Helena Reckitt is a curator and researcher with extensive international experience in developing curatorial and critical research projects that focus on the overlapping realms of Art, Curating, Feminism and Sexual Politics; Affect & Relationality; and Curatorial Education.
Her research explores the undetonated potential of earlier moments of cultural and political radicalism, particularly those from the feminist and queer past. Having played a key role in defining, and arguing for the importance of, feminist and queer perspectives on art, theory and activism, recently Reckitt has focused on identifying feminisms that are under-represented within the Anglo-American canon. She explores why these feminisms have been elided, and stages research projects that revisit and reignite them through forms of translation, re-enactment, annotation, and collective reading. Drawing on theories of social reproduction and affect, her research examines the sexual politics of artistic and curatorial labour, including the implications of curators and curatorial students being interpellated as feminized. Connecting these research areas are the numerous exhibitions and discursive events that she has initiated that explore art and curating’s generative potential and relational dimensions.
Her previous roles include Senior Curator of Programmes, the Power Plant, Toronto (2006 – 2010); Senior Director of Exhibitions and Education, Atlanta Contemporary Art Center, GA (2002 – 2005); Head of Talks/Deputy Director of Talks, Institute of Contemporary Arts, London (1990 – 1998); and Associate Commissioning Editor, Film and Performance Studies, Routledge, London (1988 – 1990). As an independent curator she has developed projects for Nuit Blanche, City of Toronto; Flux Night, Atlanta; Oakville Galleries, Ontario; Ontario College of Art and Design, Toronto; and the ICA, Raven Row, SPACE and The Showroom, London.
Prior to arriving at Goldsmiths, Helena served as an adjunct professor for the graduate programme in Art History at York University in Toront, and the Atlanta College of Art and Emory University in Georgia. She was the Clark Collection Critic and Curator in Residence at the University of Victoria in New Zealand.
Helena is a member and former Board Chair (2011-17) of the Women’s Art Library at Goldsmiths, a member of the Centre for Feminist Research, and an editorial board member for the Goldsmiths Press. She is a board member and Acting Chair for Electra in London. She has served as a consultant or juror for organizations including the Creative Capital Foundation, MCAD/McKnight Foundation, Kentucky Arts Council, City of Toronto, Ontario College of Art and Design, and C Magazine. Her exhibitions and programmes have been supported by grants from public, private and government agencies including the Arts Council of England, National Endowment for the Arts, Andy Warhol Foundation for the Arts, Jack Weinbaum Family Foundation, Bickel Foundation, French Cultural Consul, Goethe Institute, Danish Arts Agency, Mondriaan Foundation, Japan Foundation, Creative New Zealand, and the Canada Council for the Arts. She is on the editorial board of the Journal of Curatorial Studies, is a cofounder of Feminist Curators United (fCu), and is a member of IKT, the international association of curators of contemporary art.
She has written for magazines including Art Papers, C Magazine, New York Arts Magazine, Art Asia Pacific, frieze, and the Times Higher Education Supplement, for the academic periodicals Art Journal, Reading Room, and the Journal of Curatorial Studies, and for books published by Routledge, Manchester University Press, Liverpool University Press, the University of Minnesota Press, Calvert 22, and the Whitechapel Gallery.
Reckitt, Helena. 2019. Inside Job: Learning, Collaboration, and Queer Feminist Contagion in Killjoy’s Kastle. In: Allyson Mitchell and Cait McKinney, eds. Inside Killjoy's Kastle: Dykey Ghosts, Feminist Monsters, and Other Lesbian Hauntings. Vancouver and Toronto, Canada: The University of British Columbia Press and The Art Gallery of York University, pp. 1-22. ISBN 9780774861571
Robertson, Selina; Wood, Sarah; Reckitt, Helena and Reynolds, Lucy. 2019. Club des Femmes, Helena Reckitt: An interview on International Women’s Day 2017. In: Lucy Reynolds, ed. Women Artists, Feminism and the Moving Image: Contexts and Practices. London, UK: IB Tauris. ISBN 9781784537005
Reckitt, Helena; Baker Smith, Diana; Cremona, Cinzia; Damiani, Giulia; Džuverović, Lina; Farinati, Lucia; Fuller, Sabrina; Gibbs, Rose; Guy, Laura; Kertudo, Felicie; Moser, Gabby; Paiola, Sara; Revell, Irene; Sequeira Bras, Patricia; Tobin, Amy and Torrell, Ehryn. 2019. Transmitting Feminisms. In: Sofia Lemos and Alexandra Balona, eds. Metabolic Rifts Reader. Berlin/Lisbon: Atlas Projectos, pp. 143-162. ISBN 9789892093116
Reckitt, Helena. 2018. Introduction: Being Seen, The Politics of Visibility in Feminist Art. In: Helena Reckitt; Hilary Robinson; Amy Tobin and Luci Gosling, eds. The Art of Feminism. San Francisco/London: Chronicle Books/Tate Publishing.
Reckitt, Helena. 2016. Troubling Canons: Curating and Exhibiting Women’s and Feminist Art, A Roundtable Discussion. In: Ruth E Iskin, ed. Re-envisioning the Contemporary Art Canon: Perspectives in a Global World. New York, NY, and Abingdon, UK: Routledge. ISBN 9781138192683
Reckitt, Helena; Logue, Deidre and Mitchell, Allyson. 2015. Not at the beginning and not at the end: A Conversation among Deidre Logue, Allyson Mitchell and Helena Reckitt. In: Amelia Jones and Erin Silver, eds. Otherwise: Imagining Queer Feminist Art Histories. Manchester: Manchester University Press, pp. 356-370. ISBN 978-0-7190-9641-9
Pinsky, Michael and Reckitt, Helena. 2014. A conversation between Michael Pinsky and Helena Reckitt. In: Mei Huang, ed. Michael Pinsky Survey. Chengdu, China: Museum of Contemporary Art, Chengdu, Edition Xin Dong Cheng. ISBN 978-2-915823-23-3
Reckitt, Helena. 2013. Forgotten Relations: Feminist Artists and Relational Aesthetics. In: Angela Dimitrakaki and Lara Perry, eds. Politics in a Glass: Case Feminism, Exhibition Cultures and Curatorial Transgressions. 7 Liverpool: Liverpool University Press, pp. 131-156. ISBN 9781846318931
Reckitt, Helena. 2012. GENDER ALARM!: Queer Feminist Exhibitions in a ‘Year of Feminist Art’. In: Leila Pourtavaf, ed. Féminismes Électriques. Montreal: La Centrale Galerie Powerhouse, pp. 26-41. ISBN 978-2-89091-321-9
Reckitt, Helena. 2008. Neither to Criticize Nor Glorify: Paul Shambroom's Studied Objectivity. In: Diane Mullin, ed. Paul Shambroom Picturing Power. Minneapolis: Weisman Art Museum, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, pp. 32-45. ISBN 9781933045757
Reckitt, Helena. 2019. Feminist acts of resistance and withdrawal in London. Burlington Contemporary,
Reckitt, Helena; Baker Smith, Diana; Cremona, Cinzia; Damiani, Giulia; Džuverović, Lina; Farinati, Lucia; Fuller, Sabrina; Guy, Laura; Kertudo, Felicie; Moser, Gabby; Paiola, Sara; Revell, Irene; Sequeira Bras, Patricia; Tobin, Amy and Torrell, Ehryn. 2018. Co-Authoring Values. Daylight(1), pp. 10-15.
Child, Danielle; Reckitt, Helena and Richards, Jenny. 2017. Labours of Love: A Conversation on Art, Gender, and Social Reproduction. Third Text 148, 31(1), pp. 147-168. ISSN 0952-8822
Child, Danielle; Reckitt, Helena and Richards, Jenny. 2017. Labours of Love: A Conversation on Art, Gender, and Social Reproduction. Third Text, 31(1), pp. 147-168. ISSN 0952-8822
Reckitt, Helena. 2017. Generating Feminisms: Italian Feminisms and the “Now You Can Go” Program. Art Journal, 76(3-4), pp. 101-111. ISSN 0004-3249
Reckitt, Helena and Moser, Gabrielle. 2016. Feminist Tactics of Citation, Annotation, and Translation: Reflections on the Now You Can Go programme. On.Curating: CURATING in feminist thought(29), pp. 42-48.
Reckitt, Helena. 2016. Support Acts: Curating, Caring and Social Reproduction. Journal of Curatorial Studies, 5(1), pp. 6-30. ISSN 2045-5836
Reckitt, Helena. 2013. Because the Night: Curating One-Off Nocturnal Events. Art Papers, 37(3), pp. 42-45. ISSN 1524-9581
Reckitt, Helena; Conlon, Natasha; Barton, Christina; Smith, Terry; French, Blair; Newby, Kate and Tamait-Quennell, Megan. 2012. Roundtable: Reading Exhibitions, ed. Natasha Conlon. Reading Room: A Journal of Art and Culture, 5, pp. 150-167.
Reckitt, Helena. 2011. ‘Enacting Others: Politics of Identity in Eleanor Antin, Nikki S Lee, Adrian Piper and Anna Deveare Smith’, by Cherise Smith. Times Higher Education Supplement, p. 25.
Reckitt, Helena. 2009. Opening a Closing Door: Feminist and Queer Artists as Historians. Reading Room: A Journal of Art and Culture, pp. 88-103.
Reckitt, Helena. 2008. Stop Making Sense: Felix Gmelin in conversation with Helena Reckitt. SWITCH, pp. 10-14.
Reckitt, Helena. 2006. Unusual Suspects: Global Feminisms and WACK! Art and the Feminist Revolution. n.paradoxa, 18, pp. 34-42. ISSN 1461-0434
Reckitt, Helena and Davies, Jon. 2010. Ryan Trecartin: Any Ever. In: "Ryan Trecartin: Any Ever", The Power Plant, Toronto, Canada, The Power Plant: 26 March - 24 May, 2010; LA MOCA: 18 July - 17 October, 2010; MOCA Miami: 24 June - 4 September, 2011; MoMA/PS1: June 19, 2011—September 3, 2011.
Reckitt, Helena; Mullin, Diane and Scoates, Christopher. 2009. Paul Shambroom: Picturing Power. In: "Paul Shambroom: Picturing Power", Weisman Art Museum- University. of Minnesota, United States, 1 April 2008 - 5 April 2009.
Reckitt, Helena; Fletcher, Harrell; Bastos, Augusto; Brandt, Thomas; Frey, Sean; Jickling, Hannah; Kobayashi, Alison SM; O'Donnell, Darren; Reed, Helen; Reid, Kerri; Shaw, Kristin; Swintak, Swintak; Tanaka, Maiko; Wah, Amy and Wielonda, Karen. 2008. Harrell Fletcher: Born out of Pleasure. In: "Harrell Fletcher: Born out of Pleasure", The Power Plant, Toronto, Canada.
Reckitt, Helena and Burke, Gregory. 2007. Auto Emotion: Autobiography, Emotion and Self-fashioning. In: "Auto Emotion", The Power PLant, Toronto, Canada, 18 May - 19 August 2007.
Reckitt, Helena; Joyce, Julie and Locke, Hew. 2004. Hew Locke: House of Cards. In: "Hew Locke: House of Cards", Atlanta Contemporary Art Center, Atlanta, GA, United States, November 13 2004 – January 8 2005.
Reckitt, Helena; Murthy, Prema and Oliveri, Michael. 2004. Prema Murthy, Space Invaders ; Michael Oliveri, Fast Food, Hydrocarbons and Waves in Outer Space. In: "Michael Oliveri and Prema Murthy", Atlanta Contemporary Art Center, Atlanta, GA, United States, 19 June - 7 August 2004.
Conference or Workshop Item
Reckitt, Helena; Fuller, Sabrina and Dunster, Flora. 2020. 'Masculinities: Feminist Duration Reading Group'. In: Masculinities. Barbican Art Gallery and online, London, United Kingdom 5 March – 17 October 2020.
Reckitt, Helena. 2020. 'Collective Learning in the Feminist Duration Reading Group'. In: The Independent summit, FRIENDSHIP | SOLIDARITY | ALLIANCES. MAXXI Museum, Rome, Italy 24 – 25 January 2020.
Reckitt, Helena. 2019. 'Durational Feminisms: Collectivity, Support and Intergenerational Exchange'. In: Re-Writing the Canon?. Courtauld Institute, London, United Kingdom 14 May 2019.
Reckitt, Helena. 2018. 'in-waves: curatorial intensive in feminist curating'. In: in-waves intensive on feminist curating. Hanaholmen, Swedish-Finnish Cultural Centre, Helsinki, Finland 26 - 29 November 2018.
Reckitt, Helena. 2018. 'Gallery Walk Through: Still I Rise, Feminisms Gender Resistance'. In: Still I Rise. Nottingham, United Kingdom 31 October 2018.
Reckitt, Helena. 2018. 'The Feminist Practice of Affidamento (Entrustment)'. In: Affidamento – Creating Feminist Solidarity in Art and Curating. Migros Museum, Zurich, Switzerland 15 June 2018 - 16 June 2018.
Reckitt, Helena; Dunster, Flora; Siwisa, Kefiloe and Tobin, Amy. 2018. 'Soft Covers: Queer Feminist Publishing'. In: Strange Perfume LGBTQIA book fair. South London Gallery, London, United Kingdom 26 May 2018.
Reckitt, Helena. 2018. 'Curating Feminist Legacies: Italian Feminisms and the Now You Can Go Programme'. In: Unveiling Hidden Discourses: 1968. Warwick University, United Kingdom 19th May 2018.
Reckitt, Helena. 2018. 'Being Visible at the ICA'. In: From Critical Studies to Public Programming: Public Knowledge at the Post-Democratic Impasse. Goldsmiths, University of London, United Kingdom 18 May 2018.
Reckitt, Helena. 2018. 'Acts of Support: Contradictions of Curating and Care'. In: Metabolic Rifts. Campo Alegre Theatre Café-Teatro, Porto, Portugal 28 April 2018.
Reckitt, Helena. 2017. 'Giving it Time: Thoughts on the Feminist Duration Reading Group'. In: Giving it Time: Thoughts on the Feminist Duration Reading Group. Calgary Contemporary, Canada 16 September 2017.
Reckitt, Helena; Shaw, Christine; Wilkinson, Jayne and Rage, Raju. 2017. 'Curating and Care'. In: Care Crisis, Care Corrective: An Open Forum on Cultural Work. Blackwood Gallery, University of Toronto, Canada 23 September 2017.
Moser, Gabrielle; Rousseau, Christine and Reckitt, Helena. 2017. 'Wages for Housework—The Canadian Context'. In: Wages for Housework - The Canadian Context. Art Metropole, Toronto, Canada 5 September 2017.
Martinis Roe, Alex and Reckitt, Helena. 2017. 'To Become Two: Alex Martinis Roe in conversation with Helena Reckitt'. In: Alex Martinis Roe in conversation with Helena Reckitt. The Showroom, London, United Kingdom 18 May 2017.
Lloyd, Kirsten; Dimitrakaki, Angela; Perry, Lara; Jefferis, Kerri; Robinson, Hilary; Reckitt, Helena and UNSPECIFIED. 2017. 'Feminist Emergency: The art field'. In: Feminist Emergency: The art field. Birkbeck, University of London, United Kingdom 23 June 2017.
Reckitt, Helena and Bryan-Wilson, Julia. 2017. 'Fray: Art and Textile Politics, Julia Bryan-Wilson and Helena Reckitt in conversation'. In: Fray: Art and Sexual Politics. Courtauld Institute, London, United Kingdom 24 November 2017.
Reckitt, Helena. 2017. 'New Institutionalities #2 Feminist curating; an active network?'. In: New Institutionalities #2 Feminist curating; an active network?. Nottingham Contemporary, United Kingdom 13 July 2017.
Reckitt, Helena; Blackman, Lisa; Wakeford, Nina and Fisher, Jennifer. 2016. 'Affect and Curating: Feeling the Curatorial'. In: Affect and Curating: Feeling the Curatorial. Whitechapel Gallery, London, United Kingdom 19 January 2017.
Reckitt, Helena. 2016. 'Feminist Durations: Reflections on Italian Feminisms, Disidentification, and the 'Now You Can Go' programme'. In: Work, Strike and Self-Abolition: Feminist Perspectives on the Act of Creating Freedom. La Monnaie, Paris, France 1 October 2016.
Reckitt, Helena. 2016. 'Feminist Durations: Reflections on Italian Feminisms, Human Strike, and the Now You Can Go programme'. In: Critical Soiree, part of Oreet Ashery’s Revisiting Genesis. Stanley Picker Gallery, Kingston University, London, United Kingdom 21 May 2016.
Reckitt, Helena. 2016. 'Citation, Annotation,Translation: Reflections on Italian Feminisms and the Now You Can Go programme'. In: Curating in Feminist Thought. Migros Museum fuer Gegenwartskunst, Zurich, Switzerland 6-7 May 2016.
Reckitt, Helena and Condorelli, Céline. 2016. 'Céline Condorelli in conversation with Helena Reckitt'. In: Céline Condorelli in conversation with Helena Reckitt. LUMA Foundation, Arles, France 25 February 2016.
Reckitt, Helena. 2016. 'Margaret Harrison: Accumulations Exhibition closing event'. In: Margaret Harrison: Accumulations Exhibition closing event. MIMA, Middlesborough, United Kingdom 23 January 2016.
Reckitt, Helena and Cervantes, Susana Vargas. 2016. 'Seminar and Workshop: Queering Curatorial Practice'. In: Queering Curatorial Practice. Delfina Foundation, United Kingdom 10 March 016.
Reckitt, Helena. 2015. 'Now Can We Go? Refusal and labour in the art world'. In: Labours of Love, Works of Passion: The social (re)production of art workers from industrialisation to globalisation. AAH2016: Annual Art Historians Conference, Edinburgh, United Kingdom 7-9 April 2016.
Reckitt, Helena; Malik, Suhail; Yuile, Laura; Kulendran Thomas, Christopher; Kulesh, Leslie; Cameron, Angus; Pil & Galia, Kollectiv; DKUK, DKUK; Pollard, Alexander James and Luke, Kristin. 2015. 'Capitalist Artist Scum #1 and #2'. In: FORUM: Capitalist Artist Scum. Open School East, London, United Kingdom 24 September 2015-11 November 2015.
Reckitt, Helena; Ahmed, Sara; Phillipson, Heather; Waidner, Isabel and Calver, Julia. 2014. 'Experimental Feminisms'. In: Experimental Feminisms. Centre for Feminist Research, Goldsmiths, United Kingdom 6 June 2014.
Reckitt, Helena. 2014. 'Do You Wish To Direct Me? Contemporary artists under the influence of feminism'. In: Dialogues on Conflict - Feminist Perspectives and Art Practice. University of Wales, Trinity Saint David, Swansea, United Kingdom 16 May 2014.
Reckitt, Helena. 2013. 'Joan & Martin Goldfarb Summer Institute, Unexpected Encounters: Sexual Difference and Art Now'. In: Joan & Martin Goldfarb Summer Institute, Unexpected Encounters: Sexual Difference and Art Now. York University, School of Art & Art History, Canada May 12 2014.
Reckitt, Helena. 2012. 'Feminist Perspectives in Art Productions and Theories of Art'. In: Feminist Perspectives in Art Productions and Theories of Art. Bilbao, Spain 5, 6, 7 October 2012.
Reckitt, Helena. 2010. 'Performing Publics, Panel on Artists’ Re-enactment'. In: Performing Publics: Artists' Re-enactments. Performance Studies International, Ontario College of Art and Design, Toronto, Canada 9 - 13 June 2010.
Reckitt, Helena; Trecartin, Ryan and Davies, Jon. 2010. 'International Lecture Series: Ryan Trecartin in conversation with Jon Davies and Helena Reckitt'. In: International Lecture Series: Ryan Trecartin. The Drake Hotel, Toronto, Canada 23 March 2010.
Reckitt, Helena; Blackwell, Adrian and Various, others. 2010. 'Love is a force that acts as the productive motor of every emancipatory politics'. In: Love is a force that acts as the productive motor of every emancipatory politics. JMB Gallery, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada 18 March 2010.
Reckitt, Helena and White, Ian. 2009. 'Talk to the Pie 6: 43 After 66, Ian White and Helena Reckitt'. In: Talk to the Pie 6: 43 After 66, Ian White and Helena Reckitt. Gladstone Hotel, Toronto, Canada 10 April 2009.
Reckitt, Helena and Young, Carey. 2009. 'Urban Field Speakers Series: Carey Young with Helena Reckitt'. In: Urban Field Speakers Series: Carey Young with Helena Reckitt. Prefix ICA, Toronto, Canada 10 March 2009.
Reckitt, Helena; Rhodes, Richard; Zeppetelli, John and Moore, Gareth. 2008. 'Delicate: Art and Post-Millennial Culture'. In: Delicate: Art and Post-Millennial Culture. Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto, Canada 20 September 2008.
Reckitt, Helena. 2008. 'Domesticity: Feminist Art and the Idea of the Home'. In: Domesticity: Feminist Art and the Idea of the Home. Ulrich Museum, Wichita, Kansas, United States 7 February 2008.
Reckitt, Helena. 2006. 'Feminist Legacies and Potentials in Contemporary Art Practice'. In: Part 2: Feminist Legacies and Potentials in Contemporary Art Practice. de Balie, Amsterdam, Netherlands 16 November 2006.
Reckitt, Helena; Gosling, Lucinda; Robinson, Hilary and Tobin, Amy, eds. 2019. The Art of Feminism: Images that Shaped the Fight for Equality. San Francisco/London: Chronicle Books/Tate Publishing. ISBN 9781849766494
Reckitt, Helena, ed. The Love Letter Collection: To Represent Them To Themselves, UNSPECIFIED, .