Previously at the ICA - Events

Monica Ross, Acts of Memory, Photo: Bernard G Mills

Now You Can Go: Rescue Missions: Women’s Art Recovered

9 Dec 2015

Chaired by art historian Amy Tobin, speakers include artist Sonia Boyce, director of the Live Art Development Agency, Lois Keidan, art collector Valeria Napoleone and co-director of Hollybush Gardens, Lisa Panting.

In recent years various women artists, previously little-known outside feminist art circles, have been ‘rediscovered’ by artists, art historians, curators, collectors and dealers. These overdue rehabilitations often take place when artists are at the ends of their careers, or when they have already died. This talk considers some of the ethics, responsibilities of researching, archiving, curating, restaging, marketing and collecting women’s art, and the extent to which these activities combat its historical erasure. It asks which aspects of art by women are gaining visibility, and which are still unfashionableor even troublingtoday.

Sonia Boyce is an artist who came to prominence in the 1980s as part of the emergent Black-British art movement. Recent exhibitions include Speaking in Tongues at the Centre for Contemporary Art, Glasgow (2014) and the film Exquisite Cacophony, which premiered at the 56th Venice Biennale in 2015. Since the 1990s Sonia’s multi-media practice involves bringing people together to speak or sing about the past and the present. Professor of Fine Art, Middlesex University, Boyce is also Principal Investigator for a research project Black Artists and Modernism, based at the TrAIN Research Centre, University of the Arts London.

Lois Keidan is the co-founder and co-director of the Live Art Development Agency in London. She has previously worked at the Institute of Contemporary Arts (London), The Arts Council of Great Britain, The Midland Group (Nottingham) and Theatre Workshop (Edinburgh).  She contributes articles and presentations to a range of UK and international publications and events.

Valeria Napoleone is an art collector who focuses on contemporary female artists, and a patron to arts organisations including Studio Voltaire, for which she heads the Development Committee, She also sits on the boards of the Contemporary Arts Society, the Fashion Arts Foundation of the BFC, the Institute of Fine Arts, NYC and NYU President's Global Council. She received a BA from NYU’s Journalism School and an MA in Art Gallery Administration at the Fashion Institute of Technology, NYC. In 2015 she launched Valeria Napoleone XX, in partnership with Contemporary Art Society and the Sculpture Center in New York, to continue her long-standing support of women artists.

Lisa Panting is co-director of the commercial gallery Hollybush Gardens in London.

Amy Tobin is an art historian, based at the University of York. She teaches at Birmingham University and Goldsmiths College and co-runs, with Hannah Proctor and Sophie Jones, a feminist reading group called Under the Moon at MayDay Rooms. She has published writing on Lynda Benglis, Monica Ross and Jo Spence and has an article forthcoming in MIRAJ. Her research looks at feminism, art and collaboration in Britain and America in the 1970s. 

Now You Can Go

This is part of Now You Can Go, a programme considering feminist thinking, art and activism taking place across several London venues in December 2015. Juxtaposing historical with contemporary positions, the series explores feminist concepts of generation and genealogy. It asks whether practices of consciousness-raising and collectivity might help us to combat the fragmentation, exhaustion and anxiety that we experience under networked capitalism. The programme draws inspiration from Carla Lonzi, the writer and cofounder of the Italian women’s liberation group Rivolta Femminile (Female Revolt), and her refusal of power and rejection of masculine creativity that exploits female supportive activity. This process of ‘deculturation’ entailed Lonzi’s withdrawal from her roles as an art critic, as a feminist leader, and from her relationship with her lover, the sculptor Pietro Consagra, which she documented in a dialogue between them called Vai pure (Now You Can Go).

Now You Can Go grows out of the Feminist Duration Reading Group which meets monthly at Space Studios in London. The programme has been developed by participants from the Feminist Duration Reading Group including Angelica Bollettenari, Giulia Casalini, Diana Georgiou, Laura Guy, Irene Revell and Amy Tobin, and is coordinated by Helena Reckitt with Dimitra Gkitsa.

Multi-buy ticket offer:

When you buy tickets to more than one event in the Now You Can Go series, tickets are:

Full price tickets: £6
Concession/ ICA Members: £4
Student Member: £3


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