Herstory Inventory UPDATE

Looks like the little piece I did for Ulrike Muller's HERSTORY INVENTORY is on the move again. In her words:

Herstory Inventory will be presented in two exhibitions this spring: the first opening on April 20 at the Kunsthaus Bregenz in Austria, the second at the Brooklyn Museum on June 28. Then, over the summer, I am planning to put together a publication, in time for a book release party in September

Again I must thank Penny Boyer for reaching out to female artists that she knew to aide in Ulrike's vision. Ulrike started this before her residency at ArtPace back in 2010 and has been gathering small 8x10 pieces from female artists around the globe. It was a fun collaboration. She saw my website and then gave me 'an assignment' to which the finished piece is a reflection of said 'assignment'. I'm excied to be part of this GIANT collaboration...

Here is the recent press release:

Press Release
Announcement card
Maria Lassnig: Einen Hund besitzen (1975) - this amazing painting will be part of the exhibition
Ginger Brooks Takahashi and Dana Bishop-Root: A graphic of the Island of Lesbos with icons depicting different sites and tourist activities. - from Herstory Inventory, 2009-1012.
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Ulrike Müller (b. in Vorarlberg, lives and works in New York) bases her work on conceptual practices to engage with the sociopolitical potential of artistic activity. A central interest is her exploration of the ambivalences of contemporary gender constructions beyond binary categorizations of identity such as man/woman, hetero/homo. In addition to drawing, painting, video, sound works, and performance, collaborations with other cultural producers are a focus of her practice.

Her project Herstory Inventory presented for the first time at the KUB Arena has its point of departure in the Lesbian Herstory Archives, an independently organized archive in Brooklyn, New York, which seeks to document lesbian culture and history through publications and objects such as t-shirts, buttons, and flyers without nailing down the ephemeral nature of sub-cultural movements. While researching onsite Müller came across an inventory list of t-shirts compiled by an archive volunteer. Originally produced as codes between members of a community, these t-shirts express desires and political opinions and alliances, sometimes humorously, sometimes angrily. Their translation into lines of poetic text that describe in loving detail the images and graphic elements of the t-shirts collected since the 1970s is what underpins the work Herstory Inventory presented on the ground floor of the Kunsthaus.

The 5-channel audio installation of the same name goes back to a performative reading of the texts that Ulrike Müller gave together with the artists Nancy Brooks, Emma Hedditch, Zoe Leonard, and MPA in 2009. In the exhibition space the voices generate new associations among the various slogans. At the same time, the work pays homage to a polyphonic range of activist positions in feminist history.

In connection with this audio work Müller invited 100 internationally known artists to translate the textual descriptions into new pictures. Her invitation to rethink images from the history of feminism turns the inventory of the Lesbian Herstory Archives into a source and reference point for a wealth of artistic designs. In a wide range of styles, formats, and approaches, the pictorial translations of the texts enact personal attitudes toward lesbian feminist imagery, confronting them with their queer feminist actualizations. Against the backdrop of the history of the movement, drawing becomes an act of political engagement with the historical insignia, symbols, and positions of US lesbian feminist discourse.

The drawings are presented as part of an installation Müller developed specially for the KUB Arena. Alongside references to 1970s interiors, she has incorporated Maria Lassnig’s work “Einen Hund besitzen” (1975) from the KUB Collection into the exhibition. This self-portrait with German shepherd is an early example of Lassnig’s animal pictures that have kept appearing in her work since her stay in New York from 1968 to 1980.

The honey-yellow surface that spreads over the KUB Arena architecture opens a space in which individual and collective, artistic and curatorial, contemporary and past gestures interweave, challenging us to think creative action also in relation to sociopolitical issues. In Herstory Inventory, a project that impressively breaks down the traditional distinction between group and solo exhibitions, Ulrike Müller uses the archive as a catalyst for new artistic works. The historical starting points of the translations of the objects described in the archive collection are not something unambiguous and absolute here, but rather are versatile, adaptable points of reference that extend into the present.

The following events will take place in conjunction with the exhibition:
Saturday, May 5th
6pm film screening "Community Action Center" (A.K. Burns, A.L. Steiner)

Sunday, May 6th
3pm talk Ulrike Müller
4pm talk Johanna Schaffer
5pm talk Ann Cvetchovic


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