Gendered Materials: Creativity in the Post-Soviet Space

with Laima Kreivytė (Vilnius Academy of Arts), Mare Tralla (London) & Fran Lloyd (Kingston University)

Time: 10 June 2016, 5.30pm followed with drinks reception.

Place: Dorich House Museum, 67 Kingston Vale, London, SW15 3RN.

Egle Rakauskaite in Fat 1998

Image: Eglė Rakauskaitė, In Fat, 1998

This research seminar is part of the series Baltic Connections: Cultures and Societies in a Globalising World. The series is organised by the Department of Criminology and Sociology and Dorich House Museum, Kingston University London. Convenors: Dr Eglė Rindzeviciutė (Sociology and Criminology) and Dr Fiona Fisher (Dorich House Museum). This symposium is generously supported by the Lithuanian Culture Institute. The symposium is free.  Registration is essential.  To book, please register here.

Dr Laima Kreivytė, “Creative Twists: Feminist Strategies and Subversive Materials”

Young women artists faced many social and cultural challenges in the 1990s. Inspired by the fall of Iron Curtain, they broke away from traditional approaches adopting new artistic strategies, representations and materials. Such prominent Lithuanian women artists as Eglė Rakauskaitė, Jurga Barilaitė, Paulina Egle Pukytė, Aurelija Maknytė and Severija Inčirauskaitė started making performances and installations questioning the boundaries of the body and exploring different materials. Honey, fat, chocolate, milk, hair, stockings, newspapers, canvases and clothes were used as conceptual tools to deliver provocative (and often political) messages.

Laima Kreivytė is an art critic, curator and lecturer at Vilnius Academy of Arts and European Humanities University, Vilnius, Lithuania. She participates in feminist art and research projects and works with artists group CooltuÌristes (Cooltourists). Laima curated the Lithuanian pavilion in the 53rd Venice Biennial and many exhibitions, including Baltic mythologies in Prague Biennale III.

Mare Tralla, “Making a Small Feminist Revolution in the Post-Soviet”.

Starting my professional art career in the early 90s I was faced with many challenges and opportunities the transition of Estonian society provided both politically and culturally, especially, when it came to the way it affected women’s lives. In the mid-1990s I was one of few, who understood that a ‘small feminist revolution’ was urgently needed. Utilizing my everyday life, creating performative actions, videos and art installations, curating young artists and penetrating main-stream media I proceeded with this revolution. To create discussions and affect social change through creative practice my tactics were to erase boundaries between art, my private life and mainstream media. My contemporaries, young female artists, such as Piret Rani, Kaire Rannik, later in group F.F.F.F., Piia Ruber, Margot Kask, Liina Siib, Tiia Johhanson and others started using photography, video, the Internet, which were new as artistic mediums in Estonian art, as well as experimented with all sorts of materials from textiles to chicken flesh.

Mare Tralla is Estonian born interdisciplinary artist and activist currently living and working in London. Tralla employs and combines variety of media, from video, photography, performance and painting to interactive media. Her recent socially engaged performative projects deal with queer experiences, investigate issues of sustainability and economics. She co-curated, with Eha Komissarov and Reet Varblane, the first Estonian feminist exhibition Est.Fem (1995), with Pam Skelton, a touring Estonian-British feminist exhibition “Private Views” (1998-99). In 2004 she was the programme chair for ISEA2004 in Tallinn. Her recent exhibitions include: “Love At the Edge”, Gallery Arsenal, Białystok, Poland (2015); “1995”, EKKM (Museum of Contemporary Art Estonia) Tallinn (2015); “Aferlife of Gardens”, Art Museum of Estonia KUMU, Tallinn (2013).

Prof Fran Lloyd is Professor of Art History, Director of the Visual & Material Culture Research Centre and Director of Postgraduate Researchers in the Faculty of Art, Design & Architecture. Professor Lloyd has published widely on contemporary and modern visual culture, and has over 15 years experience of collaborating on a variety of international interdisciplinary creative arts projects across the museums and galleries sector. A recent DAAD Fellow and Japan Foundation Fellow, her research has been funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council, and the British Council, amongst others. She is currently researching émigré artists in postwar Britain and is co-leading a research project on the history, practice and pedagogy of Kingston School of Art, London, funded by the Henry Moore Foundation.

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