anti-war - I am, personally, anyway. But we did some anti-war things with the Girls a while ago.

MS. CARRIERA: Yes, we did.

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: Yes.

MS. CARRIERA: A lot, actually, from the Gulf War.

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: The Gulf War, yes.

MS. CARRIERA: We did lots of posters about the Gulf War.

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: Yes.

MS. CARRIERA: Three, I think.

MS. RICHARDS: So you -

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: Yes, I - no, I think we even did more.

MS. CARRIERA: Four.

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: Yes, about four.

MS. CARRIERA: Four.

MS. RICHARDS: So, even during the time that you were active members -

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: Yes.

MS. RICHARDS: - you had moved away from focusing exclusively on the New York art world -

MS. CARRIERA: Oh, yes.

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: That's correct, that's correct, that's correct.

MS. CARRIERA: And that, actually, was a very, very big -

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: Big step.

MS. CARRIERA: - debate within the group.

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: Yes, yes. That's right.

MS. CARRIERA: Because some people wanted to, some people didn't want to.

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: Yes.

MS. CARRIERA: Some people dropped out during the time that we were doing that. They said, "I signed up because I don't like what's going in the art world, and that should be our issue."

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: Yes, yes.

MS. CARRIERA: And other people said, "Well, how can we ignore what's going on in the world?" And the same thing, we did a poster about Clarence Thomas.

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: Yes.

MS. CARRIERA: We did a poster - didn't we do one about -

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: Women in the military, yes.

MS. CARRIERA: But besides the military -

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: Yes, yes.

MS. CARRIERA: What's his name, the one who killed his wife? Not Carl - comparing Carl Andre with that athlete, that famous athlete.

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: Yes, yes, yes.

MS. CARRIERA: You know who I'm talking about?

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: Simpson, O.J. Simpson.

MS. CARRIERA: O.J. Simpson. We did something comparing Carl Andre and O.J. Simpson.

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: Yes, yes.

MS. CARRIERA: I mean, we certainly moved out of the art world, because it got boring after a while, to just be doing the same old thing.

Of course our eye was always on the art world, but you know, we are not people with blinders. All of us have very -

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: Full lives.

MS. CARRIERA: Full lives, and -

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: Yes, we have lives that are outside the art world, too.

MS. CARRIERA: And injustice is injustice.

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: Yes, yes.

MS. CARRIERA: So, we -

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: You know, let me tell you something. We - when we started in 1985, what happened is the art world - in 1984, the Museum of Modern Art re-opened up with a sculpture and painting show that was international ["An International Survey of Recent Painting and Sculpture"]. And Kynaston McShine is the one who organized that. And there were 166 people in that show, and - or 169, because there were some groups, and 13 were women. Hell, this is - and no women of color.

MS. CARRIERA: Well, that's what started it.

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: So that started it. We said, you know, "This is completely out of line." And there were protests; women were outside with protests, to say, you know, this is not the way it should be.

And, of course, they always use the - "Well, you know, we really have standards," that's why women are not in it. You know, that old adage that is just bullshit. And, frankly, that show was not that impressive a show, anyway, which I hate to say, but nevertheless, it was not that impressive a show.

But the fact that so many people were left out in that period of time, when the Modern reopened in '84, got a lot of women angry.

MS. CARRIERA: But what we -

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: Oh, we have not come that far. Yes.

MS. CARRIERA: But what did, as a reaction to that, we had our own show at the Palladium ["The Night the Palladium Apologized." 1985].

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: That's correct, yes.

MS. CARRIERA: Because, at that time, the clubs downtown were, like, showcases for what was going on in art. You know, Keith Haring was doing things there, and Jean-Michel Basquiat was doing things there. And it was basically the young, rebellious guys.

So, the Guerrilla Girls put on a show at the Palladium, and that was my first entry into the Guerrilla Girls, that night, because I had - a big painting was - of mine was put in there. I thought, "Wow, this is great." [Laughs.]

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: This is great. [Laughs.]

MS. CARRIERA: I like this. I'll join. And I remember, that was my first introduction. I forgot about that, yes.

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: Yes, yes.

MS. CARRIERA: And it was a great night, because instead of seeing all this young male energy, there were all these great paintings by women in there, and everybody was dancing, and it was that heaviness of the club scene. And it was, like, women's art, instead of the bad boys.

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: Yes.

MS. CARRIERA: And that was like -

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: And we became -

MS. CARRIERA: It was a thrill.

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: Yes.

MS. CARRIERA: And we talk about, like, the '80s -

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: Yes.

MS. CARRIERA: - and, you know, that was all part of the '80s, the decadence of the '80s, the excesses of the '80s, the clubs, and you know, how the male artists were, like, smoking cigars and wearing Italian suits and hanging out at Mr. Chow's and, you know, the big, fancy dinners, and all that stuff.

And so, we didn't want to come across as, like, Birkenstock feminists, and like, "Well, we're holding our babies in one hand, but we really want our due." [Guerrilla Girl 1 laughs.] You know, and that's why we tried to look - you know, we wore black, and kind of looked sexy and more hard-edged, to get people's attention.

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: Yes.

MS. CARRIERA: Because those were the times. Not to say that we didn't have babies at home, or any of that, but that wasn't the face we wanted to present. We wanted to present that we're out in this world, we're hip, we're cool, we're funny, and we are doing it.

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: Right.

MS. RICHARDS: Have you done any projects that addressed the situation of women art students and women art faculty?

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: There was - we did something on tenured positions, by the way, a while ago, and because that's a big issue.

Because students don't realize, when you're in academia, when kids are in academia, they don't know who has tenure or the status, or what's the difference between an instructor and an assistant professor and associate professor, things like that. And they don't know how many part-time people are on the faculty, and the big difference between what they earn. So that's an enormous thing.

And we did do a poster on that. I was - I initiated that. I thought it was very important. Some of the people didn't think so at the time. But, having dealt with academia, I knew how important that really was, because if you make more money, you have a lot more access to a lot of things, plus the fact you don't have to use 10 part-time jobs to make a living. And it makes a big difference, in terms of releasing time to do your artwork, and also many other things, obviously.

MS. RICHARDS: The - when you think back at all the powerful posters you have done with statistics, you mentioned just one time when you went back and recounted. Has that happened more often, and do you think it should happen more often?

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: We did some later on. But not currently, not currently, I don't think, yes.

MS. CARRIERA: You know, personally, I think statistics would still not be in the favor of women or artists -

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: No, no, no, no, no, definitely not, definitely not.

MS. CARRIERA: - or artists of color. But -

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: But better.

MS. CARRIERA: But the thing is - and I have been noticing this - in the press, women and artists of color get a lot more press than they ever have before.

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: That's right, that's right.

MS. CARRIERA: A lot. I mean, if you -

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: We have the sympathy of the critics.

MS. CARRIERA: We do have -

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: Yes.

MS. CARRIERA: - the sympathy of the critics. And to be - and not to say that, you know, things are the way they should be. There are a lot of women - not a lot, but there are many more women artists who are making a lot of money.

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: Absolutely right.

MS. CARRIERA: You know? And younger ones - they're not so young any more, they're maybe in their early 40s, like Elizabeth Peyton, and you know -

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: Whatever.

MS. CARRIERA: People whose - I mean, there are within the art world, not within the general world, because the general world really doesn't care about the art world, it's such a little piece of the microcosm, but within the art world there are many more women who are household names, household names and making big bucks.

But certainly not as many as men, and certainly not as many as there should be. But it is a different climate. I do feel that it is a different climate.

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: It is a definitely different climate.

MS. RICHARDS: So, because of that, you think if you redid the statistics, they would look so good, that it wouldn't be worth the effort?

MS. CARRIERA: No, I don't -

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: That -

MS. CARRIERA: I think the statistics would not be so good. But I am saying that if you start naming names and things like that, that you will come up with more women who have viable careers right now.

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: And not only that women have more viable careers. You have to present it in another kind of way. We did that, that worked for us for the 1980s. But you can't just keep reiterating it, unless it's much worse later on, and stuff like that.

So, we're not really involved with it right at this moment -

MS. CARRIERA: No.

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: - so it's up to the people - it's up to the younger generation, or people who are involved, at this point, to decide what's right for them, in addition to what they think is right, in general.

MS. RICHARDS: You mentioned at some point the formation of Godzilla.

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: Yes.

MS. RICHARDS: The Asian American group, offshoot. Yet the artists of color, except the Asians, stayed with the Guerrilla Girls. And has -

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: We still had a few. We still had a few hangers on.

MS. CARRIERA: Who, Asian?

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: Yes. Didn't we have a couple left after -

MS. CARRIERA: They all went to Godzilla.

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: They all went to Godzilla? Okay.

MS. RICHARDS: And that's -

MS. CARRIERA: They are the ones that formed Godzilla. [Laughs.]

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: Yes, yes, that's true, that's true. Good for them, good for them.

MS. RICHARDS: That division -

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: Absolutely, good for them.

MS. RICHARDS: That division has remained.

MS. CARRIERA: But we're still friends. I mean, like, we have reunion -

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: Well, they're not really a division.

MS. CARRIERA: We have reunion parties. [They laugh.]

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: Yes. And they're great, by the way, they're a lot of fun. They're a lot of fun. Because we have history together. Yes.

MS. RICHARDS: Do you know - when you were talking about the statistics that are so powerful, and that you have gathered in so many different ways, has that been used and produced various academic or non-academic books? Have people studied it?

Do the Guerrilla Girls themselves have an idea of commissioning, or themselves creating serious histories of either the position of women in the art world, or more broadly, in society in the U.S. or in New York, or however you define that?

Because it is such a valuable body of work, I'm just curious if people have come to you and said, "Can I use this" -

MS. CARRIERA: Well -

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: We made a -

MS. CARRIERA: Yes.

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: There were a few books made.

MS. CARRIERA: People come to us all the time.

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: Yes, yes, yes.

MS. CARRIERA: And ask, "Can we use this?" And they can.

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: Sure. Sure.

MS. CARRIERA: And now we have an official archives, which you should also - the next two people had a hand in putting the archives, the next two people you're going to interview. So they can tell you more about that.

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: Yes.

MS. CARRIERA: But yes, our - people have - another one of my jobs, when I was the Gig Girl, I also was the Office Girl. So, I fielded all kinds of requests for everything. But I basically, you know, did the gigs. But I, you know, fielded the other stuff. And people always asked us for information, and we always let them have it, because what's it for, if not to give it to people?

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: You know something? We -

MS. CARRIERA: But the thing is that, like, statistics we did in 1987 are statistics from 1987. I mean, they're not statistics for 2007. And you can use it as a comparative, but I feel - I mean, personally, I just feel like what we did at the time was really important, but that that was of the time.

And things have changed. Maybe numbers-wise hasn't changed, but the climate has - don't you think the climate has changed?

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: There is no question the climate has changed.

And also, you don't have quite the audience in New York that you had another time, when it was much more repressed, and women did not have access. Now, women have much more access. So, the climate has changed enormously, by the way. And it has changed enormously in terms of art schools, and all kinds of things. So, it's a different time frame.

MS. CARRIERA: I also think the impact - we were like the watchdogs of the art world for a long time.

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: Absolutely. Yes, yes.

MS. CARRIERA: We were, like, shocking. I mean, how long - you can't be shocking for over 20 years.

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: Yes.

MS. CARRIERA: I mean, shock value wears off. [Laughs.]

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: Yes.

MS. CARRIERA: And I - and, again, Gertrude will talk to you about, like, what the Guerrilla - you know, there is a new part of the Guerrilla Girls, Broadband, that -

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: Yes.

MS. CARRIERA: - is doing other things, you know, fighting discrimination in another way. But it is a total morph into something else that is much more timely and much more relevant.

I really see that what we did is more of a time capsule.

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: Oh, definitely, definitely. No question about it.

MS. CARRIERA: And, yes, there -

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: Yes.

MS. CARRIERA: There are so many books that quote us, or refer to us. Many, many art books.

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: We made money on selling posters. But I will tell you that when we did gigs, we used to give away small mock-ups of the posters, by the way.

MS. CARRIERA: Yes, eight by 10s.

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: We used to give them out free.

MS. CARRIERA: Of course, of course.

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: Yes, eight and a half by 11s, we would just give them out all the time.

MS. CARRIERA: Yes, we would just Xerox hundreds of them, and just give them out.

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: You know, "Take a few," just - and anyone who wanted to use it, "Hey, use it," you know, kind of thing. So we were very generous, in terms of them using it in any way they wanted to, masks, anything. You know, so - yes.

MS. CARRIERA: Well, to me, that was the whole point, was like we have this information. Use it.

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: Yes, that's right.

MS. CARRIERA: And know it.

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: That's right, that's right.

MS. CARRIERA: Because, otherwise, things aren't going to change.

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: Yes, yes.

MS. RICHARDS: When - since - during the time you were a member, did the issue of male members ever come up?

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: Yes, it did.

MS. CARRIERA: A lot.

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: And we said, "No way. No way." It's just that, mostly, when men join groups, they have their own agenda.

MS. CARRIERA: They want to take over.

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: And it's not our agenda. That's exactly right. And they want to take over. And we didn't want their agenda to be our agenda.

And many times, women are put in a situation, "Well, your issues are really not that important. What's really issues is what we're about," and we didn't want that. We felt that we wanted to own our own issues, and we felt that we could handle that without the men.

We did ask for their support, in terms of posters and things like that, and in terms - and many were very supportive.

MS. CARRIERA: We let them help.

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: That was not always the case, but we put them on posters, too, you know?

MS. CARRIERA: But we let them help in other ways.

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: That's right.

MS. CARRIERA: We let them poster with us, if they wanted to. We let them - we didn't let them do that much, really. But we let them - yes.

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: [Laughs] They have their own groups, they don't need us.

MS. CARRIERA: Some men said, "I'm a Guerrilla Girl."

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: That's right, they don't have to infiltrate every fucking group. [Laughs.]

MS. CARRIERA: You know, some of them would say, "But I'm a Guerrilla Girl, I sympathize." I said, "Good. Okay, you can call yourself a Guerrilla Girl."

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: Yes.

MS. CARRIERA: "Just make sure that, you know, the gallery you're showing in shows women, or, you know, write about women," you know?

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: Yes.

MS. RICHARDS: When you were active members, and there was a press inquiry - I'm thinking about the whole PR aspect -

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: Sure, sure.

MS. RICHARDS: - how did you determine who would answer that? Maybe that was - and how did you determine - did you write press releases together, or was there a person who was in charge of writing -

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: Oh, we -

MS. RICHARDS: Did you do press releases?

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: We didn't -

MS. CARRIERA: We had some press releases.

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: But very few, I mean, you know, it was really posters.

MS. CARRIERA: You know what? So much of it was that if something came in - we were all very busy. And so, if something came in, and it wasn't - didn't seem all that important, whoever had time to do it did it.

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: That's right. That's right. It was very ad hoc, by the way, you know?

MS. CARRIERA: Because since we were anonymous, it -

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: We were very ad hoc.

MS. CARRIERA: - wasn't like an ego thing.

MS. RICHARDS: It still is?

MS. CARRIERA: You have to ask someone else. [They laugh.]

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: Yes, yes, - ask someone else.

MS. RICHARDS: How many years has it been since you have been active, Guerrilla Girl 1?

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: Oh, I would say, you know, more than five years. I was active about to 2000. After that, no.

MS. CARRIERA: Same thing, about 2000.

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: Yes, yes.

MS. CARRIERA: Because things changed. The group changed.

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: We might have gone on a gig once or twice after that, but basically it was about 2000, yes.

MS. CARRIERA: As far as active. But, then again, we always have, like, you know -

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: We have a Guerrilla Girl mentality, by the way. [Laughs.]

MS. CARRIERA: But we also taught - you know, like, I have been on the phone over issues that we have had -

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: Yes.

MS. CARRIERA: - like, you know, dinners with a group of people to discuss something, or a party where the purpose of the party was really to discuss what are we going to do next, without having to really - I mean, when I was active, I was really active. It took up an awful lot of my time.

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: An enormous amount of time, enormous.

MS. CARRIERA: Enormous. And it really takes a lot of time from your own work, and from your personal life. And I couldn't do that any more, because then I added more things onto my life. There was just no way.

And I felt that I had done the most important things I was ever going to do as a Guerrilla Girl. I had done them. And 14 years was a long time.

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: It was a long gig, yes.

MS. CARRIERA: And I just personally didn't see the need for the group that I was in, as a Guerrilla Girl -

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: Yes, I felt that way, too.

MS. CARRIERA: - there was no need to do anything else.

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: Yes.

MS. CARRIERA: I mean, to have it morphed into something else was great, but that wasn't what I was that interested in.

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: I agree, I agree. It worked for me for over 10 years, and then it was not right for me any more. And I felt that I had done everything that I wanted to do. And the group transformed into other things, and we just -

MS. RICHARDS: So, for example -

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: Yes.

MS. RICHARDS: - by 2002, approximately, when you left -

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: Yes.

MS. RICHARDS: - had the Guerrilla Girls started the work with the movie industry, with any other totally -

MS. CARRIERA: Oh, that was way before.

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: Yes, they started before.

MS. CARRIERA: They started that way before, like in the early '90s.

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: They started that before, yes.

MS. RICHARDS: What was the first -

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: Yes.

MS. CARRIERA: But it was not ever a big deal, because -

MS. RICHARDS: - offshoot beyond the visual art world?

MS. CARRIERA: Beyond the visual art world?

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: Well, we did the ones with the -

MS. CARRIERA: Theater?

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: - war, you know, things, and then after that, by the way - yes, yes.

MS. CARRIERA: Yes, but in art - as far as -

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: The industries, yes.

MS. CARRIERA: The industries, it was theater.

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: Yes.

MS. CARRIERA: Film was like a little something, but you really - it didn't seem appropriate, because the film industry has its own thing. I mean, it was just citing, you know, the women who had the really great roles, or the directors, and stuff like that.

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: Yes, yes, yes. It's not that they don't have their issues, it's just that -

MS. CARRIERA: It's so different.

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: It's - you need a lot more money. It's not a poster kind of crusade.

MS. RICHARDS: Would you say that if you ran into something else -

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: They did - yes.

MS. RICHARDS: - like theater, you need Guerrilla Girls who are part of the theater world?

MS. CARRIERA: Well, we had.

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: Yes.

MS. RICHARDS: To be -

MS. CARRIERA: We had -

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: We had some.

MS. CARRIERA: We had some Guerrilla Girls who were part of the theater. But once they joined, it was the reason that they wanted to branch off into that.

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: Yes.

MS. CARRIERA: But, you know, when you think about the theater, you think about film, the kind of PR that the film world and the theater world has is huge.

I mean, the art world is - it's a whole other thing, you know? It's not as public. More people care - more regular, general public - are much more involved in theater and movies. You know, you get lots of lines at museums and stuff, but most people don't really care about the art world who aren't in the world, you know? They don't really care.

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: Well, I think there is more interest -

MS. CARRIERA: It's not like - you don't read Entertainment Tonight, and read about artists.

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: There is still more interest now in the art world than there has ever been.

MS. CARRIERA: Yes.

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: Every single publication - that's every single newspaper, every single publication, is dealing with, you know, art world work. There is even Page Six of The Post, which is a reactionary publication, but nevertheless, they all deal with stars, and what they're about.

And they also - the big issue is now that money is so much bigger than it ever was.

MS. CARRIERA: That's true.

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: So that also creates a lot of press. So there is much more interest - they are much more interested in the art world than they ever have been.

And also, students are much more interested, because they can make a lot more money than they ever thought. "Oh, wow, I want to be rich. Let me get into the art world," that kind of thing. Whereas, years ago, it was more like - it was self-expression, it was concern with - which it still is - it's concern with the self, you know, an extension of self. But nevertheless, now it's so much broader, in terms of big bucks, yes. Big bucks entertainment. Yes.

MS. CARRIERA: Yes, but I mean, the amount of people that participate on that level are - it's like 100th of a percent.

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: There is no question it is much smaller than some of the other industries.

MS. CARRIERA: Than, like, film or -

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: Oh, no, no, no, film already - and the amount of money that is put into film and everything, there is no question -

MS. CARRIERA: That's what I am saying -

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: It's - yes.

MS. RICHARDS: So it started - the focus beyond the art world began with the theater world -

MS. CARRIERA: Well, because some theater girls -

MS. RICHARDS: - and then went to the art world - I mean, went to the film world, or was there something else?

MS. CARRIERA: I think, really, your best time spent is talking to the next - to Gertrude.

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: To the next people, because we left before it -

MS. CARRIERA: Because she had -

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: Yes.

MS. RICHARDS: What about the political actions? You talked about the anti-war. There were also actions, I believe, that had to do with -

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: You know -

MS. RICHARDS: - broader discrimination than just women.

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: Well, you know what? I will tell you something. We did an action in front of the Guggenheim, because there - when the Guggenheim - Guggenheim had a show of four - I think four guys. And we said - we wrote a postcard, and we -

MS. CARRIERA: Oh, and they were going to put in a Georgia O'Keeffe.

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: And everyone sent - no, no, it wasn't that.

MS. CARRIERA: Louise Bourgeois.

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: No, no. Later on they put in Louise Bourgeois - but before that it was Joseph Bueys, it was -

MS. CARRIERA: What?

MS. RICHARDS: Dia [Art Foundation, New York City].

MS. CARRIERA: No, it -

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: No, no, no, no, no.

MS. CARRIERA: It wasn't the Guggenheim, it was down here. It was -

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: Yes, yes. It was - but it was the Guggenheim down here.

MS. CARRIERA: Oh, right, when we were -

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: That's exactly right. And it was - so we said, "Dear Thomas Krentz, you know," the old white boy, you know, kind of thing, and they - that changed, because we did that before the show opened, and they brought in Louise Bourgeois.

MS. CARRIERA: That's right.

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: And we had masks, by the way, that we were wearing in front of there. We also printed -

MS. CARRIERA: We had paper bags that had -

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: We printed up paper bags that had Guerrilla Girl faces on them, by the way.

MS. CARRIERA: So that we could give them to everybody in the crowd.

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: That's right, yes.

MS. CARRIERA: And everybody was wearing them. It was pretty amazing.

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: That's right. Very amazing, very amazing.

MS. CARRIERA: And we also aligned ourselves with WAC [Women's Activist Coalition] for a very short time.

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: Yes.

MS. CARRIERA: You know?

MS. RICHARDS: Could you explain what that -

MS. CARRIERA: Well, WAC - do you know about WAC?

MS. RICHARDS: Well, for the -

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: For the archives, for the archives.

MS. CARRIERA: Women's Activist Coalition. That dealt with more political injustices. And so we just aligned ourselves with them.

MS. RICHARDS: That was a temporary alignment?

MS. CARRIERA: Yes. Well, they went out of commission.

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: They went out much faster than the Guerrilla Girls, yes.

MS. CARRIERA: Well, they were only around for maybe two or three years.

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: Yes, yes, even less, yes.

MS. RICHARDS: Have you repeated the action of the paper bags with the gorilla mask on them?

MS. CARRIERA: I don't think so.

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: I don't think so. I don't think so.

MS. CARRIERA: You see, you have to remember, the Guerrilla Girls are artists. We don't want to keep doing the same old thing, because we like to keep thinking up new stuff.

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: Yes.

MS. CARRIERA: That - if you just keep doing the same old thing, it gets boring. And that's the whole premise, that we kept ourselves fresh and new, and challenging to ourselves, and to what we were presenting out in the public.

MS. RICHARDS: And that was assisted by the continual addition of new members.

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: Yes. And you know something? It's also -

MS. CARRIERA: But it wasn't so much new members.

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: Yes.

MS. CARRIERA: The continual addition, because there was like a core of us that was always there.

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: That's right, that's right, that's right.

MS. CARRIERA: It really had to do with the fact -

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: That's right, that's right.

MS. CARRIERA: - that we wanted to keep it interesting.

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: New ideas, and new things, and I would say that the core members put in a hell of a lot, a hell of a lot.

MS. CARRIERA: And, you know, something would happen, and one or many of us would get really upset over something that was happening, whether it was Clarence Thomas or a show -

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: That's right.

MS. CARRIERA: - or the opening of the Guggenheim downtown, and we would say -

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: That's right. "No women. No women. What is this," you know?

MS. CARRIERA: - "We have to do something about this."

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: It's unconscionable.

MS. CARRIERA: Look at the position they're putting women in? I mean, we had a poster about Iraq, about how women were allowed to fight - not Iraq, the Gulf War - women were allowed to fight, but they weren't allowed to have some basic need, you know?

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: Yes, yes. Health care.

MS. CARRIERA: Health care.

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: Yes, yes. So, I mean, there was a lot of things that seemed, really, quite inequitable.

MS. CARRIERA: And there was always something going on in the world.

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: That is -

MS. CARRIERA: That's outrageous.

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: Yes, exactly. [Laughs.] Yes. Oh, there is no lack of stuff, by the way.

MS. CARRIERA: No. So we would have our meetings, and we would order in food, and we would go - someone would say, "I cannot believe what's going on with this or that," and so we'd say, "You're right. What are we going to do about it?"

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: Yes, yes.

MS. CARRIERA: So it wasn't that it was fueled by new members, it was fueled by the world.

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: By events. It was fueled by the events that were happening in the world.

MS. CARRIERA: And that -

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: And they were very current, and they were very timely to that time frame.

MS. RICHARDS: So, as the world - as issues - as the art world has become more global -

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: Yes, of course.

MS. RICHARDS: - how has that affected the Guerrilla Girls, and your previous focus on New York, and on American issues?

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: Well, it may be more global, but it's still centered here. And that's why we have now enormous amount of real estate going up all over the place, every parking lot, every tree is a house, you know?

So, there is an enormous amount of people who want to live here, because of the excitement of the city. And there are other factors, too, obviously, European and the dollar going down, a lot of other factors.

But anyway, the point is that New York is still the center.

MS. CARRIERA: But I think the bigger point is that the Guerrilla Girls are based here.

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: Yes.

MS. CARRIERA: That this is where we are, and we see what's going on, and it comes back to the other thing of, like, well, we welcome cells everywhere else in the world.

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: Sure.

MS. CARRIERA: And they have to address what's going on there. We don't ignore what's going on. I mean, like that poster, "It's Even Worse in Europe."

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: Yes.

MS. CARRIERA: That said it all for that time.

MS. RICHARDS: The participation in the Venice Biennale in 2007, in summer 2007.

MS. CARRIERA: Oh, that's right.

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: Yes.

MS. RICHARDS: That - but I know that's beyond the time when you've been active members.

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: Yes, yes, yes, yes.

MS. RICHARDS: We can talk about it another time -

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: Yes, yes, yes.

MS. RICHARDS: - how that reflects involvement in the global arts -

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: That's right, that's right.

MS. CARRIERA: Right, and Frida Kahlo, I'm sure, was there.

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: That's correct, that's correct.

MS. CARRIERA: And you could talk to her about that, because -

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: Yes, that's right.

MS. CARRIERA: - she is involved in that.

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: Yes.

MS. RICHARDS: Okay. We will take a break.

[END MD 01 TR 02.]

MS. RICHARDS: Okay, we are starting again. Rosie, would you like to -

MS. CARRIERA: Yes. I just remembered something I did. And this must have been about 15 years ago, in the beginning of when I was in the group.

I thought that we needed to have a video tape. And, at the time, no one had videotaped us yet. So I videotaped different Guerrilla Girls, and interviewed them.

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: Wow, great.

MS. CARRIERA: I don't - that was before you were a Guerrilla Girl.

MS. RICHARDS: Rose, can you imagine what year that took place?

MS. CARRIERA: It had to have been, like, maybe 1987. No, no. Later. This is not - 2007 - Maybe 1990, 1990 I think it was, or '91. Ninety or '91.

And I set up a little vignette in my loft, and different girls came with masks, and they just talked about what it meant to them to be a Guerrilla Girl, and why they were a Guerrilla Girl, and just, you know, so that my feeling was to have a record of, like, why each individual Guerrilla Girl was a Guerrilla Girl, what prompted somebody to be a Guerrilla Girl.

And then, there was a conflict in the group because I was in the group, should that - maybe we shouldn't have this, because it was, like, from someone in the group, about the group, and that that might compromise anonymity. And we used it in gigs in the beginning then, but then not. So it kind of got lost in there.

But it was a very interesting experiment, I thought. And I just remembered that. That was, like, so long ago.

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: No. You know something? I think that's great. That would be really great to have in this archives. And just having women say what - you know, why.

MS. CARRIERA: Why -

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: Because each person has their own personal reason why they joined the group, and why they are attached to the group, and what is has meant to them. And you don't - anyway, initially, there was not a lot of reward, in terms of either economic or, obviously -

MS. CARRIERA: Notoriety.

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: Or your own name was anonymous. So there was - and we were very - I know I was so secretive, initially, you know, about all this.

MS. CARRIERA: Well -

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: I mean, no one knew - I mean, I had boyfriends who didn't know why I was away for a week, you know? They thought you had another lover.

MS. CARRIERA: That's true, that's true.

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: I mean, seriously, by the way. But nevertheless, it's -

MS. CARRIERA: But -

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: It's a different time frame. Go ahead, yes.

MS. CARRIERA: But now that I'm thinking about that videotape, it was like I became so used to being anonymous, and being a Guerrilla Girl was such a big part of my life, that, you know, it was almost like I didn't have the right to do that, because that would take away a little bit of my anonymity -

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: Yes.

MS. CARRIERA: - because I was doing the videotape.

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: Yes, yes, yes.

MS. CARRIERA: And then my name was, like, on the videotape.

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: Yes, yes, yes, yes.

MS. CARRIERA: So, it -

MS. RICHARDS: Did it have to be on the videotape?

MS. CARRIERA: Well, then there was the thing, well, it didn't have to be, but I wanted it to be. And it -

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: You know, it's so hard. It's really so hard.

MS. CARRIERA: You know, there were all these gray areas.

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: You know? Yes, yes, yes.

MS. CARRIERA: So that was -

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: And - yes, yes.

MS. CARRIERA: That was something.

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: If it wasn't so gray. Yes, yes.

MS. RICHARDS: Do you want to talk about the billboard project, or projects?

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: You know something? It was funny, because we had - the public art fund gave us - we wanted the Public Art Fund -

MS. RICHARDS: About what year was this?

MS. CARRIERA: Nineteen ninety, maybe?

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: It was about 1990, by the way, approximately 1990. I don't know, exactly, but about 1990. I was in charge of the billboard. God only knows.

Well, anyway, we fought about what it was going to be. You know, there was always, "Oh, I think we should do this with that," et cetera, but we - and we would call up the public art fund, and I would be "Oh, is this my favorite Guerrilla Girl?" You know, they - there was always, by the way, a little bit of flirtation, by the way, going on with some of these groups.

MS. CARRIERA: Was it Tom Finkelpearl then?

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: You know, I don't even remember, by the way. I have no idea who it was at that time.

But, nevertheless, we worked out a poster, a billboard. And we had it on Second Avenue and Houston, and it was a giant poster.

MS. CARRIERA: And the West Side Highway.

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: That's right, that's right.

MS. CARRIERA: I thought it was the most impressive.

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: That's right.

MS. CARRIERA: It was right on the West Side Highway, so -

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: West Side Highway, that's exactly right.

MS. CARRIERA: - coming and leaving the city, it was right there.

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: That's right, and it was right in your face. And it was the Mona Lisa [Leonardo da Vinci. 1503-1506], and it had a -

MS. CARRIERA: Fig leaf.

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: A fig leaf on the mouth, by the way. And it - and we worked on it a long time, I remember. But we finally got it done, and it was giving us more visibility. But it was always -

MS. CARRIERA: But we don't remember what it said. [Laughs.]

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: Well, of course, now we are talking about - we don't remember - we have - this is a senior moment, or something. But anyway, we don't remember exactly what it was. But nevertheless -

MS. CARRIERA: It was big. [Laughs.]

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: It was big. Big, big, big. And you know something? Big was good, by the way. [Laughs.]

MS. CARRIERA: Big and colorful.

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: Big and colorful, by the way. And Mona would have loved it, by the way. Mona loved it. There was no question about it. But we did, and -

MS. RICHARDS: And it was a one-time -

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: It was a one-time deal, yes. And we - I remember when I was in Europe, in Munich, we did something for - I went to Stuttgart, and we did a gig there.

But I remember that we were in Munich, and one of the people that interviewed us was Uber Fortzeig. It was a magazine that - I may be pronouncing this, by the way, not correctly -

MS. RICHARDS: Could you spell that?

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: U-b-e-r - over 40, by the way. Fortzeig. Don't go there with me, by the way, I know no German.

But nevertheless, it was a very moving experience for a couple of reasons. One, there were two women who came in, and they photographed two of us. And they were talking about the fact that every - that the woman who was in charge, every time they would have - every single publication - the publication is now defunct, but every time it came out, they used someone who was Jewish in it, by the way - Annie Liebovitz -

MS. RICHARDS: As a quota?

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: As a quota, basically. No, no, no -

MS. CARRIERA: As a token?

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: Actually, because of all the Jews that had left, by the way.

MS. CARRIERA: So it was a token.

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: It was a token. But I have to tell you, by the way, I was very moved by that. I was very moved by the fact that -

MS. CARRIERA: So it was not the erase the Jewish presence?

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: Not to - the Jewish presence. And also, when her son went to New York -

MS. RICHARDS: Whose son?

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: One of the women who was interviewing me's son, when he went to New York, he saw a name - and it was a Jewish name, by the way - and he said, "Oh, there is a German name," so you see, he didn't make that connection.

But I found it actually very moving. So there was a lot of very moving things that happened. One time I was - really hilarious - I was in Stockholm. And after I finished the gig, a guy came up to me, the camera man, and gave me the biggest kiss on the mouth - with this gorilla mask, by the way -

MS. CARRIERA: You were wearing the mask?

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: I was in the mask. Gave me a big smacker on the lips, by the way, of this mask, by the way, and he said - he told me a funny story. Interspecies love.

He told me, by the way, that he had gone to the zoo - this is honestly true, you can't make this up - he had gone to the zoo, and he had loved this gorilla. It was so - he was just in love with this gorilla. And this gorilla, by the way, took a shine to him, too. So he - so when he came one time with his wife, by the way, and the baby, the gorilla was getting all very worked up, by the way, over the fact that she was very jealous over his family.

Then, by the way, it turns out that she had a partner, by the way.

MS. CARRIERA: The gorilla did?

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: The gorilla. So she pointed to her partner. So it was absolutely hilarious. It was something that -

MS. CARRIERA: Did he want to bring you to the zoo? [Laughs.]

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: No, no, no, no. But he got the opportunity to kiss me, so it was actually a surrogate to this gorilla.

But it was the silliest story I had ever heard, and I hardly remember some of the details. But I said, "This is the most peculiar story I have ever heard in my life, by the way," [Carriera laughs] but nevertheless, you don't know what it brings up. So, it was truly just a crazy story.

MS. RICHARDS: You wanted to talk about, Rosie, the bus poster.

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: Oh, the bus poster was great.

MS. CARRIERA: That's another one I'm not quite - I don't quite remember all of it, but we wanted to do the MTA [Metropolitan Transportaion Authority, State of New York].

MS. RICHARDS: How did it start, that you decided to work with the MTA? Did they invite you? Did you go to them?

MS. CARRIERA: They invited us?

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: Yes. I - you know something? I don't remember, but nevertheless, there was an invitation for us to do something on the bus. Yes.

MS. CARRIERA: And you know? And it was our poster from the Ingres poster, "Do You Have to Get Naked to be in the Metropolitan Museum?"

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: Yes.

MS. CARRIERA: Oh, that - oh, they - no. They said, "Submit a poster," and -

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: Yes.

MS. CARRIERA: - that's what we submitted.

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: The Ingres, yes.

MS. CARRIERA: Because, also, the shape of it is long, it's -

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: It was perfect. It was perfect.

MS. CARRIERA: It's horizontal.

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: Yes, yes.

MS. CARRIERA: It would fit right in there, on the insides, in the buses.

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: "Do Women Have to get Naked to get into the Met Museum?"

MS. CARRIERA: So, everything was fine, and then they said, "Well, you can't" - and they put it up, and they said, "Uh-uh [negative]. It has to come down the next day," because in our poster she is holding a fan of bananas, and they thought it looked like a penis.

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: Can I tell you something? It did look a bit like a penis, I have to say. But we never even thought about it.

MS. CARRIERA: No.

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: We didn't - it never even crossed our mind, by the way.

MS. CARRIERA: We thought the banana thing - you know, because - I mean, like, whenever we performed, we had bananas on the stage -

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: And we'd throw them to the audience, we'd give - "Oh, that was a great question, take a banana," you know, that kind of thing.

MS. CARRIERA: Or we would just come out and start throwing bananas, you know, get everybody energized. So, you know, we just think bananas all the time.

MS. RICHARDS: So, from the female perspective, that went with gorillas. From the male perspective, it was different.

MS. CARRIERA: Yes.

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: It was penis. That's right.

MS. CARRIERA: Exactly.

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: That's right.

MS. CARRIERA: And so it was only on the buses for a day.

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: Yes, I think it was a day-and-a-half, or something like that.

MS. CARRIERA: It was supposed to be there for a month.

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: That's exactly right.

MS. CARRIERA: And they were all taken down.

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: Yes.

MS. CARRIERA: So we had lots of them. [Laughs.]

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: Yes, yes. And it was unfortunate, by the way, because it was a really - it was a good poster, and it would have been nice for us to have.

I think it was up First Avenue, down Second, or something like that, you know, one of those - you know, one of the buses for that. So it was unfortunate, but, hey, that's what happened.

MS. CARRIERA: Once again, you know, the male establishment is putting a censor on us.

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: Yes, we were censored.

MS. CARRIERA: We were censored.

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: And the poster that we're talking with the Mona Lisa had to do with censorship, in terms of -

MS. CARRIERA: That's right. It had to - and it was a result of the bus poster.

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: It was a censorship - that's right.

MS. CARRIERA: That's what it was.

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: That's right, that's right, yes.

MS. CARRIERA: And it had to do with censorship.

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: That's right.

MS. CARRIERA: That's right.

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: Because she is wearing a fig leaf, not on the privates, but on the mouth. Yes.

MS. CARRIERA: That was so brilliant.

MS. RICHARDS: Do you ever think, after you did that billboard, why didn't you think about doing another one, if they were so -

MS. CARRIERA: It was too much work. It was just -

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: You know, I will tell you something. It was just a lot of work. You know something? It was a lot of work always within the group. And it was just a lot of work, in general.

So -

MS. CARRIERA: They made everything so difficult for us.

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: They made it very difficult, and I don't remember all the details.

MS. RICHARDS: "They," who?

MS. CARRIERA: MTA.

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: Yes, yes.

MS. RICHARDS: With the poster?

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: Well, it just - there was just -

MS. CARRIERA: We had to rework a whole new poster.

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: Yes, we had to do a lot of things a few times.

MS. CARRIERA: And, like I said before, the whole thing was that we liked to keep things fresh and moving.

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: Yes, yes.

MS. CARRIERA: You know? Otherwise, it's just like same old, same old -

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: Well, I'll tell you something. It's just that - and also, it was right for the time frame. We got the shock value. We had that done.

Now, I'll tell you something. It still would have been a good thing to do for a few posters, like a series of. But, nevertheless, we did one and that was it. Yes.

MS. RICHARDS: Has the Guerrilla Girls at any point thought of themselves as actually an artist collective, in the sense of artist collectives now who create art works that are in exhibitions, and some of them are very performative?

MS. CARRIERA: Right.

MS. RICHARDS: Did it ever - and some of them are politically performative.

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: Yes.

MS. RICHARDS: And there is a very broad range of artistic practice that is called "art" now.

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: Yes, yes.

MS. CARRIERA: Right.

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: Yes.

MS. CARRIERA: But we never thought of ourselves as an artist collective. We thought of ourselves as a women artist/activist group.

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: Yes, yes, yes.

MS. CARRIERA: It was more about activism than the finished product, or even the process. It wasn't like -

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: Yes, it was a process thing, yes.

MS. CARRIERA: What we were doing, we weren't labeling art. What we were doing, we were labeling activism.

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: Yes. You know, I will tell you something. I think there was also a difference in the group. I felt it was art. But there were people in the group who didn't. They felt it was activism, and it was under that category.

MS. CARRIERA: Well, it -

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: You also have to realize that people had jobs, and they had their own work. So it was not that we wanted to subordinate and reiterate the old thing that we were completely anonymous.

We also had our own agendas, you know? And nothing to be embarrassed about, but we were - it was a group of people who were ambitious, and also wanted things for themselves, in addition to calling attention and having fun with a mask on their head.

MS. RICHARDS: You talked earlier - did you talk earlier about how the masks came to be? And you talked about sometimes not using the paper bags.

MS. CARRIERA: That was only when - no, no, no.

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: The reason the paper bags were used -

MS. RICHARDS: So, if -

MS. CARRIERA: That was for the other people, it wasn't for -

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: - because when we had an action, if we passed out paper bags, everyone had those, and so it looked like everyone was part of our group. So there were many people who wore paper bags that had nothing to do with the Girls, but they were in support of our action, including Rob Storr, I might add. Yes.

MS. RICHARDS: Where there -

MS. CARRIERA: Oh, oh.

MS. RICHARDS: What?

MS. CARRIERA: That's another thing I did.

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: Oh, yes.

MS. CARRIERA: Rob Storr.

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: Okay.

MS. CARRIERA: I did a weekly radio interview with Rob Storr and another Guerrilla Girl - I forget her guerrilla name.

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: Well, I did something on one of the channels, one of the major channels, with Frida Kahlo and Rob Storr. Yes.

MS. CARRIERA: On TV, right?

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: TV, TV.

MS. CARRIERA: Yes. And I did a series of radio things with her. And I had a Slavic accent, and she - [Guerrilla Girl 1 laughs] - because I was thinking of adopting a baby from Romania then, so I had that in my head. And she had an English accent. And we talked about the art world with him.

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: Right.

MS. CARRIERA: It was like - we did this for, like, I think a month or two months every week on WBAI [Radio, 99.5 FM, New York City].

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: Oh, that's great. That's great.

MS. CARRIERA: It was the WBAI interviews.

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: Yes.

MS. CARRIERA: I mean, see, we did lots of -

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: We did a lot of stuff, by the way.

MS. CARRIERA: - stuff. And the reason that we kept doing it was because it kept changing.

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: Yes.

MS. CARRIERA: And, you know, it evolved. Because, even though this wasn't our own personal art, we were all artists. We liked to -

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: We got a kick out of it, by the way. It was a -

MS. CARRIERA: We liked to keep doing -

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: It was really fun.

MS. CARRIERA: - interesting new things that mean something.

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: Yes, yes.

MS. CARRIERA: That's right. Those were great.

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: And, also, by the way, we were effecting change. And that was really a great thing.

MS. CARRIERA: Oh, yes.

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: Because we got an instant hit as a result of it.

You know, here the Guggenheim, we sent these postcards around, and put them in art schools and everything else, and put them in galleries, and people would sign these postcards and send them to the Guggenheim, so - and we effected a change. You see? So it was extremely powerful for us.

MS. CARRIERA: And also, what was fun - like, here, you know, we were doing this thing with Rob Storr, and -

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: That's right.

MS. CARRIERA: - it was over a period of time.

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: Sure.

MS. CARRIERA: And I had his personal phone number.

GUERRILLA GIRL 1: Right.

MS. CARRIERA: I could call Rob Storr at his house.

[END OF INTERVIEW.]


This transcript is in the public domain and may be used without permission. Quotes and excerpts must be cited as follows: Oral history interview with Guerrilla Girls Rosalba Carriera and Guerrilla Girl 1, 2007 Dec. 1, Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.