Weekender: Nottingham gallery brings feminist artists to city for first time

Nottingham gallery BACKLIT’s new exhibition ‘Familiar Machines’ opens on International Women’s Day (8 March) and will feature influential feminist artists, activists, and collectives who will be showing work in Nottingham for the first time.

The exhibition will feature work by female artists, activists and collectives including Guerrilla Girls, Dominique Golden, ORLAN, Hannah Parikh, Sondra Perry, Kembra Pfhaler, Millie Quick, Magali Reus, Global Sistaz, and Martha Wilson.

Familiar Machines brings together works which explore the movement of body and machine through public and online space. The exhibition presents “mechanisms of power and feminine governance that question patriarchal systems, and reinforce ideas around social disobedience”.

The spaces where these issues intersect offer a “non-hierarchical approach to how function and identity can influence through anonymity”, while Familiar Machines uses humour, “grotesque” imagery, technological manipulation and the body as a medium to “diffuse discrimination”.

BACKLIT’S Director, Matthew Chesney, said: “Familiar Machines will examine the ways that women activists and artists are exploring mechanisms of power and feminine governance. This is really interesting when you look at the current situation, whereby movements and power are shifted from individuals and moving towards a networked, anonymous force. And a lot of this can happen online. We are familiar with some of these approaches to protest, using the body as a commodity in the production of activism but what is now exciting is how we work together to create change and ensure these voices are heard.

“As part of the exhibition, we will also be hosting an arts + feminism workshop, which will offer empowerment and training for women on how to upload content to Wikipedia and other online platforms to improve coverage of women and women’s topics.”

The exhibition will run from 9 March – 26th May 2019. With a private view (open to all) on International Women’s Day (8 March 2019). It will be accompanied by a public programme of workshops, talks and events in collaboration with Global Sistaz United and the Art and Feminism campaign 2019.

There will also be a learning programme which includes an Arts and Writing Workshop with global feminist collective Boshemia Magazine, and BACKLIT’S in-house arts writers in residence Notts/Poke will provide a space for women and non-binary people to present written works in response to the exhibition.

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