Exhibition Dates: 28 October 2016 - 16 December 2016
Venue: Cooper Gallery, Dundee, UK
Of Other Spaces: Where Does Gesture Become Event? is a two-chapter contemporary art exhibition and event programme at Cooper Gallery and off site venues in Dundee.
Inherently radical, dissonant and often luxuriantly subversive, the artists, writers and thinkers featured in Of Other Spaces: Where Does Gesture Become Event? situate feminist thinking as a provocative and cogent mode of creative and critical inquiry.
Referencing art works, artist collaborative groups and activism from the 1970’s to the present day, Of Other Spaces: Where Does Gesture Become Event? evokes the collaborative and political ethos of feminism as a discursive ground to reveal the urgency and necessity of self-organisation and alternative politics in culture, society and above all in everyday life.
Thinking ‘otherwise’, the artworks and archives presented in the programme subvert the mundane and the predictable to embody a desire to act against the normative, the conventional and the assumed. Erring on the side of undecidability and disavowing the ‘soundness’ of all boundaries, Of Other Spaces: Where Does Gesture Become Event? parades radical strategies of dissonance inviting the possibility of heterogeneous and unclassifiable apparitions of otherness.
The title of the programme is a homage to Hannah Arendt who considered politics as a ‘space of appearance’; a process of being seen and heard. Deprived of this, gestures whether artistic, social or political, cannot become events that usher in new alternatives. By summoning Arendt’s transgressive and rupturing ‘space of appearance’, Of Other Spaces: Where Does Gesture Become Event? reignites Feminist insights as a means to provoke gestures into events.
Informed by the proud history of a strong working women’s culture in Dundee’s jute mills of the early 20th century, which led to the nickname of ‘She Town’ for Dundee, the programme presents artworks by significant artists from different generations, archival material selected from the Women’s Art Library (London) and the Archive Collection of Lynda Morris, live performances, screenings, collective readings and a collaborative dance project We Dance Ourselves in response to the influential feminist dance piece Rosas danst Rosas by Anne Theresa De Keersmaeker.
Artists featured in the programme include Conrad Atkinson, Anne Bean, Cullinan Richards, Rose English, Rose Finn-Kelcey, Margaret Harrison, He Chengyao, Susan Hiller, Alexis Hunter, Mary Kelly, Lucy McKenzie, Annabel Nicholson, Hannah O’Shea, Siôn Parkinson, Su Richardson, Monica Ross, Jo Spence, Georgina Starr and Linder Sterling.
Of Other Spaces: Where Does Gesture Become Event? culminates in 12 Hour Action Group; an international symposium galvanised by keynote talks, collective readings, performances, screening and a round table discussion. Juxtaposing historical and contemporary positions inscribed in art practices, 12 Hour Action Group will examine the insights of feminism as one of the most volatile and motivated political movements that critiques cultural, political and economic iterations of power. Keynote speakers include Art historian and theorist Amelia Jones, curator and art historian Lynda Morris, film theorist Laura Mulvey, Adele Patrick from Glasgow Women’s Library and writer and critic Marina Vishmidt.