BODIES OF SILENCE #2: STATE & STATUSES IN ART & CULTURAL PRODUCTION
@ Royal College of Art, London (Sculpture Department)
Tuesday 12 February 2013
16:00 – 20:00

BODIES OF SILENCE is a special project curated in support of the ONE BILLION RISING London Art Festival. For this second event, CUNTemporary co-directors and curators Giulia Casalini and Diana Georgiou will open up a discussion on violence, social justice and art activism with a presentation of video works by artists Şükran Moral (Zina, 2007) and Regina José Galindo (Marabunta, 2011). Artist Sukran Moral will be present for the final panel discussion.

SYMPOSIUM ABSTRACT: State and Statuses in Art and Cultural Production

‘The public is formally supreme over the private, the private a space inside which power is left alone by public authorities. Women have historically been relegated to and identified with the private, excluded from and, when present, subordinated in public’ (MacKinnon, 2006)

Taking its cue from Catharine MacKinnon’s essay introducing the book Are women human? And other international dialogues this symposium seeks to address the treatment and discussions of women within the UK.

While recognizing that gender identification is not sex specific this event hopes to explore the psychological aspects of subjugation, the public versus the private through the perspective of psychoanalysis, and the social reverberations within communities by looking at how artists explore and experience these domains where status and entitlement are key. The question is, with men battling other men for control of states and the women encompassed within them, does this male dominance over public space pertain to the space of the gallery? When artists operate within this sphere of the public, questions of entitlement arise. In this context is women’s work seen as marginal, and not fit for public consumption? Is female art and language only integrated into female culture, while male art and language is assimilated into our culture? If the female is still relegated to the private, does this deny women and men their female voice? At this symposium we will have a range of speakers who have access to what is often left unheard.

With an introduction by artist Rose Gibbs speakers will offer insights into the realities of partner violence and domestic servitude as witnessed by professionals who work with the victims, as well as artists and curators who explore this area. The speakers will include: Susie Orbach (psychoanalyst), Hermione Wiltshire (artist and head of photography at the RCA), Ratna Lachman (Director of Just – promoting racial justice, civil liberties and human rights), Catherine Long (artist and PhD candidate at Chelsea College of Art and Design), Emily-Anna Gibbs (immigration and employment lawyer, co-founder of ATLU – An Anti Trafficking and Labour Exploitation Unit) and CUNTemporary, together with special guest Sukran Moral.