Reading Room


25.04.18 – 25.05.18
Chelsea Space, London
Artists: Beatrice Gibson, Alison Knowles, Ghislaine Leung, Annea Lockwood, Claire Potter, Charlotte Prodger, Carolee Schneemann, Tai Shani, Mieko Shiomi
Exhibition curated by  Karen Di Franco and Irene Revell
Reading Room curated by Carla Gimeno Jaria and Raffaella Matrone

ORGASMIC STREAMING   ORGANIC GARDENING   ELECTROCULTURE is a group exhibition looking at practices that emerge between text and performance, the page and the body, combining a display and events programme of historical and contemporary works. Newly commissioned and existing works will intersect with an array of archival material located in Carolee Schneemann’s Parts of a Body House [1968-1972], from which the exhibition title derives, and Alison Knowles and Annea Lockwood’s score anthology Womens Work [1975-8]. ORGASMIC STREAMING ORGANIC GARDENING ELECTROCULTURE seeks an alternative framework to look at the influence of conceptual procedures as well as experimental writing within contemporary feminist performance practices across visual art, sound and text. The exhibition seeks to highlight these significant trans-historical sensibilities, whilst acknowledging their disjuncts. Each artist brings a particular method, procedure or interrogation to the act of writing or performing text, blurring descriptions such as text, score, work, performance, version and iteration.

The Reading Room was articulated through the display of both artists’ books related to the exhibition and the reports of two re-enactments of the scores of Mieko Shiomi’s Spatial Poem (1965-1975) , a conceptual work in which she developed nine separate actions. Each one of those had independent instructions which Shiomi send to different colleagues and artists from all over the world asking them to perform the instructions and documented them. After they performed the actions, she collected the reports and published a book exploring the transcontinental communication, collaborative authorship and the performativity of the text.