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Feminist Practice: Then and Now

Tuesday, 24 February 2015

Feminist Practice: Then and Now
Tuesday 24 February, 6.30–8.30pm
£4/2 or free for ESP members

Join us for an evening of conversation between artists Rose Gibbs and Su Richardson and Dr. Alexandra Kokoli, specialist in feminist art history and theory. The event will explore the changing landscape of feminism, the role of the artist and the position of women artists from the 1970s to now.

Alexandra Kokoli will set the scene with an introduction to the work of Su Richardson and Monica Ross, both of whom feature in Birmingham Show, and will contextualise their work within some of the broader concerns of feminist art practice. Following this Su Richardson will join Alexandra for an informal conversation about her practice. Su was one of the founding members of the Birmingham Women’s Art Group in the 1970s and has been a practicing artist since then, recently showing ‘Burnt Breakfast and other works’ an exhibition curated by Alexandra Kokoli.

Rose Gibbs will then present a talk and performance in response to two texts, the first of which, by Monica Ross, was one of the starting points for Birmingham Show, with the second, written as a response to this, by Caroline Gausden and Alexandra Kokoli. Rose uses sound, participatory performance and sculpture as part of her art practice, which is informed by an engagement with writing and activism. Each of these strands deals with the possibilities of consciousness-raising and considers how subjectivity shapes the cultural landscape.

Rose Gibbs lives and works in London. In 2014 Rose Gibbs organized the discussion -Taking Up Space –Women Only Shows – hosted by The Contemporary Art Society and Central Saint Martins, as well as a Reproducing Motherhood at Shoreditch House. Recent performances have included Performing Protest, Becoming Radical and Slogans for Becoming at The Function Room London, and Invitation at Wysing Art Centre. She writes a blog for Huffington Post, and works with the grass roots feminist activist organization The East London Fawcett Group and in 2013 was director of The One Billion Rising Arts Festival. Her work featured in Alistair Sookes’ BBC Bristish Sculpture documentary series: Romancing the Stone. Rose Gibbs studied at Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design (2001-2003), and gained an MA in fine art sculpture at The Royal College of Art (2008-2010).

Alexandra Kokoli is Senior Lecturer in Visual Culture – Fine Art, Middlesex University. Her research, which has been published in n.paradoxa, the Art Journal, and Performance Research, focuses on feminist art history, theory and practice, contemporary artists including Susan Hiller, Monica Ross and Tracey Emin, and the history of the ‘woman artist’ as a distinct classification. She is the curator of ‘Burnt Breakfast’ and other works by Su Richardson (Goldsmiths, 2012) and the editor of Feminism Reframed: Reflections on Art and Difference and Susan Hiller, The Provisional Texture of Reality: Selected Talks and Texts, 1977-2007. Her forthcoming monograph The Feminist Uncanny will be published by Bloomsbury Academic.

Su Richardson (b.1947 South Shields, Tyne and Wear) lives and works in Birmingham.) Richardson moved to Birmingham as a secondary school art teacher in the 1970’s. Around this time she met Monica Ross and Phil Goodal, who together formed the Birmingham Women’s Art Group. Group exhibitions include: Issues (curator Lucy Lippard), ICA, London (1980); Alternative Images of Men, Bakehouse Gallery, London (1980); Midlands View, Stoke Museum and ArtGallery (1980); Women and Textiles, Battersea Arts Centre (1983). Prior to this Richardson co-organised the Women’s Postal Art Event – Feministo: Representations of the Artist as Housewife, ICA, London, 1977, which toured nationally and internationally. More recently Richardson exhibited Burnt Breakfast and other works, at the Constance Howard Gallery, London (2012).

This is part of a series of events that focus on questions and conversations raised by ‘Birmingham Show’, including an afternoon of presentations from artist-led groups and projects from the 1970s to now, an evening of discussion and film with Keith Piper and Larry Achiampong convened by Marlene Smith and a live production reading group with Anna Barham.