• Virginia Kennard

Fangirling for feminists

Amelia Jones Lynn Lu Amaara Raheem Jordana Bragg

I am going to fangirl so hard over these artists. You may have cottoned on to the fact that I am shamelessly feminist and queer and my work is focussed on the body so it is hardly surprising that I have honed in on these humans. Amelia Jones is someone I was introduced to at university in the last 2 years. Her text ‘Dis/playing the phallus: male artists perform their masculinities’ was a go-to text for a few of my lecturers in Leeds, and she was the editor for the Whitechapel Gallery’s Documents of Art Sexuality Edition 1 but I am more interested in her latest work on Queer Feminism. How she introduces it, in the text Otherwise, co-authored with Erin Silver, as a potentially paradoxical notion. How Griselda Pollock has already written about the dangers of ‘rewriting’ a feminist art history, so how can we do that for queer feminism? I had a twitter moment about how she was part of this year’s Arcade to one of my old tutors, and this was her response:

Amelia Jones is here as part of the Live Press. I met Amaara Raheem during the 2016 Arcade, where she was performing with Mick Douglas a work that was a performative documentation of that day’s Arcade events. I love seeing dance and movement artists working in the realm of writing. I love watching her in space, her presence is incredible. Jordana Bragg is one of those people I happened across on Twitter, via a group of Massey artists who I used to life model for. Life modeling is a nice wee earner for us dance artists but I also found it was a great way to meet the ‘up and comings’, the newbie artists doing the interesting shit that maybe we stop being brave enough to research. Jordana’s work with gender, sexuality, and the body pretty much means I going to love the work. A lot. “each piece relies on my body, as mechanism / weapon of art production and meaning”. Jordana is going to be tied to a car on top of a shipping container for many hours a day during Arcade. YES.

These Documents of Art include Object, Dance, Time, Queer, you should read all of them. Or bits of all of them.

Finally, Lynn Lu is an artist who I hadn’t heard of before the Arcade line-up was revealed. But when I read about her work, damn I was blown away. “[A] woman floats face down in the sea. The voices of women everywhere breaking their silence on male violence and predation roar from the watery depths of Wellington Harbour.” In the wake, or even amidst, the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements, Lynn’s work will be an unapologetic and powerful statement of women’s rage speaking up, speaking about, speaking back. The body itself speaks.

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