Manifesto Show is a peripatetic programme of exhibitions, screenings, discussions and publications focusing on the form of the manifesto in histories of post-1960s cultural production. Inheritance have been collaborating with academics from Manchester School of Art on a programme strand dedicated to feminist genealogies and the manifesto form.
Archive Kabinett Dieffenbachstraße 31,
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.
Collective Reading: I want a president…
Trafalgar Square Steps
6th May 2015
Meet 6.15pm for 6.30pm start
To the dykes, fags, lovers, and others, to those forced out of, not represented by, or otherwise left wanting by the present political system, an invitation to read together on the eve of the UK General Election. Join friends, family and comrades for a collective reading on the steps of Trafalgar Square (directly outside the National Gallery) on 6 May 2015. We will be reading US-based artist Zoe Leonard’s 1992 manifesto “I want a president…” along with an adaptation of the text. Assemble at 6.15pm for a 6.30pm start. We will read for an hour and then decamp to St James’ Park (weather permitting) to celebrate. This reading is politically independent and open to all. Please spread the word. If you are based elsewhere and want to get involved please get in touch.
The collective reading I want a president… was first initiated by artists Malin Arnell, Kajsa Dahlberg, Johanna Gustavsson and Fia-Stina Sandlund in conjunction with the general election in Sweden 2010. They wanted to gather activists, artists, friends and colleagues as a response to an increasingly neoliberal political climate in a country just about to give space in parliament to an upcoming fascist, racist and homophobic party. In collaboration with artist Zoe Leonard they made an adaptation of her text I want a president… (1992) in Swedish. On the day before the election we gathered at Sergels Torg in Stockholm, a big square famous for it’s many public manifestations, and read the text together, over and over again, for one hour. The first collective reading inspired a series of invitations from other countries going towards election. It was never anticipated that the event, which was initiated by the group out of political urgency and not articulated within the context of
their artistic practice, would continue to have a life beyond this first iteration. Yet, in response to further invitations from various groups
and institutions, the readings have subsequently happened in various centres across Europe.
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Manchester School of Art, Manchester Metropolitan University; Visual Cultures Research Centre: Manchester Institute for Research in Art and Design; MMU Special Collections; Holden Gallery, Manchester; TATE Liverpool; Archive Kabinett, Berlin; Berlin Art Week.