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Oriana Fox

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Once More With Feeling
performing the WAL/Make archive

26 June 2009

3–6pm: Thameside Entrance and Green
7–9.30pm: East Room, 7th Floor
Admittance to the evening event is invitation only.

The Women’s Art Library/Make and Feminist Review present an evening of rediscovery and new feminist performance art organised by Oriana Fox recipient of the Art in the Archive: Living with Make Bursary 2009.

Oriana was invited to engage with the unique Women’s Art Library/Make, based at Goldsmiths, University of London.The result is an evening of new work and a series of tableaux vivants illustrating an abbreviated history of feminist performance art that will include artists as diverse as Carolee Schneemann, Vanessa Beecroft, Marina Abramović, Rebecca Horn, Shirley Cameron and Evelyn Silver, Annie Sprinkle and Linda Montano. Performers featured in Oriana Fox’s piece are Judy Batalion, Sharon Bennett, Lucy Dear, Georgina Leahy, Carole Luby, Genevieve Maxwell and Lorraine Smith.

Appropriating gestures, language and concepts from the history of feminist performance art I want to highlight the legacy of the field’s forerunners and to comment on how their work has been reinterpreted, subverted or perhaps ignored by contemporary women’s performance practice.
Oriana Fox

Afternoon events outside the Tate’s Thameside entrance include:

Davina Drummond and Nadine Jarvis will invite the public for a cup of tea to discuss today’s feminism.

Caroline Smith as her alter-ego Mertle will be collecting your secrets on eating.

Lucy Thane will re-enact Betsy Damon’s 7000 Year Old Woman (1977).


The evening events in The East Room will also feature invited artists:

Katherine Araniello responds to Martha Rosler’s Vital Statistics of a Citizen, Simply Obtained (1975), re-vitalising it from the perspective of contemporary disability politics.

Oreet Ashery will apply human hair to her face and body as she explores a compulsion that drove a number of early performances, such as Ana Mendieta’s Facial Hair Transplants (1972) and Eleanor Antin’s painstaking beard application for her alter-ego The King (1972).

Lilibeth Cuenca Rasmussen performs Never Mind Pollock in which she re-enacts works by Janine Antoni, Ana Mendieta, Orlan, Yayoi Kusama and others who used their bodies as expressive and painterly tools.

Caroline Smith’s alter-ego Mertle (a 50s-era housewife) pays homage to Bobby Baker’s Drawing on a Mother’s Experience (1988) and draws on her experience, ‘spilling’ a selection of eating secrets collected from the public.

Please be aware some of these performances involve male and female nudity.

Publication in the Open Space section of Feminist Review will follow later this year.  Online documentation can be found at http://orianafox.com/

Winner of first Art in the Archive: Living with Make bursary

The Women’s Art Library/Make and Feminist Review are pleased to announce that the first ever Art in the Archive: Living with Make bursary has been awarded to artist Oriana Fox.

The Women’s Art Library (WAL), or Make as it is also known, is based at Goldsmiths, University of London.  With the aim of collecting image-rich documentation on the work of female artists, Make is part of Goldsmiths Library Special Collections. The bursary of £1000 has been set up in conjunction with Feminist Review, to enable three months of research in the Women’s Art Library starting in January 2009 and culminating in a premiere performance in the East Room of the Tate Modern on 27 June 2009, which will launch the award, followed by publication in the Open Space section of Feminist Review in 2009.

The judging panel of Professor Janis Jefferies, Dr. Nirmal Puwar and Professor Helen Carr, all based at Goldsmiths, said: "We are very pleased that Oriana Fox is the first recipient of Art in the Archive: Living with Make. We are confident that Oriana's proposal will bring an important new audience to engage with WAL's rich resource for research at Goldsmiths."

Over the last five years, Oriana’s video and performances have been shown at international festivals and exhibitions from Edinburgh to Brisbane. Works such as Our Bodies, Ourselves (2003), The Embodiment Workout (2005), and Excess Baggage (2007) grapple with mass culture experienced through the ambiguous feelings and sharp humour of a second generation feminist.

Oriana describes her plans for Living with Make: “My research into the Women’s Art Library will lead to the creation of an abbreviated history of women’s performance art. I hope to highlight the legacy of the forerunners of live art as well as to comment on how their work has been reinterpreted, subverted or perhaps even ignored by contemporary women’s performance practice.

“I plan to commission artists, some whose work I will discover in WAL and others who I feel would benefit from forging a connection with it. My role will therefore be researcher, writer, performer and curator in that I plan to literally connect contemporary practitioners with bodies of work which can inform new performance hybrids involving re-enactment and/or appropriation.

“I hope this collaborative approach will echo the intentions and aspirations of the Women’s Art Library’s founders and establish new connections between its contributors.” 

Notes to editors:
Images available on request.

The Women’s Art Library/Make
Goldsmiths University of London SE14 6NW
Tel:  020 7717 2295 E-mail: make (@gold.ac.uk) 

The Art in the Archive: Living with Make Bursary and presentation event are supported by: