5 March - 9 March, 2019

The Swiss Church


Opening event with live

performances

Tuesday 5 March 6.30-9.30pm

Reading group FDRG

Wednesday 6 March 7-10pm

Screening

 Thursday 7 March 7-10pm

Workshops

Saturday 9 March 11-8pm  
 

Exhibition opening times
Wednesday to Friday 11-6pm and Saturday 11-8pm 

 

THE TABLE

 

 

The table carries a variety of differing associations. It evokes images of domestic intimacy, as well as ideas about horizontality and democracy. By default, however, it also represents methods of hierarchisation and exclusion – Who gets a seat at the table?

 

Containing the potential to facilitate spaces of equality as well as of discrimination, the table simultaneously embodies mechanisms of both inclusion and exclusion.

 

A large wooden table is at the centre of the exhibition. It lays the foundations for realising the project: artworks, performances, video screenings, readings and workshops aim at working through these dichotomies present in our everyday lives. Considering the exhibition space as a site of production of knowledge rather than display, The Table is an experiment to activate the exhibition towards a place of discussion, collectivism and community.

 

In order to support art practices informed by intersectional feminism, postcolonial studies and queer theory, we must resist colonial and heteronormative models of display and create alternative methodologies. In this context, it seems necessary that the exhibition space should lend itself to action. Developed in collaboration with artists Laura Mallows, Hannah Wilson, Rosa Johan Uddoh, Emily Perry and Munesu Mukombe, the artworks were made in response to the table as a site of social inter/action.

 

The table as the site of domestic labour: Laura Mallow’s jelly sculptures, ceramic plates, Venus Vases, flowers and herbs form a display of feminised work as well as feminine fantasies and parodies which are explored by blurring the line between cooking and witchcraft - healing and care as power that empowers women within and beyond the domestic space.

 

The table as a site for female representation: Hannah Wilson’s clay sculptures celebrate beauty in all types of female bodies. They represent unapologetic women who are queer, bold and big, full of autonomous personality, whilst simultaneously forming autobiographical portraits.

 

The table as the site of female performativity: Emily Perry’s performance A General (Ch)air of Malaise, is set at a dinner party. One woman holds a knife and fork in her hands and checks her teeth in the table’s reflective surface. Two women move towards the table at once; they both politely stop and gesture to let the other go first. The cycle is stopped by another woman who walks towards the table. They smile, they never interrupt the conversation, they scan the table (as if checking everyone has wine), they read the room.

 

The table as the site for normativity, policing and civilising: Rosa Johan Uddoh’s performance The Belly of the World takes place during dinner, between the social expectations of her behaviour at the dinner table and a morsel of chicken’s journey through her digestive system - passing and mapping the history (past and present) of the black woman’s belly.

 

The table as the site for empathy, solidarity and self-identification: Munesu Mukombe’s performance I need you more, thats life itself is a love letter to the other in search of self-identification and recognition. It asks to participate in a culture that, like a mirage, is always in the distance. Using desire as a focal point she discusses the need and want for other black woman in and out of white spaces.

 

The Feminist Duration Reading Group will bring to the table the opportunity to study little-known and underappreciated feminist texts, movements and struggles from outside the Anglo-American feminist tradition. During this session, Elif Sarican will introduce Kurdish feminisms.

 

Following the same line of thought, the screening of video works was organised through an open call, in an attempt to be diverse in the themes that are being considered feminist here. The evening will feature works by Helen Brewer, Alexis Calvas, Beth Perkin, Korallia Stergides, Alyona Larionova, Antonia Luxem, Emma Prempeh, Helga Dorothea Fannon, Sabrina Fuller, Gabrielle Le Bayon and Hannah Beadman. These works share in common a celebration of storytelling and first-person narration of women’s lives, fantasies and experiences, but also intergenerational care and sharing of knowledge, particularly within the family and the domestic space. Moreover, there is a dreamlike fluidity of imagination and positivity that is invigorating throughout. During an informal discussion with Zaiba Jabbar, these common elements will be explored in parallel with the ideas laid out by The Table, with a view to creating space for a multiplicity of voices in the arts and beyond.

 

To conclude the week of events, there are workshops: Life Drawing with artist Hannah Wilson, Recipes Against Patriarchy with artist Laura Mallows, and Digital Empathy: Fighting with 'grrrr' and 😠 with curator Jorge Van Den Eynde. These endeavour to resolve many of the questions raised here and through participatory and performative experiments. The Table hopes to bring together a community of shared interests and concerns to be continued and developed collaboratively.

 

 

Mariana Lemos

 

Support by the Swiss Church and Goldsmiths University 

 

Tuesday 5 March 6.30-9.30pm

 

Opening & performances 

6.30-9.30pm A General (Ch)air of Malaise by Emily Perry

with Jasmine Newsome-Stone, Fiona Verran, Lydia Wood, Isabelle Hodgkiss, Adele Lazzeri, Amy Bentley Klein, Xiaoman Huang, Ginny Anne Peszynska and Amelia Brown. 

7.30pm I need you more, thats life itself  by Munesu Mukombe

with Yvonne Gyamfi 

8pm Belly of the World by Rosa Johan Uddoh

 

 

FREE & OPEN TO ALL

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Wednesday 7 March 7-10pm

 

FDRG

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This meeting of the Feminist Duration Reading Group is the second exploring aspects of contemporary Kurdish feminism and considers women’s roles in the Kurdish political movement and in broader Kurdish society.The conversation will centre on texts written by Kurdish authors and activists Abdullah Öcalan and Sakine Cansiz, and their views on feminism, gender equality, women’s rights and demand for women’s liberation globally.

Abdullah Öcalan’s Liberating Life: Woman’s Revolution, comprising extracts from books written throughout his life, gives an overview of women’s rights.

Sakine Cansiz’s Sara: My Whole Life Was a Struggle is an autobiographical account of her life in parallel with the ongoing Kurdish movement until her arrest in 1979.

Led by Kezia Davies and Mariana Lemos, the session features guest speaker Elif Sarican, anthropologist and activist, who will introduce the texts. She has spoken at many events such as the Women’s Strike and Who Would be Free Themselves Must Strike the Blow at Nottingham Contemporary. 

This session will be held as part of The Table, a week long exhibition and series of events developed by Mariana Lemos as part of the cultural programme of The Swiss Church. Considering the active position of feminist practices within the space of an exhibition, the programme evokes images of domestic intimacy, and ideas of horizontality and democracy, while also drawing attention to who routinely gets included, and excluded, from the table?

 

It feels important to bring to the FDRG and The Table Kurdish feminisms writings to inspire us to reimagine our own position, particularly in a time and place, that coincides with the Women’s Strike - Friday 8th March.

Texts:
Please bring copies with you. No advance reading is required as we will read together, out loud, on the night

Abdullah Öcalan Liberating Life: Woman’s Revolution pp40 – 43 and pp54 – 60

Sakine Cansiz Sara: My Whole Life Was a Struggle pp55 – 71 and pp273 – 287



The Feminist Duration Reading Group focuses on under-known and under-appreciated feminist texts, movements, and struggles from outside the Anglo-American feminist tradition. Started at Goldsmiths, University of London, in March 2015, since July 2015 it has been generously hosted by SPACE in Hackney. The group also regularly meets in non-institutional spaces, including in community centres and in the homes of friends of the group where cooking and eating combine with reading and talking.

The Feminist Duration Reading Group welcomes feminists of all genders and generations to explore the legacy and resonance of art, thinking and collective practice from earlier periods of feminism, in dialogue with contemporary practices and movements. It is led by the Feminist Duration Working Group whose current members are Giulia Antonioli, Angelica Bollettinari, Lina Džuverović, Sabrina Fuller, Haley Ha, Lily Evans-Hill, Félicie Kertudo, Mariana Lemos, Roisin O’Sullivan, Ceren Özpinar, Sara Paiola, Helena Reckitt, Justin Seng, and Fiona Townend.

If you would like to join the reading group mailing list, propose a focus for a subsequent session, or invite us to lead a meeting, please write to feministduration@gmail.com.

 

FREE & OPEN TO ALL

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Thursday 7 March 7-10pm

Screening  

Helen Brewer, Alexis Calvas, Beth Perkin

Korallia Stergides

Alyona Larionova

Antonia Luxem

Emma Prempeh

Helga Dorothea Fannon

Sabrina Fuller

Gabrielle Le Bayon

Hannah Beadman

8.30pm Drinks & informal discussion chaired by Zaiba Jabbar (Artist, Curator and Founder of Hervisions)

FREE & OPEN TO ALL

Seated event - please RSPV

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Strange Islands

Helen Brewer, Alexis Calvas, Beth Perkin

4 mins 12 sec, HD Video, 2019

Strange Islands is a meditative collage on the relationship between place, memory and climate. The artist and her mother are separated between two islands, one is Britain, the other, the Philippines. While on one island, changing weather has little material impact on people’s day-to-day lives, the other, as one of the most natural-disaster prone countries in the world, feels the full force of environmental catastrophe. In this context, a mother recalls memories and experiences to her daughter about the weather, illuminating the spatio-political implications that underpin climate change. Using the symbol of the table to ground the work, in a figurative sense “the table” spans continents. Who gets a seat at it comes down to geography, with countries in the global south invariably denied their rightful place. Similarly, the work suggests another kind of table - “the “water table” which constitutes fluidity of identity and memory against rising sea levels, flooding and droughts.  

 

“We are all burnt by ultraviolet rays. We all contain water in about the same ratio as Earth does, and salt water in the same ratio that the oceans do. We are poems about the hyperobject Earth.” - Timothy Morton, Hyperobjects: Philosophy and Ecology after the End of the World

 

www.helen-brewer.com

@h3llohelen

@mx_alexis_

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Whale For An Ear

Korallia Stergides

3 mins 19 sec, HD Video, 2017

Commissioned by the ICA, Produced by Chisenhale Gallery

in partnership with Channel 4 Random Acts, Funded by Arts Council UK

The film is an abstract representation of the ocean and how it resonates with an idea of home. Placing my father, a refugee and amateur magician, at the centre of the work, the film brings into question reality and  fiction. Spoken narration weaves together anatomical descriptions of whales, ecological facts and poetry; whilst animated segments explore the surfaces of three objects - a fragment of driftwood and two shells, found on a beach in San Francisco. The renderings shift our perception of these objects and we experience them as both body and site. Autobiographical narrative, myth and scientific fact become gateways between the Macrocosm and the Microcosm.

http://korallia.co.uk

@aillarok

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Staying With The Trouble

Alyona Larionova 

14 mins 05 sec, HD Video and CGI, 2018

A hybrid documentary film that follows a Kazakh berkutchi (eagle-hunter) on his journey to tame his wild eagle, Sadak. The film draws upon the unique bond between the hunter and his eagle to provide a meditation on power relations in a world dealing with security crisis and accelerating hyperconnectivity. Oscillating between states of control and submission, berkutchi, Sadak, a judoist, and a border control officer, offer viewers their own bodily interpretations of the constantly shifting power scales.

 

www.alyonalarionova.com

@alyona.larionov

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Dearest Degenerate

Antonia Luxem

9 mins 51 sec, HD Video, 2018

This piece is an address, in the form of a letter, to the close and homophobic person. It is a deconstructed reaction to the underlying and violent, invisible and yet prevalent homophobia within our society. It was developed from material found in personal notebooks and diaries and inspired by books such as Didier Eribon’s “Insult and the Making of the Gay Self” and José Esteban Muñoz’s “Cruising Utopia”.

www.antonialuxem.com

@antonialuxem

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In Time

Emma Prempeh

2 mins, HD Video, 2018

In Time reflects a generational time leap between who the artist is and who her mother and grandmother are as immigrants originating from St. Vincent and the Grenadines. By looking at heritage and family the artist confronts themes of time and the effects it has on family in the present moment.'

www.emmaprempeh.com 

@reclus_e

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Amma Min

Helga Dorothea Fannon

12 mins, HD Video, 2017

Amma Min is an experimental short film through history, memory and subjectivity, of my relationship with my late grandmother.
The film was a testament to the cruel passing of time, but also an affectionate ode to memories. 

www.helgadorothea.com

@helgadorothea

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Grethel 

Sabrina Fuller

6 mins and 23 sec, HD Video, 2018

A journey is made deep in to the forest; a cake is baked; a grandmother reads to her grand-daughter and then she cuts the cake. Over these three, intertwined, narratives a voice-over relates extracts from Grimm’s fairy tale, Hansel and Gretel. Time is non-linear: real and fictional characters overlap and merge; interact or play together; create, destroy or resist; or menace or betray one another. The work invites reflection on how ideas and images of the different stages of womanhood, and of cross-generational relationships, are established and perpetuated.

www.sabrinafuller.com

@sabrinasusanfuller

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GET IN TOUCH

Gabrielle Le Bayon

10 mins, HD Video, 2018

With Elina Lowensohn's voice & Juliette Mirété
Production G.R.E.C. (Groupe de Recherches et d'Essais Cinématographiques), Paris

A day in the life and work of Flora the witch doctor. Through her online tutorial, she casts the spell away from those who are bewitched. Today a woman gets in touch with her. 
If you wish to get in touch, she will help you to set free from the spell. She invites you to log in to her site in order to find the image you have always wished to find within yourself, the missing image at the source. She invites you to a sorcery far from the black magic of medieval Catholicism, colonizations, and fairy tales. Far from these definitions, she will guide you through the manipulation of symbols, substances and objects. She will reveal to you an image of our conception, which always haunts us in the mystery of our civilisations. The image you will see, is a sign placed between you and your fate. Finally you will have to forget the real to see the image.

www.gabriellelebayon.com

@gabrielle_le_bayon

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Aphrodite 

Hannah Beadman

3 mins 26 sec, HD Video, 2018

From a meditation at the Mediterranean Aphrodite temple, an ancient site overlooking the sea, considered her birth place: touch & gentleness of women's space as feminist, necessary, healing and contemporary; sound is the voices of water, precognitive, immersive, trance

www.hannahbeadman.blogspot.com

@

 
 

 

Saturday 9 March 11-8pm

Workshops​​

  • 11-1pm Life Drawing with Hannah Wilson

Life drawing sessions and discussion about beauty and the proportion of bodies in drawing, in particular the female body. Wilson’s life size clay sculpture of a female figure will be the subject of a series of life drawing exercises, which aim to loosen up the approach to drawing and ideals of beauty. We will provide materials for drawing, but feel free to bring your own. 

  • 2-4pm Digital Empathy: Fighting with 'grrrr' and 😠with Jorge Van Den Eynde

This workshop is a study on online conflict towards an understanding of a digital empathy. It questions the misunderstandings and arguments that happen when communication is mediated by chat apps, reflecting on how our social relationships depend on technological devices and how they shape our communication and language. Participants should bring a sample of any online conversation that has brought conflict to them, texts messages, e-mail threads or Facebook/Instagram comments. These samples will be re-enacted by the participants, which will provide a physical perspective of the conversation, showing how the digital space would look face-to-face. The embodiment of these conflicts and discussion about the different dimension of interpretation and discomfort will bring the group together in a kind of group-therapy-ish style of collective empathy. 

Please bring some examples printed or on your phone, if you feel comfortable to share them with us and we will have some samples for you too. 

 

Jorge Van Den Eynde is an independent curator studying the MFA in Curating at Goldsmiths. His research interests focus on the digital sphere and how empathy is produced within it. 

  • 5-7 pm Recipes Against Patriarchy with Laura Mallows

Mallows invites you to discuss what patriarchy is - what it looks like, what it smells like and what it tastes like - through a performative workshop using her jelly sculptures, flowers, herbs and Venus Vases on the table's installation. Collaboratively we will make a positive potion to take with us into the world and to use where and when we feel necessary as an antidote against patriarchy. The Venus Vases approach the subject of our perception of self and womanhood through ancient symbols, exploring our relationship beyond human to human relations. They will help us channel our goddess powers into making this potion affective and imagining new futures. This work hopes to play on the domesticity of a cooking class while using action as a catalyst of resistance.

This recipe is not to be used to harm others, it is for positive future action and to enhance strength and solidarity. 
We will provide materials, but we encourage you to bring any spices or everyday flavoursome ingredients that you feel should be included in this recipe, perhaps components that recall memories or emote personal experiences.


 

FREE & OPEN TO ALL

Note: The workshop organisers are not trained psychotherapists or teachers, do not have the capacity to support any serious issues participants may have and the Swiss Church in London takes no liability in relation to this. These workshops are being held as part of artistic and research practices - if any participants feel themselves to be vulnerable or have had adverse experiences relating to any of the workshops they should not participate in these workshops.

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