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"Furniture without Memories”: Feminism and the politics and poetics of remembering

  • Rutherford Building, Women's Art Library Goldsmiths, University of London (map)

“Furniture without Memories” is a multi-media installation that seeks to bring different forms of feminist storytelling into the exhibition space.

Putting feminism into dialogue with psychoanalysis and queer trauma studies, the different elements of the exhibition conceptually and creatively work with nonlinear temporalities, repetition, fantasy, and the unconscious. Comprising a range of installations that incorporate experimental radio art, graphic narrative and sculpture this collaboratively curated exhibition explores feminist memory work at the junction where boundaries between reality and fantasy, past and present become blurred.

Working through Professor Avery Gordon’s concept of “haunting” as a particular kind of knowing, the exhibition stages forms of feminist storytelling that speak from the place of not knowing. Gordon’s 2008 published Ghostly Matters - haunting and the sociological imagination interrogates our own understandings of what constitutes knowledge, and how the ghostly, the ephemeral and the fictional hold unwavering importance. The title of the exhibition, “Furniture without Memories” is itself a reference to Toni Morrison’s novel The Bluest Eye (1970), a fictional story picked up by Avery F. Gordon in order to relate the political and the private through haunting as mediation, “a process that links an institution and an individual, a social structure and a subject, history and a biography.”

“Furniture without Memories” is a site-specific, two-month exhibition held within the Women’s Art Library, Rutherford Building, on Goldsmiths Campus co-curated by Julia Bieber and Chloe Turner. The residency was made possible by the support of Goldsmith’s Annual Fund, the WAL, The Methods Lab and The Centre for Feminist Research. The exhibition is open to the public and entry is free.


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