net art, video, performance

Annie Abrahams

Housework, Gender and Subjectivity: Cultures of Domesticity

In  Domestic Dancing (2007) Olia plays the accordeon, while I am vacuumcleaning.

The work from 2007 is presented in

Housework, Gender and Subjectivity: Cultures of Domesticity

Monday, October 29th, 2012 through November

Opening reception, 6:30pm in the Gallery,

The Reynolds Gallery, University of the Pacific, Stockton, California

About the Exhibition:

Housework, Gender and Subjectivity: Cultures of Domesticity is an exhibition inspired by the work of feminist media artists working with issues of spectatorship, self, and identity. The exhibit, curated by independent scholar/artist/curator, Molly Hankwitz, focuses upon domestic space as site for the investigation of multiple aspects of gendered subjectivity, from the experience of real women and their performance as spectacularized subjects to notions of women’s place and our response to patriarchal, psychological and social oppression.

Across cultures, the role of the wife, the daughter, and duties of domestic labor within the household from cleaning to cooking to childcare and sex are frequently expected from women. In dominant western media, especially commercial advertising working to maintain a status quo, the stereotype of the perfect “housewife”, her duties and commitment to products remains a powerful ideology despite progress in feminism to speak alternatives. This stereotype has been the object of significant comment and critique for women artists in the history of art.

Housework, Gender and Subjectivity: Cultures of Domesticity brings together a group of contemporary feminist artists who dig into the gendered emotional, experiential and psychosocial domestic realms attached to ‘house’ and idealized versions of womanhood. The artists examine domestic labor and women’s place within it. Guest curator and published feminist, Molly Hankwitz brings together borders and boundaries of domesitc space where the housewife stereotype and the spectacle of domestic labor can be revisited as an art historical idea.

Installation, video and new media on view

Maria Ezcurra’s
art is both humorous and sharply critical of domestic work, the universalization of housewife imagery vis a vis global media,and the oppression of Latin American women. Perfect Housewife’s Wardrobe (2008)is a series of large photographs in which the artist enacts scenes from the patriarchal home. In Liminal Beings(2011) partly embodied household technologies are petite collage works made from magazine and mailer images collected by the artist.Annetta Kapon’s art looks at womens’ labor in the form of a non-traditional installation, Cornucopia(2010) made from baguettes, womens’ clothing, and a plastic laundry basket which literally spills forth from the corner of the gallery in an act of nurture and giving. The work suggests a delicately controlled, even silent, at home and alone, notion of women’s labor which speaks to the private realm of the household.Heidi Kumao’s Cinematic Machines, Holding Pattern (1999) and Kept (1993) are glimpses of cinema and memory. Comprised of zoetropes, projectors, screens, a child’s chair, and small coffee table, these pieces explore repetition and scale, use cinematic conventions and ordinary furniture to express the psychoanalytic dimensions of gender.Annie Abrahams’ new media work, Domestic Dancing(2007), designed for the computer screen in html and with sound files, contrasts artistic pleasure with conventional domestic work to suggest transformations in historic time for women artists.A selection of videos which use household objects, food, household materials, domestic sounds and elements of cinema to explore gender and domestic space will continuously loop in the gallery space.


Perry Bard – videos
The Kitchen Tapes, 2011, 3:55, color
Secure Dining, 2011, 4:42, color

Evelin Stermitz – video
Hitchcock Dishing, 2008,1:17, color

Yin Ju Chen– videos
Recycle System 1, 2002, 2 min, color

Annetta Kapon – video
Photography Lesson, 1990, 7:00, color

Curator’s and artists’ panel, 7 – 8pm in the Art History Lecture Hall adjacent to the gallery.
Exhibition curator Molly Hankwitz leads a panel discussion on work in the exhibit with housework and domestic space as topic in art, domestic materials and domesticating ideas in women’s art practices. Panel presented with artists Annetta Kapon and Heidi Kumao in person!
Molly Hankwitz and Annetta Kapon live podcast
The Womens’ Magazine with Val Ibarra, Mutiny Radio,
Friday, October 19th, 1:30-2pm.
Many thanks to Reynolds Gallery director Jennifer Little, Reynolds Gallery board, Gender Studies, Film Studies, and Art History Department of the University of the Pacific for their generous support of this work.

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Annie Abrahams
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