One of those little discoveries today is The Women's Art Library (Make) a specialist library housed in London's Goldsmiths University.
The Women's Art Library began as an artists' initiative which eventually published catalogues and books as well as a magazine from the early 1980s to 2002. During this time women artists deposited unique documentation on their work and created personal files that functioned together as an alternative public space. Thousands of artists from around the world are represented in some form in this collection.
They have an interesting looking event coming up on Saturday featuring a tonne of female/feminist performance, open to the public 3-6pm Thameside and then guest list only (which is already fully subscribed) in the evening.
Carolee Schneeman was one of the first feminist performers I saw and her work really struck a chord while at university, needless to say I'm really looking forward to see what people are doing - expect a review.
“Once More with Feeling”
Once More With Feeling:
Performing the WAL/Make archive
East Room Tate Modern on 27 June 2009 7.30pm
(doors open 7pm )
RSVP make (@gold.ac.uk) essential by 16 June
Admittance by guest list only
The Women’s Art Library/Make and Feminist Review presents an evening of rediscovery and new feminist performance art organised by Oriana Fox recipient of the Art in the Archive: Living with Make Bursary 2009.
Oriana was invited to engage with the unique Women's Art Library/Make, based at Goldsmiths, University of London. The result is an evening of new work and a series of tableaux vivant illustrating an oral history of feminist performance art that will include artists as diverse as Carolee Schneemann, Vanessa Beecroft, Marina Abramović, VALIE EXPORT, Shirley Cameron and Evelyn Silver, Annie Sprinkle and Linda Montano.
This evening will also feature invited artists:
Katherine Araniello who will respond to Martha Rosler’s ‘Vital Statistics of a Citizen, Simply Obtained' (1975), re-vitalising it from the perspective of contemporary disability politics.
Oreet Ashery who will apply human hair to her face and body as she explores a compulsion that drove a number of early performances, such as Ana Mendieta’s ‘Facial Hair Transplant’ (1972) and Eleanor Antin’s painstaking beard application for her alter-ego The King (1972).
Lilibeth Cuenca Rasmussen who will perform 'Never Mind Pollock' in which she re-enacts works by Janine Antoni, Ana Mendieta, Orlan, Yayoi Kusama and others who used their bodies as expressive and painterly tools.
Caroline Smith who will perform as her alter-ego Mertle (a 50s-era housewife) paying homage to Bobby Baker’s, ‘Drawing on a Mother’s Experience’ (1988) and draws on her experience, “spilling” a selection of eating secrets collected from the public.
“Appropriating gestures, language and concepts from the history of feminist performance art I want to highlight the legacy of the field’s forerunners and to comment on how their work has been reinterpreted, subverted or perhaps ignored by contemporary women’s performance practice.”
Oriana Fox 2009