Intimate Acts

13 December 2015
The Showroom, London

Co-organised by Kaisa Dahlberg and Laura Guy, “Intimate Acts” is an attempt to produce a collective political language through a series of practical activities organised around extracts of existing text. The workshop will consider how strategies of citation, translation, annotation and appropriation can be put into the service of a feminist politics and what is at stake in doing so.

Reading transforms the meaning of a text. Sometimes this transformation manifests as a material intervention. For example, annotations generate an alternative text in the margins of an original. Underlining passages, we single out extracts to return to at a later point, share with others, or else deploy in a different context. Quotations articulate things that matter at the time. They help to give form to our own feelings, desires and demands. Reading allows us access to languages other than our own and in turn gives written language over to circulate as a new set of possibilities.

Feminism has often emphasised experimental forms of literature. It has politicised reading through collective reading groups and by developing radical approaches to translation and distribution. Feminist writers have worked to show how language shapes us and have invented strategies in order to reconfigure, disrupt or undermine what Gertrude Stein once referred to as “patriarchal poetry”. In doing so, feminist literature and theory has made traditional forms of language speak otherwise in the on-going pursuit for self-knowledge and self-determination.
Participants are asked to bring a book with them in which they have underlined a short passage of text.

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