Temporary Separatists - Collective Collectivism
The Temporary Separatists a Swedish-British collective seeks to explore the use of collectivism as a feminist methodology in art practice. The Temporary Separatists propose to use the exhibition space as a site to explore collective making. They hope to consider, to learn by doing, if separatist collective spaces and modes of working can provide a feminist methodology that resists hierarchical and individualistic artistic practice. This exhibition will examine authorship, individualism, autonomy and gender and ask if separatist collective working can provide a space for a radical shift of focus away from the hegemony of an atomizing neoliberal ideology. This exhibition will explore these ideas through practice.
At Box they will turn the gallery into two mini-residencies first occupied by themselves, and then occupied by a second women’s artist collective, H. arta group from Romania, thus the authorship already questioned by the very notion of an artists collective, will be further challenged by the interactions between the works of the two collectives.
This will become an environment that attempts to address the ways in which the space is used and navigated through by both the artist collectives and the audience. It will offer the opportunity to reimagine the white cube gallery space as a place to occupy and to live within rather than survey and pass through. They will blur the boundaries between the traditional public space of the gallery and the private space of the studio/home.
The Temporary Separatists turned the exhibition space into two mini-residencies first occupied by themselves and then occupied by a second woman-identified artist collective, H. arta Group. The period of the exhibition was divided into four sections of one week each. For the duration of the exhibition coffee and other refreshments were available to encourage the visiting audience to stay and interact with the space and talk with the artists.
For the first week The Temporary Separatists, used the space as an ‘open studio’ – viewable to the public, where they created an installation with sculptural, sound and light interventions. Drawing upon feminist methodologies and educational activism that encourages the breaking of hierarchies, they transformed the gallery from a space of authority and autonomy into a meeting point for interaction and consciousness-raising. This included the creation of gallery furniture and protrusions from the architecture of the gallery space. This became an environment that attempted to address the ways in which the space is used and navigated through by both the artist collectives and the audience. It offered the opportunity to reimagine the white cube gallery space as a place to occupy and to live within rather than survey and pass through. They blurred the boundaries between the traditional public space of the gallery and the private space of the studio/home. The Temporary Separatists built furniture-like structures that make people conscious of the space whilst encouraging conversation. This furniture took over the gallery, making it in to a participatory space where people can sit down and interact with each other both by themselves but also during workshops and seminars. Through out this period The Temporary Separatists invited the public to work with them collectively to create this installation and hold evening talks and workshops (see full program below)
For the second week, having completed this installation, the exhibition was open to the public and presented as a ‘finished’ work.
For the third week The Temporary Separatists invited a second artist collective, H.arta Group to make work in response to this environment. This was a way to explore how environments shape and inform artistic practice, and the ways in which artists are in constant dialogue with their situation. The collective occupied the space again as an ‘open studio’. They were invited to produce a series of workshops and performances in the space.
The Temporary hoped to encourage interaction between the works produced, to make a space where practices can overlap, interrupt and comment upon one another. By inviting the second collective to participate the exhibition will facilitate the practice of working together, and within that explore the possibilities of something shared. This was an opportunity to explore collective working as an on going process, where members and groups are constantly negotiating the ways in which they work with each other, and how they respond to their environment. The authorship already questioned by the very notion of an artists collective, was be further challenged by the interactions between the works of the two collectives.
The final week of the exhibition was a presentation of the works produced collectively by the two groups, where layering, and interruptions between the works undermined a straight reading of the exhibition. Thus the show, as a site for interactions between the collectives and the existing works, challenged ideas of ownership, authority and individualism.
Bring Your Junk/ 13th May 13.00-17.00
The Temporary Separatists would like you to come and leave things you are going to throw away!
It can be old furniture, textiles/clothes, wood and cartons, or anything you have that you don’t need. Working with the idea of recycling and collective efforts to create art and a public interaction, these unwanted objects will be used to create an installation at Gallery Box.
Opening Reception at Galleri Box / 14th May 12.00-16.00
Sculpturetalk V: The Expanding Field & the Collective as Strategy
Sisters of Jam in dialog with curator Karolina Pahlén and The Temporary Separatists. Presented by Snowball Cultural Productions: sculptureHUB / Josefina Posch
For our fifth Sculpture Talk we focused on sculpture as an expanding field and the collective as a strategy for improving visibility for women artists. Sisters of Jam talked with curator Karolina Pahlén from Borås Konstmuseum and the exhibiting artists The Temporary Separatists.
S.O.J. also showed an excerpt from their video installation from Kate Millett Farm. “It takes a million years to be a woman”, video 10 min.
All Day Collective Making Workshop/ 17thMay 13.00-17.00
The Temporary Separatists invite artists and the public to come to the space during the day to create art with them. You can bring your own material or work in the space with material that is there.
Portfolio Viewing/ 18th May 13.30 – 16.45
SculptureHUB – invite women artists whose practice falls within sculpture in the expanded field to participate in a “speed-dating” style portfolio viewing with The Temporary Separatists, Galleri Slätten from Malmö and sculptureHUB- Josefina Posch & Sofia Landström. Space is limited and participants will be pre-selected through an open-call. Information on how to apply can be found on sculptureHUB.
All Day Collective Making Workshop/ 19th May 13.00-17.00
The Temporary Separatists invite artists and public to the gallery space during the day to create art with them. You can bring your own material or work in the space with material that is there.
Talk with Feminist Pedagogics/ 19th May 17.00 – 18.30
Feminist Pedagogics from Akademi Valand will present their work and open up for dialog with the audience about feminist strategies in education and methods for feminist pedagogy. The session at Galleri Box is an opportunity for the group to continue the dialogue they started at Valand, and welcome interested audiences to join and contribute to the discussion in preparation for the three day ‘mobilisation’ at Valand that the group is planning for October 12th-14th, 2016.
H.arta Group Mini Residency
31st May -3rd of June
H.arta Group is invited to use the gallery as a mini-residency in which to make work in response to that left by The Temporary Separatists. Free to use the space however they wish they might produce a series of workshops, performances or artworks interacting with the work already in place so that the practices of the two collectives will overlap, interrupt and comment upon one another.
Opening Reception of H.arta’s Work and Artists’ Talk/ 3rd of June 18.00 -21.00
At 18:30 H.arta Group will read a performance in connection to their previous work.
http://www.hartagroup.ro/index.php?/projects/group-portrait/. The performance is followed by a discussion where H.arta considers the common realities of lost gains and the present struggles and potentials. They will analyze collectively histories of our grandmothers, mothers and us and talk about everyday life where this interconnects with history and past political moments, as a way to think about where we find our selves now. The Temporary Separatists and H.arta will explore the collective work and the benefits of such practice.
The Temporary Separatists A woman*-identified artist collective that seeks to explore the use of collectivism as a feminist methodology in art practice. This is research through praxis: The Temporary Separatists learn by doing: making exhibitions, conferences and essays collectively to explore its lived reality. They also learn by example creating dialogue with past and present collectives, creating a platform from which to disseminate knowledge and generate discussion producing the kind of art world in which they are interested in participating.
H.arta A group of three women artists, Maria Crista, Anca Gyemant and Rodica Tache. They have been working together as h.arta group since 2001, when they founded h.arta space, a not-for-profit space in Timisoara, Romania. H.arta is sometimes a physical space, but often its projects take different formats. They are interested in topics ranging from knowledge production and (re)writing histories to gender issues in global capitalist times, all these in the context of working in various collaborations with people and groups from different backgrounds.
Sisters of Jam Sisters of Jam was founded in 2008 by Moa and Mikaela Krestesen they have been working in interdisciplinary art projects using multiple media – photography, video, drawing, installation and text – in an ongoing investigation of community, solitude, historiography and continuity.
Karolina Pahlén is curator for moving image at Borås Art Museum. With an education in visual art, film and curating at the International Center of Photography (NYC, University Collage of Arts (Sthlm) and the University of Stockholms , her curatorial practice focuses on the moving image as well as the creation of platforms for art and knowledge production. Amongst her latest curatorial projects are; the Screens & mirrors, exhibition at Borås Art Museum; Archaelogy & Exorcisms: Moving Image and the Archive, seminar and publication with Steven Cairns (ICA, London), the exhibition Syster in which Sisters of Jam participated and they are also collaborating in the project IN 21ST CENTURY ZESTERHOOD. http://systerboras.blogspot.se/2014/11/antligen-far-vi-ta-plats.html
” Slätten is a gallery with focus on women´s artistic practice. We wanted to create a place where we are the norm, where we are always number one and where we never need to compete with each other. We wanted this because the combination of women and creativity, equals a fantastic place where anything can happen. Gallery Slätten in Malmö exhibits female artists working in all media. We present a new exhibition every month. The opening receptions have many visitors and the response to our concept has been positive. It is obvious that our focus fills a gap, or rather that we have created something completely new. A gallery just for women.”
Gallery Slätten is run by photographers Ylva-Li Ahlström and Elin Aldén who first met at Östra Grevie folkhögskola. Their common starting point in their art practice is that they have both made a conscious choice. They only photograph women. And in their gallery work they only collaborate with women. Ylva-Li received her BFA in Fine Art Photography from Akademi Valand in Göteborg. She mainly works with film and photography, always focusing on women´s stories. Elin studied photography at Fotoskolan in Gamleby, Östra Grevie folkhögskola and at Kbh film og fotoskole. Her photography focuses mainly on sisterhood and struggle.
Feminist Pedagogics The group came together out of a collective desire to explore feminist pedagogies at Akademi Valand, Göteborg University. Through regular meetings, the sharing of texts, strategies and ideas as well as planning a three day ‘mobilisation’ at Valand on October 12th-14th, with the intension to unpick what Feminist pedagogies means, and how it can influence us both inside and outside the academy.
sculptureHUB is a networking site and blog for sculptors, created by Snowball Cultural Productions in response to the uneven gender representation within the sculpture field. Aimed at women sculptors in the Nordic countries with aspirations to reach beyond the field and geographical boundaries.
Josefina Posch is active as an artist, founder of Snowball Cultural Productions and initiator of SculptureHUB. She has exhibited extensively around the world and organised exhibitions and events such as the Guerrilla Girls Nordic Tour and nordic art/Between Miracles at Center for Contemporary Art, Tbilisi, Georgia.
Many thanks to all participants.