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Decorating Dissidence: Feminism, Modernism & the Arts


  • Queen Mary, University of London London United Kingdom (map)

3rd-4th November 2017, Queen Mary, University of London, London, United Kingdom

Decorating Dissidence takes an interdisciplinary and intersectional approach to the work of female artists, designers, and writers to reassess the place of domestic art, craft, and the decorative in modernism. Building on recent scholarship and exhibitions that have highlighted the work of women such as Sonia Delauney, Eileen Grey, Hannah Höch, and the Baroness Elsa von Freytag-Loringhoven, this conference offers new approaches to marginalized female modernists and their intermedia art practice. It invites discussion of the ways that modernist experimentation with domestic arts and the decorative influence contemporary art; it is interested in exploring the political, aesthetic, conceptual and material qualities of craft and the decorative in modernism’s longue durée. We are reminded of: the negative space in Kara Walker’s paper cuttings, the embroidered experience of Agnes Richter’s jacket, narrative threads woven by Faith Ringgold and set designs by Es Devlin…

Bringing together different perspectives on the intersections between modernist female craft, domestic arts, visual arts, and literature, this conference will have a broad impact on contemporary modernist studies. As the conference seeks to redefine the spatial and temporal boundaries of modernism, we particularly encourage papers that address non-European modernists and intersectional speakers in relation to dissident craft-making from across the C20th and C21st.

We are very excited to announce our keynote speaker will be Professor Sonia Boyce, an artist and academic whose research interests explore art as a social practice and the critical and contextual debates that arise from this area of study. She is a professor at Middlesex University and Professor of Black Art and Design at University of the Arts London.

More information, registration, and schedules can be found at the Decorating Dissidence website.

Later Event: November 14
Costume Colloquium VI