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
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”
“Sophie Seita bursts the view of the Enlightenment as at all enlightened, casting a star-gazing eye over its patriarchal star-fuckery.”
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 2018, The White Review, Bomb, Emergency Index, Lana Turner, The London Review of Books, Hotel, 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 Studies, MIRAJ 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).