Exhibition: Inessential Fathers
Dieffenbachstraße 31, 10967 Berlin
16 – 21 September 2014
‘The main trouble with cyborgs, of course, is that they are the illegitimate offspring of militarism and patriarchal capitalism, not to mention state socialism. But illegitimate offspring are often exceedingly unfaithful to their origins. Their fathers, after all, are inessential.’ – Donna Haraway, ‘A Cyborg Manifesto’, 1991.
Inessential Fathers is an invitation to read together as a means to trace feminisms’ genealogies through its manifestos. It takes as point of departure these documents of feminist history, that have simultaneously worked to invite collective action and to expose the limitations of the language that they speak through. The exhibition features works by artists that negotiate strategies for the production of feminist situations and yet simultaneously reveal the conditions that limit them or, in turn, make them possible.
In Les Insoumuses’s (Carole Roussopoulos and Delphine Seyrig) video S.C.U.M. Manifesto (1976) the two filmmakers reread Valerie Solanas’ text of the same name at a time when it was out of print in both English and French language editions. In dialogue with Solanas’ treatise, they inscribe radicality into video precisely through its own potential to disrupt sites and modes of reproduction.
Rosie Eveleigh’s series of prints (2014) result from an on-going dialogue with Donna Haraway’s ‘A Cyborg Manifesto’ (1991). Recoding Haraway’s manifesto through the production of a generative visual methodology, Eveleigh refracts the manifesto’s own proposal for mutable and mutating forms of language.
Alex Martinis Roe’s Telling Stories (2011) shows an online video conference between the artist, English doctoral student Razia Parveen and Wendy Webster, a Professor of Contemporary British History, whose work is influential to Parveen’s research. Telling Stories is situated within Roe’s on-going development of methodologies for tracing feminist genealogies that foreground complex temporalities. The video is shown alongside A proposal for future meetings (ongoing) and a framed postcard sent from Luce Irigaray to the artist.
Carla Cruz’s poster work Conjugar no Plural (2012), lists the names of contributors to her project All My Independent Women. Working to name her collaborators, Cruz articulates a form of collective feminist authorship that disrupts its dominant forms.
Kajsa Dahlberg’s video, Femø Women’s Camp 2008: Film and Agreement (2008) is shown beside a contract that reveals how the conditions that accord visibility to a group of women are necessarily a process of continuous negotiation.
During the week a partial collection of feminist manifestos will be assembled within the Arena room. At the door to this space hangs Emma Hedditch and Henriette Heise’s separatist curtain (2004/14), a gesture toward the demarcation of a feminist space that is itself a “homemade fantasy of fake differentiation”.
Related events will focus on the themes of critique, reproduction and temporality that are made legible through the act of rereading these texts.