Over the past few weeks, I have had the utter delight of engaging Hazel Meyer’s practice as we prepare for her window project at Art Metropole (where I work as Shop Manager/Curator). It’s up now and it’s wild. There’s diarrhea. Go and see. Consider the ways we need to be brave. Consider the ways we need to create/write/theorize despite it all.
Here are the official bits:
Working with the form of the suffrage and union banner—a graphic combination of image, text, scale and urgency—the exhibition No Theory No Cry presents an account of how the emotional mind engages the critical. Large felt banners adorned with hand-cut text and transposed doodles are displayed suspended in front of looping and folding intestine- and brain-patterned wall drawings.
A publication called AWAY WITH YOUR MAN-VISIONS! (title taken from a quote by American suffragette Susan B. Anthony) will be launched at the closing of No Theory No Cry on 23 February 2013. Originally conceived as a way to bypass the polished, fully formed nature of the traditional exhibition essay, AWAY WITH YOUR MAN-VISIONS! is a tangential, wandering and emphatic collection of pages from various makers, thinkers and doers. The publication will take shape over the course of the exhibition, morphing and growing alongside No Theory No Cry, until its final revelation as part of the closing festivities. It will exist as a sculpture/station at Art Metropole—an experiment in participatory idea dissemination. Those interested in obtaining a copy will collate, fold and staple the pages themselves—a token physical effort altering the typical processes of publication, distribution and information gathering.
In Heroines, Zambreno extends the polemic begun on her blog Frances Farmer is My Sister into an original work of literary scholarship. Combing theories that have dictated what literature should be and who is allowed to write it–from T. S. Eliot’s New Criticism to the writings of such mid-century intellectuals as Elizabeth Hardwick and Mary McCarthy to the occasional “girl-on-girl crime” of the Second Wave of feminism–she traces the genesis of a cultural template that consistently exiles female experience to the realm of the “minor,” and diagnoses women for transgressing social bounds. “ANXIETY: When she experiences it, it’s pathological,” writes Zambreno, “when he does, it’s existential.” By advancing the Girl-As-Philosopher, Zambreno reinvents feminism while providing a model for a newly subjectivized criticism.
In the words of Zambreno, “We must be our own heroines.” In the words of Meyer, “No apologizing unless you draw blood.” Let’s be emotional and silly and brilliant and not give-a-fuck (read: give a fuck) together.