This month sees the opening of Still I Rise: Feminisms, Gender, Resistance – Act 3 at Bristol’s Arnolfini Gallery, showcasing stories of resistance through feminist art pertaining to stories often relating to the history of Bristol itself.
Billed as focusing on "the his/her story of resistance movements and alternative forms of living from a gendered perspective”; the exhibition looks at the idea of resistance across various ages and places and in a range of scales – some works look at the domestic sphere, others at large-scale, politicised uprisings.
The pieces on show space the last 19th century to the present; all with a broader curatorial eye on intersectional thinking and feminist and queer thought and action.
More than 100 pieces by around 70 artists are on display across visual art, writing, architecture, design and activism.
The global nature of the show means that pieces relating to recent women-led uprisings and demonstrations range from mass protests in Argentina confronting violence against women,'Ni Una Menos', to the global Women’s Strike in America to the Civil Rights Movement, resistance against dictatorships in Latin America in the 1960s–70s, independence movements against colonial rule in Africa and Haiti, the Women’s Liberation Movement, the AIDS crisis and the Stonewall Rebellion in 1969 that spread headed the gay rights movement.
"At Arnolfini, Still I Rise responds to Bristol's history as a port in the Transatlantic Slave Trade by focusing on black feminist strategies of resistance, through both art and activism," says the gallery. "Amplifying a range of histories and voices, the exhibition also features a 'polyvocal' archive with contributions by guest researcher-curators.
"These emphasise Bristol's reputation as a hotbed for grassroots initiatives through a focus on local artists, activist histories, and material drawn from Feminist Archive South. Initiated in 1978 and based in Bristol, FAS is said to be the UK's first archive of feminist writing, publications, and donated material."
The show, which runs from now until 15 December 2019, will be accompanied by a series of performances, screenings, events, and conversations pertaining to the themes of the exhibition such as a performance by NYC-based performance artist Keijaun Thomas and a weekly screening programme of film and video work, including new work by Bristol-based artist Bryony Gillard, who was recently shortlisted for the Jerwood/FVU Award, as well as a family programme of artist-led workshop spaces for young people and their families.
Among the artists and collectives on show are Xenobia Bailey, Glenn Belverio (Glennda Orgasm), Judy Chicago, Blondell Cummings, Gille de Vlieg, Dyke Action Machine!, Gran Fury, Feminist Land Art Retreat, Guo Fengyi, fierce pussy (Nancy Brooks Brody, Joy Episalla, Zoe Leonard, and Carrie Yamaoka), Corita Kent, Ana Mendieta, Turner Prize 2019 nominee Tai Shani, Pamela Singh, Monica Sjöö, Terence Smith (Joan Jett Blakk), Linda Stupart, Ramaya Tegegne, Women Against Pit Closures and Zadie Xa, Osías Yanov.
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