S A L O N - LONDON presents: Unknowability and Collaborative Creative/Critical Practice: Ilya Parkins and Lara Haworth
5:00 PM17:00

S A L O N - LONDON presents: Unknowability and Collaborative Creative/Critical Practice: Ilya Parkins and Lara Haworth

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Unknowability and Collaborative Creative/Critical Practice

This presentation brings together a feminist scholar and an artist who have worked together on two projects, including a participatory art installation on unknowing. They will discuss how unknowability figures in their own work and what it enables. 

Mystery. Inscrutability. Obscurity. Opacity. 

In dwelling with these words, feminist scholars and artists might be in danger of stepping into a claustrophobic history of cultural formations that have authorised misogyny and racism. But, beginning from our practices of writing and creation, as well as from an understanding of the violence equally perpetuated by claims to full knowledge, we choose to explore how not knowing can create openings and enable new perspectives and – paradoxically – new knowledges.

Ilya Parkins will briefly outline the contours of her five-year research project on figures of feminine unknowability in the early twentieth century. She will also discuss how unknowing functions in research, and how she has embraced this as an explicitly feminist methodological principle in her scholarly work. 

Lara Haworth will talk about how unknowability figures in her art practice, particularly as it pertains to moments of unscripted, accidental interaction between installation, site and participants. She will discuss the mechanics of working with unknowability: ensuring the work is grounded in a reality, so as to make the little shocks of surprise and unknowing land in a pleasing, unfurling, way. She will also talk about the poetics of not knowing. What does a space know, or not know? Are people’s responses truly unknowable, or can they be, in some ways, predicted, worked on, drawn out? What about me? How will I be? 

Ilya and Lara will conclude by briefly discussing a new collaboration they are beginning. By exploring what the mysterious beginning phase of new work can generate, they start to work toward a temporality of unknowing.

Ilya Parkins is Associate Professor of Gender and Women’s Studies at the University of British Columbia, Okanagan Campus in Kelowna, Canada. She is the author of Poiret, Schiaparelli, and Dior: Fashion, Femininity and Modernity (Berg, 2012) and co-editor of Cultures of Femininity in Modern Fashion (University Press of New England, 2011). Her work on femininity, feminist theory, fashion and media has also appeared in such journals as Feminist ReviewAustralian Feminist StudiesTime and SocietyBiography, and French Cultural Studies. She collaborated with artist Lara Haworth on a participatory installation work called Talk to Someone You Don’t Know about Something You Don’t Know, which was produced in both Canada and the UK. Her research on unknowable femininities has been supported by a four-year grant from the Social Science and Humanities Research Council of Canada. 

Lara Haworth is an artist and a writer. She has shown her work at galleries and festivals including Koganecho Bazaar, Yokohama, Japan; Begehungen No 10, Chemnitz, Germany; Buzzcut, Glasgow, UK;  Ausform, Bristol, UK; BAC, London, UK; Belluard International Festival, Switzerland; Camden People’s Theatre, London, UK; Library of Birmingham, UK; and City Arcadia, Coventry. Her collaboration with Ilya Parkins, Talk to Someone You Don’t Know About Something You Don’t Know, recently showed at Maple Leaf Gardens in Toronto, following a successful run at the Atrium Gallery in London. Last year she also premiered a new work, The Office of the Quarry, at the Pafos City of Culture 2017 showcase in Cyprus. She has had fiction and non-fiction published in books, magazines and journals such as ACMELakeTheorizing Visual Studies and Visual Verse

CLICK HERE to learn more about Ilya and Lara's collaboration.

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S A L O N -LONDON hosts Sophie Seita in Conversation With Amy Tobin
2:30 PM14:30

S A L O N -LONDON hosts Sophie Seita in Conversation With Amy Tobin

S A L O N - LONDON presents Sophie Seita in conversation with Amy Tobin

 Venue: Fyvie Hall, University of Westminster, 309 Regent Street, London, W1B 2HT

Time: 19:00-21:00

Date: Thursday 17th August, 2018

Sophie will present a version of her experimental performance piece Don Carlos, or, Royal Jelly.

Don Carlos, or, Royal Jelly is part of Sophie’s ongoing queer-feminist project, My Little Enlightenment Plays, which emerges from historical and literary reading or what she’s called imaginary tête-a-têtes with Enlightenment thinkers, writers, and (pseudo-scientists) in the form of three conceptual closet dramas or tableaux vivants for the page that yet demand to be staged. Often in collaboration with other artists and poets, the presentation of these pieces merge poetic dialogue, choreography, music, video, and interaction with sculptural objects, which all form a material conversation with the script. In these ‘plays’, we see the shell of theatre without the theatre, and rather a joyous theatricality, where ‘my little enlightenment’ plays like a tune to be danced to, suggesting a playfulness through which Enlightenment sources were mined to make them ‘mine’. Previous pieces in the series and earlier versions have been presented at Art Night 2018 (London), Company Gallery (NYC), La MaMa Galleria (NYC), Parasol Unit, Cité Internationale des Arts (Paris), the Arnolfini, and Bold Tendencies.

“Gloriously imagined and re-imagined, Sophie Seita’s extual–performance–play hybrids tickle whimsy from grandeur, opulence from bathos and a kind of melodrama from tragedy”

(3:AM Magazine) 

“Sophie Seita bursts the view of the Enlightenment as at all enlightened, casting a star-gazing eye over its patriarchal star-fuckery.”

(Hix Eros)

Amy Tobin’s paper will address 'Sibling Rivalry in the Women's Art Movement'.

The Women's Liberation Movement of the 1970s advocated for the political power of sisterhood, but these relationships were rarely smooth. Groups formed and broke down, leading activists were trashed and excised from the organisations they founded, feminists fought over inclusivity and equality. In the connected Women's Art Movement debates around the agency of artists and the politics of representation created bad feeling between artists and critics, and fundamentally shaped the making, discussion and display of art. This talk maps some of these exchanges onto the lateral model of the sibling relation, articulating a feminist avant-garde and a more complex understanding of the call 'Sisterhood is Powerful'. 

About Sophie Seita and Amy Tobin

 Sophie Seita is an interdisciplinary artist and researcher. Her performances, lecture-performances, and videos, which visualise, embody, or translate text via poetic dialogue, sculpture, costume, installation, and choreography, have been (or will be) presented at Art Night London, SAAS-Fee Summer Institute of Art (Berlin), Kettle’s Yard (Cambridge), the Drawing School (London), the Royal Academy, Bold Tendencies (London), the Arnolfini (Bristol), La MaMa Galleria (NYC), Cité Internationale des Arts (Paris), Parasol Unit (London), Company Gallery (NYC), and elsewhere. She’s the author of the poetry and performance books Meat (Little Red Leaves, 2015) and Fantasias in Counting (BlazeVOX, 2014), and the artist book 12 Steps (Wide Range, 2012); the translator of Uljana Wolf’s Subsisters: Selected Poems (Belladonna*, 2017); and the editor of a facsimile reprint of The Blind Man (Ugly Duckling Presse, 2017). Other writing, translations, and interviews have been featured in Best American Experimental Writing 2018The White ReviewBombEmergency IndexLana TurnerThe London Review of BooksHotel, and 3:AM. As a Junior Research Fellow at Queens’ College, University of Cambridge, she’s currently finishing her book Provisional Avant-Gardes: Little Magazine Communities from Dada to Digital, which is forthcoming from Stanford University Press.

Amy Tobin is lecturer in the Department of History of Art at the University of Cambridge and Curator at Kettle’s Yard, Cambridge. Her research has been published in British Art StudiesMIRAJ and Tate Papers and she has chapters in Other Cinemas: Politics, Culture and Experimental Film in the 1970s (edited by Sue Clayton and Laura Mulvey, IB Tauris, 2017), Feminism and Art History Now (edited by Victoria Horne and Lara Perry, IB Tauris, 2017) and Blackwell Companion to Feminist Art (edited by Maria Buszek and Hilary Robinson, forthcoming). She is also co-editor of London Art Worlds: Mobile, Contingent and Ephemeral Networks 1960–1980 (Penn State University Press, 2018) and the author of 14 Radnor Terrace: A Woman’s Place (Raven Row, 2017).  







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S A L O N -LONDON presents Whose voice is it anyway? Feminist Inclusivity in Practice and Theory
6:30 PM18:30

S A L O N -LONDON presents Whose voice is it anyway? Feminist Inclusivity in Practice and Theory

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Whose voice is it anyway? Feminist Inclusivity in Practice and Theory features a diverse, interdisciplinary panel of writers and academics whose work engages with the intersectionaiity of feminist theory and practice. Our four speakers - Eleanor Perry, Linda Stupart, Isabel Waidner, and Nala Xaba - will consider how inclusive feminism is, whether and how it should be inclusive, and how their own work challenges, transgresses, problematises, experiments and interacts with feminism. The evening, which focuses on three of S A L O N's key pillars: Solidarity, Activism and Language, will consider especially the following questions. 

How does the experimental and innovative writing and readings of works engage with present forms of feminism?

How do these forms of writing challenge, resist, and actively reshape feminist practice?

Attendance is free, but as space is limited we do request that you register for a ticket here


Eleanor Perry’s poetry publications include Of Parasites & Proximities (Contraband Books, 2017); Meat ∙ Volt ∙ Interruption (Oystercatcher, 2015); and Venusberg (Veer Books, 2015). She has written on inarticulacy and resistance in the work of Maggie O’Sullivan; on Claudia Rankine’s body of poetry; and is currently finishing a monograph on the gendered binaries and hierarchies of elegy and its scholarship. She co-edits the online poetry zine DATABLEED with Juha Virtanen and teaches at University of Kent.

Linda Stupart is an artist, writer, and educator from Cape Town, South Africa, completing their PhD in 2016 in the Art Department at Goldsmiths College with a project engaged in new considerations of objectification and abjection. Their current work engages with queer theory, science fiction, environmental crises, magic, language, desire, and revenge. They had a solo show at Arcadia Missa in March 2016, A Dead Writer Exists in Words and Language is a Type of Virus and recently launched their debut novella, Virus, also at Arcadia Missa. Their work has been the focus of two solo exhibitions in Cape Town and has also recently been shown/performed at Matt’s Gallery, Tate, The Showroom, a.m. gallery, the ICA, Gasworks, and Guest Projects in London. In 2017 they curated DEEP ANGER TRUE LOVE TENDER CARE at The Horse Hospital. Stupart has taught at the University of Cape Town, Goldsmiths, Camberwell Arts College, London College of Communication, and University of Reading. They have worked as workshop artist in education teams at South London Gallery, Battersea Arts Centre and Tate Galleries. Stupart is currently working with Tate Schools and Teachers on an in-schools resource using art to talk about gender.

Isabel Waidner is a writer and cultural theorist. Her books include Gaudy Bauble (Dostoyevsky Wannabe, 2017) and Liberating the Canon: An Anthology of Innovative Literature (ed., Dostoyevsky Wannabe, 2018). Gaudy Bauble was described as a "beguiling, hilarious, rollocking and language-metamorphosing novel" by writer and critic Olivia Laing. It was shortlisted for the TLS-sponsored Republic of Consciousness Prize for innovative fiction in 2018. Waidner's articles and short fictions have appeared in journals including 3:AM, Berfrois, Configurations, The Happy Hypocrite, The Quietus and Minor Literature[s]. As part of the indie band Klang, Waidner released records on UK labels Rough Trade (2003) and Blast First (2004). She is a lecturer in Creative Writing at Roehampton University in London.

Nala Xaba is an artist and curator from Johannesburg, South Africa. She is currently completing an MA in Postcolonial Culture and Global Policy at Goldsmiths College, as a Chevening Fellow. Her work has attempted to engage questions of the body and the healing potentiality of alternative inter-modal translations and readings of our experiences. While studying at the University of Cape Town (UCT), Nala assistant-curated Moses Tladi Unearthed, in September 2015 at the IZIKO National Gallery and curated her own Memories in Motion: Metaphors in the Archives of Dance and Trauma, in November of the same year. While serving as editing coordinator at pan-Africanist platform Chimurenga, from 2016-2017, she was awarded the Institute of Creative Arts' (ICA) Live Art Fellowship; and made up part of the main cast of feminist webseries, The Foxy Five. Her current work works through phenomenology and embodiment studies to explore narratologies of folk lore, conspiracy and rumour; in pursuit of reimagined conceptions of collective will and desire.

The event is organised by S A L O N curators Isabelle Coy-Dibley and Genna Gardini who wish to foreground S A L O N as a feminist environment for bringing about change by finding new forms of feminist kinship. They see this event as interrogating S A L O N’s assertion that 'Experimental, multi-modal, transgender and multi-lingual languages are emerging as linguistic forms for inscribing voiceless narratives of those excluded and marginalised.'

S A L O N - LONDON is directed by Georgina Colby and Susan Rudy. This event has been made possible with the support of the Centre for Poetry and the School of English and Drama at Queen Mary University of London, the Institute of Modern and Contemporary Culture and the School of English, Linguistics and Cultural Studies at the University of Westminster, and through space and support provided by St. Katharine's Precinct


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S A L O N - SUNDAY with Erín Moure and So Mayer
4:00 PM16:00

S A L O N - SUNDAY with Erín Moure and So Mayer

Join us and moderator So Mayer to speak with Erín Moure about Paraguayan Sea by Wilson Bueno (her most recent translation) and Planetary Noise,her collected poems, edited by Shannon Maguire.

Tickets available here

Paraguayan Sea by Wilson Bueno is a queer homage to the multiplicity of languages and to life by a wonderful Brazilian writer, rendered in Frenglish.

Planetary Noise is described in The New York Times as 'a career-spanning selection' by the 'much-honored Canadian poet who began in the late 1970s as the exponent of a cerebral, knife-sharp feminism': 

During the 1980s her books tried to untangle power and patriarchy and mere habit from the roots and boles of a newer language, as well as to alter the shape of the poem on the page. The results, with their “peaceable discontinuity,” could end up airily theoretical, or startle with sudden passion, almost as in the long poems of C.D. Wright: “When your ankle touched my shoulder / the cord shudders in the spine.” The later Moure pays homage to role models like the Brazilian novelist Clarice Lispector; she also translates poetry, and makes her own poems reflect the process of translation, veering “out of the monolingualism … that would keep boundaries pure.” Moure’s sense remains hard to fix, which is part of her point: Translations with real originals, ambient thoughts carved from air, design elements from art books, and slices of philosophy circulate in work created never to settle down, never to narrow to any one point.

Meet Erin on her website, where she describes herself as follows.  

Poet in English and English/Galician, translator of poetry—especially the syntactically strange or "difficult"— from Galician, French, Spanish, and Portuguese to English. Lives in Montreal and Kelowna, works everywhere. Allergic person, friend, lesboqueer, cyclist commuter, small footprint on earth.

Erin Moure selfie with Susan Rudy.jpeg

Based in London, Sophie Mayer is a poet, film activist, and scholar who sees her academic work as of a piece with her creative and journalistic writing. She balances a passion for cultural research and close reading with a commitment to advocating for innovative cultural projects outside the academic community. The Canadians among us may know that she completed her PhD dissertation, Script Girls and Automatic Women: A Feminist Film Poetics, under the direction of Professor Linda Hutcheon at the University of Toronto.

 So Mayer

So Mayer

S A L O N - LONDON is directed by Georgina Colby and Susan Rudy. S A L O N - SUNDAY with Erín Moure has been funded by the Centre for Poetry and the School of English and Drama at Queen Mary University of London, in collaboration with the Institute of Modern and Contemporary Culture at the University of Westminster.

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S A L O N - LONDON presents Laynie Browne in conversation with Andrea Brady
7:00 PM19:00

S A L O N - LONDON presents Laynie Browne in conversation with Andrea Brady

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Join us to hear Laynie Browne in conversation with Andrea Brady.

Update 4 March 2018. Attending this event will not involve crossing picket lines: the University of Westminster is not involved in the strike action.

Laynie will be reading from three works:

Periodic Companions is a novel with characters based on the periodic table of elements. Relationships are based upon chemistry, and characters investigate poetics, contemplative practices, and outsider culture. Overwhelmed with the futility of institutional structures, and impelled to act in response to tragic acts of violence, the elemental characters create a collective action based upon chemical signalling using human tears, in the hopes of inventing a new context for non-violent protest.

You Envelop Me

A book length poetic elegy, You Envelop Me takes its title from the thirty-second psalm and explores connections between birth and loss. How does one in mourning converse with those absent, yet ever present? These poems seek to enter that sturdy edifice of emptiness, wherein time is suspended, and one is paradoxically held by the departed. How is a motherless daughter conceived? What befalls those who succumb to waves of grief akin to contractions of birth? You Envelop Me is woven from contemplative practices which permit us to approach the unimaginable. The world with the beloved removed is permanently altered, perhaps most significantly in the way the living learn that indispensible vision occurs beyond the visible world.

The Book of Moments (forthcoming 2018, in two editions, one English, one French, from Presses Universitaires de rouen et du havre, Rouen, France)

This book of relatively short prose fiction/hybrid pieces is an exploration in reinvention of forms: including the found, the invented and foregrounding perception as subject and object. This book seeks the boundary between real and imagined and hovers at a location often in between. This work is inspired by the revolutionary prose of writers such as Lydia Davis, Marguerite Duras, Hélène Cixous, and others writing off the map between genres, outside conventional expectations of “story.”

A poet, prose writer, teacher and editorLaynie Browne is author of thirteen collections of poems and three novels. Her most recent collections of poems include You Envelop Me (Omnidawn 2017) P R A C T I C E (SplitLevel 2015), and Scorpyn Odes (Kore Press 2015). Recent books of prose include the novel Periodic Companions (2018) and short fiction in The Book of Moments(2018). Her honors include a 2014 Pew Fellowship, the National Poetry Series Award (2007) for her collection The Scented Fox, and the Contemporary Poetry Series Award (2005) for her collection Drawing of a Swan Before Memory. Her poetry has been translated into French, Spanish, Chinese and Catalan. Her writing has appeared in many anthologies including The Norton Anthology of Post Modern Poetry (second edition 2013), Ecopoetry: A Contemporary American Anthology (Trinity University Press, 2013), Bay Poetics (Faux Press, 2006) and The Reality Street Book of Sonnets (Reality Street, 2008). She teaches at University of Pennsylvania and at Swarthmore College.

 Laynie Browne

Laynie Browne

Laynie will be in conversation with Andrea Brady, who will also be reading from her current work. Andrea is a poet and Professor of Poetry at Queen Mary, University of London. Andrea's books of poetry include The Strong Room (2016), Dompteuse(2014), Cut from the Rushes (2013), Mutability: Scripts for Infancy (2012), and Wildfire: A Verse Essay on Obscurity and Illumination (2010). She is Professor of Poetry at Queen Mary University of London, where she runs the Centre for Poetry and the Archive of the Now.

 Andrea Brady

Andrea Brady

S A L O N - LONDON is directed by Georgina Colby and Susan Rudy. S A L O N - LONDON presents Laynie Browne has been funded by the Institute of Modern and Contemporary Culture at the University of Westminster, in collaboration with the Centre for Poetry at Queen Mary, University of London.

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7:00 PM19:00

S A L O N - LONDON presents Redell Olsen in conversation with Carolyn Pedwell

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Atomic Guildswomen.jpeg

To launch SALON-LONDON, a site for reading and responding to the present through women's experimental writing, we will be hosting Redell Olsen in conversation with Carolyn Pedwell. 

Redell Olsen will read from and introduce two recent works: ‘Woolf / Apelles’ and ‘Atomic Guildswomen’. Carolyn Pedwell will give a short paper on digital culture, intuition and new social movements

Admission is free. To reserve your ticket, click here.  

Redell Olsen’s poetic practice comprises poetry as well as texts for performance, film and installation. Her publications include Film Poems (Les Figues, 2014), 'Punk Faun: a bar rock pastel' (Subpress, 2012), 'Secure Portable Space' (Reality Street, 2004), 'Book of the Fur' (rem press 2000), and, in collaboration with the bookartist Susan Johanknecht, 'Here Are My Instructions' (Gefn, 2004). Her work is included in Infinite Difference: Other Poetries by UK Women Poets (Shearsman, 2010), I’ll Drown My Book: 'Conceptual Writing by Women' (Les Figues Press, 2011) and Out of Everywhere 2: Linguistically Innovative Poetry by Women in North America & the UK (Reality Street Press, 2016). In 2017 she published two bookworks Smock and Mox Nox. She has also published a number of critical articles on contemporary poetry and the relationship between contemporary poetics and the visual arts. In 2002 she set up the influential MA in Poetic Practice at Royal Holloway which she still runs as part of the MA in Creative Writing. From 2006 - 2010 she was the editor of How2, the international online journal for Modernist and contemporary writing by women. In 2013-14 she was the visiting Judith E. Wilson fellow at the University of Cambridge. In 2016-17, in association with other members of staff from English and Modern Languages at Royal Holloway, she led the HARC funded project ‘Nature and Other Forms of That Matter’. She is Director of the Poetics Research Centre at Royal Holloway. 

Carolyn Pedwell is Associate Professor in Cultural Studies at the University of Kent, where she is Head of Cultural Studies and Media. Carolyn has been Visiting Fellow at the Department of Gender and Cultural Studies, University of Sydney; the Centre for the History of Emotions, Queen Mary University of London; and the Gender Institute, London School of Economics. She is the author of Affective Relations: The Transnational Politics of Empathy (Palgrave, 2014) and Feminism, Culture and Embodied Practice (Routledge, 2010). Her new book, Transforming Habit: Revolution, Routine and Social Change, is under contract with McGill-Queen’s University Press. Carolyn is also an Editor of Feminist Theory journal. To learn more about the subject of her talk, click here

S A L O N - LONDON is organized by Georgina Colby and Susan Rudy. Our launch has been funded by the Institute of Modern and Contemporary Culture at the University of Westminster, the Department of English, Linguistics and Cultural Studies at the University of Westminster; the Centre for Poetry, Queen Mary University of London, and the School of English and Drama, Queen Mary University of London.

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