Tuesday, 23 July 2013

first project 'What It Feels Like' exhibition

Everything started when around two months ago my friend Hannah told me she had something in mind about doing an exhibition of female artists and if I was interested in collaborating. The idea was great! plus that would have been a great opportunity to finally doing something which is mine, my project. Since I have been in Manchester, this summer has been the first time in which I have felt like: okay time  to say something I want to say out loud (there is a positive Karma in the air...).  It feels so great to actually do something, to think about it, to discuss it and to put it on for everybody to enjoy. Plus, it is a great fun!
I and Hannah have been sharing ideas, discussing opinions and what it has come up in the end is an exhibition of female artists that has as main themes that of discussing the representation of Femininity, Divine and Beauty within Nature and the Ordinary. We are both into semiotic (I am in particular, after having spent the last year reading loads of Barthes and being obsessed with the 'interpretation' of signs in my everyday life...), curious about the unknown and critic about the known. At first we didn't expect to organize something feminist (although probably the idea of showing only woman arts is inevitably feminist to some extent), but our reflections led us to the necessity of addressing feminism and the language of representation behind femininity and being female. 
The title 'What it feels like' came up one day when my friend Vittoria showed me this:

a scene from the film 'The Cement Garden' based on the book by Ian McEwan (mental stuff), and it sounded a perfect title for the exhibition! What it feels like wants to challenge our system of reference by which we give a meaning to the signs around us. We aim that the subjective responses of the eight artists that are going to show their work can be a means to read inside our way to see things.  One of the themes is Nature, which is the context of our reflection: we want to question the meaning of femininity and masculinity, beauty and ugliness as signs within nature. Also we want to challenge given definitions of femininity researching values of beauty and divine within our ordinary life.

This is (see below) our amazing poster that Alex, one of the artists whose works are gonna be on display, has made for us (sooo nice of her). The exhibition preview is on the 2nd of August at Bankley studios in Levenshulme and it will be open for two weeks, until the 15th of August. Ah! after the preview I and Hannah are also putting on an afterparty with live music and djs at the Klondyke club. I was really excited to find out the other day that the Klondyke used to be a popular venue for gigs like 7-5 years ago and that then people stopped putting gig on in there because it is too far away (and maybe because Levenshulme is not really an 'arty' place?!). I knew Levenshulme from before only for being home of a big Irish community, but not for anything else and this is a good chance to get to know the area better (it's not even too far from my new house in Rusholme). It'd be really cool if we manage to bring a nice crowd to Levenshulme and hopefully it's gonna be a fun night! The bands/solo playing at the Klondyke are: Lady Neptune (she comes from London and plays this grungey sweet stuff, quite cool), Kaatskill Mountains (a duo, a guy and a girl, couple in real life -sweet!) and Anna Louisa Etherington (she sings with the Manchester band 'Letters to Fiesta', super lovely girl and amazing voice, she is gonna perform her solo project...looking forward to it). Also, since collaboration between women is great and important, the girls who have been organizing that club night in Manchester called 'Typical Girls' have been super enthusiastic to help us too and they're gonna djing for us during the afterparty. Can't wait!!  
Poster by Alex Humphreys - http://alexhumphreys.tumblr.com/

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