Last week at The Hole in New York City, Future Feminism finally came to fruition in the two-room gallery space on Bowery. The eponymous collective of artists who devised it, the Future Feminists, were on hand to celebrate the debut of their hallmark works that were three years in the making. Composed of sisters Sierra and Bianca Casady (of CocoRosie fame), Kembra Pfahler, Johanna Constantine and Antony Hegarty, this collective of artists produced a series of wall hanging sculptures and a looped video as an aesthetic culmination of their intellectual and political thoughts surrounding hetero-normativity, female empowerment and the future of both.
The result is, most prominently, 13 large stone disks cut from a beautifully polished rose quartz. The marbled fleshy surface calls to mind everything from the womb to the cosmos, enhanced even more so by their circular configuration – a symbol steeped in pan-cultural references to eternity and reproduction. Engraved in formal typeface is a chronologically ordered listing of the tenants of Future Feminism.
It begins with: 1. The Subjugation of Women and Earth is One and the Same. And from there, this dogmatic list begins to etch out a declaration of leading principles. Keeping in line with the communal, discussion lead ethos that gave rise to the tenants, Future Feminism will be accompanied by a 13 day performance series that will take each individual mantra as a subject. An impressive roster of empowered guests (including Marina Abramovic, Carolee Schneemann and Laurie Anderson) has been brought on board to lead the community in what is sure to be 13 unforgettable evenings.
In reading the listing of scripture-like goals, it becomes evident that “What is the future of feminism?” is a very different question than “What is future feminism?” For the former, the responsibility becomes an extension of our social histories, and for the latter, the definition has an untethered optimism. This is not to say that the Future Feminists don’t produce a call to action, but rather they assert a utopian ideology that is closely in line with the Greek etymology of the word. Utopia can be literally translated to “no-place” and, as such, the tenets of Future Feminism are beyond the spatial-temporal demands of politics. In a time when so many women reject and deny associations with feminism for its pejorative radical implications, it is invaluable for there to be a conversation that so bluntly approaches the subject. The Future is Female with a capital F, and you don’t want to be left in the past.
Text by Devon Caranicas
“Future Feminism” is showing at The Hole, New York until 27 September 2014
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