A Forum on Feminist & Queer Art & Activism

University of Brighton, Thursday 17 May 2012,  11.30-4.30

Location: G4, Ground Floor, Grand Parade Building, 58-67 Grand Parade, University of Brighton, Brighton BN2 0JY.

View the timetable for the day

PARTICIPANTS:  Anne Berger, Althea Greenan, Olu Jenzen, Lois Keidan, Claudia Kappenberg, Tomek Kitlinski,  Sadie Lee, Pawel Leszkowicz, Natalie Papamichael, Lara Perry, Monica Ross, Mo White.

In the grip of conservative forces and economic crises, our continent needs new feminist and queer strategies, sensibilities, representations and new forms of partnership. In this event, artists, thinkers and curators whose work is a political practice will present and discuss strategies for art and life.  We would like to ask how feminisms and queer art and activism inspire us to rethink the condition of culture, intimacy, democracy and the world order.

Anne-Emmanuelle Berger is professor of French Literature and Gender Studies at the University of Paris 8, where she heads the interdisciplinary Centre for Women’s and Gender Studies, established by H. Cixous. Berger is the author of a book on Rimbaud and orality, a book on modern poetry and modern poverty, and the editor of several volumes. Her recent publications include Genres et Postcolonialismes, Dialogues transcontinentaux and Demenageries, Thinking (0f) Animals after Derrida. She is currently completing a book on western feminism and queer theory in the age of late capitalism.

Althea Greenan
is curator of The Women’s Art Library, part of the Special Collections held in Goldsmiths University of London. Her reviews on publications and exhibitions have appeared in Make magazine, Contemporary, Vertigo and elsewhere. They were produced in tandem with her work on the collection of the Women’s Art Library, ongoing projects like the Living with Make:  Art in Archive Bursary and research on the 35mm slide. Artists she has worked with include Caroline Smith, Oriana Fox, Clare Gasson, Rose Frain and Natalie Papamichael.

Olu Jenzen is a Senior Lecturer in the School of Arts and Media at the University of Brighton. Her research ranges across a variety of overlapping fields of inquiry within Media and Cultural Studies and Literature.  She is currently co-editing a special issue of The Journal of Lesbian Studies and the Cultural Studies reference work The Ashgate Research Companion to Paranormal Cultures. Together with colleagues from the universities of Brighton and Sussex, she is involved in organising events for the Brighton and Sussex Sexualities Research Network (BSSN). Jenzen is also part of the organising committee for the University of Brighton’s LGBTQ Lives Research Hub co-hosting the 20th Lesbian Lives Conference in Brighton in 2013.

Claudia Kappenberg is a performance and media artist who leads the MA Performance and Visual Practices at the University of Brighton, UK. Her projects comprise single screen work as well as screen-based installations and live site-specific events which have been shown across Europe, the US and the Middle East. Claudia runs an international Screendance Network and is editor of the International Journal of Screendance. She co-founded the White Market performance label in 2009 and co-curated the What If Festival, London in 2010.

Lois Keidan is the co-founder and Director of the Live Art Development Agency, London which offers a wide range of Resources, Professional Development Initiatives, and Projects for the support and development of Live Art practices and critical discourses in the UK and internationally. She was Director of Live Arts at the ICA in London. She contributes articles on Live Art and related issues to a range of UK and international journals and publications and gives presentations at festivals, conferences, colleges, and venues in the UK and internationally. She has been awarded Honorary Fellowships by Dartington College of Arts and Queen Mary, University of London.  

Sadie Lee is a painter living in London. She makes realistic paintings of real people.  Her challenging work first came to wider public attention when her painting Erect, a double portrait of Lee and her then partner sitting side by side in a stiff embrace, was selected for exhibition in the National Portrait Gallery’s annual BP Portrait Award in 1992. Lee’s work has been selected for exhibition in the BP Awards six times, being commended in 1998 and winning the Travel Award in 1996.  Lee’s first one-woman show, Venus Envy, was at Manchester City Gallery in 1994, as part of the It’s Queer Up North Festival.  She has since had one-woman shows at Salford Museum and Art Gallery, Schwules Museum, Berlin and the Museum of Modern Art, Slovenia.  Group shows include exhibitions at the ICA, the Museum of London and Glasgow Gallery of Modern Art.

Pawel Leszkowicz is an art and cultural historian, curator and  lecturer specialising in Contemporary Art/Visual Culture and Sexuality/LGBTQ Studies. He is a  Marie Curie Fellow at the School of English’s Centre for the Study of Sexual Dissidence and Cultural Change at the University of Sussex. His books include Helen Chadwick. The Iconography of Subjectivity, Art Pride. Gay Art from Poland and The Naked Man: The Male Nude in Poland’s Post-1945 Art. His exhibitions include Love and Democracy, The Empire of the Senses, Vogue, Urban Legend, Love is Love.  Art as LGBTQ Activism from Britain to Belarus and Ars Homo Erotica at Warsaw’s National Museum.   

Natalie Papamichael is an artist at the Phoenix Studios in Brighton. She studied Fine Art at Central Saint Martin’s and completed an MA at the Courtauld Institute of Art on Postmodernism and Feminism. She integrated her research with her practice by studying classical painting techniques at the Angel Academy of Art in Florence.

Lara Perry is the Academic Programme Leader of History of Art and Design at the University of Brighton. She was the lead applicant on the Leverhulme international research network on Feminism and Curating which has hosted events from Washington, D.C., to Estonia between 2010 and 2012. She is co-editor, with Angela Dimitrakaki, of the edited collection Politics in a Glass Case: Curating women’s and feminist art since 1970 (Liverpool University Press, 2013).

Monica Ross produces drawings, performances, video and text works. Her art has been presented in many exhibitions and contexts since the 1970s, when feminism and other movements for social, cultural and political change were formative in shaping her experimental and often collaborative art practice. To mark the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Ross performed the first of 60 recitations in her ongoing work Anniversary—an act of memory: solo, collective and multi-lingual recitations from memory of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights at the British Library. The series reached Act 40 with 27 local Co-Recitors who memorised and spoke Articles in 16 languages at Arnolfini.

Mo White is an artist and a lecturer in Fine Art at Loughborough University. Her art practice is in moving image and still photographic media, engaged in a number of locational strategies; this includes both traditional and non-traditional gallery spaces, in addition to working on socially-engaged projects in community settings.  A recent example of White’s socially engaged practice is her involvement with Our Queer Lives, a photographic project with members of LGBT communities in the West Midlands, resulting in 3 exhibitions that were part of SHOUT! Birmingham’s Festival of Queer Culture during November 2011. She has taken part in exhibitions in New York, Berlin, Athens, Dublin, London, Belfast, Stockholm, Wolverhampton, Cork.

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