Griselda Pollock is Professor of Social and Critical Histories of Art and Director of the Centre for Cultural Analysis, Theory and History (CENTRECATH) at the University of Leeds. Committed to developing an international, postcolonial, queer feminist analysis of the visual arts and cultures, she is currently researching issues of trauma and the aesthetic, Aby Warburg's legacies, and concentrationary memory. Her most recent publications include After-affects I After-images: Trauma and Aesthetic Transformation (Manchester, 2013); Bracha Ettinger: Art as Compassion (with Catherine de Zegher, ASA 2011); Concentrationary Memories: Totalitarian Terror and Cultural Resistance (with Max Silverman, I B Tauris, 2013); Art in the Time-Space of Memory and Migration (Freud Museum and Wild Pansy Press, 2013) and the edited collection Visual Politics of Psychoanalysis: Art & the Image in Post-traumatic Cultures (I B Tauris, 2013). Her forthcoming books include The Nameless Artist: Charlotte Salomon’s Life? or Theatre? as Theatre of Memory (Yale), and From Trauma to Cultural: Representation and the Shoah / Holocaust. Griselda Pollock is one of the most influential scholars in feminist art history, theory, and criticism today.
Colloquium Participants — International
Irina Aristarkhova is the author of Hospitality of the Matrix: Philosophy, Biomedicine, and Culture, 2012, and the editor of the Russian translation of Luce Irigaray’s An Ethics of Sexual Difference (2005). Her project reclaims the maternal, the mother and generative space for the most recent theories and creative practices of hospitality. She is an Associate Professor of Art & Design, History of Art, and Women’s Studies at the Penny W. Stamps School of Art & Design, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, and a Visiting Professor in Media Art Cultures, an Erasmus Master’s Program at the Danube University Krems (Austria). In 2011 Ana Prvacki collaborated with Irina Aristarkhova on 100 Notes – 100 Thoughts No. 043: The Greeting Committee Reports..., which was a part of Documenta 13 publication series. Aristarkhova’s current writing project engages aesthetics of hospitality in contemporary art, and she also blogs at www.russianfeminist.com about soviet and post-soviet sexualities and cultures, including issues of socialist motherhood and girlhood. Her work has been translated into Romanian, German, Mandarin, Slovenian, Greek, Spanish, and Portuguese.
RACHEL EPP BULLER
Dr. Rachel Epp Buller maintains a dual critical and creative practice as an art historian and printmaker / book artist. Much of her writing addresses intersections of art and the maternal, including her book, Reconciling Art and Mothering and a new in-progress project on Inappropriate Bodies. In her recent creative work, she investigates fictional narratives of imagined family histories and textural references to matrilineal traditions of fine handwork such as sewing, crochet, and delicate cut-paper work known as Scherenschnitte. She writes, curates, and lectures widely on the maternal body in contemporary art, and she privileges collaborative projects, both within the visual arts and across disciplines, as in her co-edited multidisciplinary volume of essays, Mothering Mennonite. Her most recent collaboration, with the directors of Das Verborgene Museum in Berlin, resulted in Alice Lex-Nerlinger, 1893-1975: Fotomonteurin und Malerin / Photomontage Artist and Painter, a dual-language book and the first-ever retrospective of the artist, on view April 14 - August 7, 2016 in Berlin. She is a board member of the National Women's Caucus for Art (US), a Fulbright Scholar, a regional coordinator of The Feminist Art Project, and current Associate Professor of Visual Arts and Design at Bethel College (US).
Myrel Chernick is an artist and writer living in New York City. Beginning in the late 1970s she created text-based multimedia installations and videotapes that have been shown nationally and internationally, at venues such as Artists Space, PS I, and the Whitney Museum at Equitable Center in New York, the List Gallery at MIT, Plug-In and Videopool galleries in Winnipeg, Canada and the International Cultural Center in Antwerp, Belgium. She developed and curated the exhibit Maternal Metaphors, presented at the Rochester Contemporary Art Center in 2004. An expanded version, co-curated with Jennie Klein, was shown at Ohio University in 2006. Their comprehensive anthology The M Word: Real Mothers in Contemporary Art was published in 2011 by Demeter Press. Chernick has been the recipient of National Endowment and New York State Artist Fellowships and has lectured widely on her work as both artist and curator. She is currently developing a site-specific multimedia installation as well as writing and illustrating a hybrid novel set in Paris in the mid-1980s.
Christa Donner is an artist, curator, and organizer who investigates the human/animal body and its metaphors through a variety of media, from large-scale drawing and installation to small-press publications. Her practice often incorporates social exchange and collaboration rooted in personal narrative and sensory experience. Donner’s work is exhibited widely including projects for the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science (Berlin, Germany), The Worldly House at dOCUMENTA 13 (Kassel, Germany); BankArt NYK (Yokohama, Japan); Chiaki Kamikawa Contemporary Art (Paphos, Cyprus); the Museum Bellerive (Zurich, Switzerland), ANTI Festival of Contemporary Art (Kuopio, Finland), the Centro Columbo Americano (Medellin, Colombia), and throughout the United States. In 2012 Donner initiated Cultural ReProducers, an evolving creative platform that supports cultural workers working it out as parents through events, publications, skillsharing, and an extensive online resource for artists and institutions. In 2014 she curated the exhibition “Division of Labor” with Thea Liberty Nichols, which addressed the impact of parenthood on an artist’s practice and career. She teaches at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and is the mother of a four-year-old daughter.
DEiRDRE M. DONOGHUE
Deirdre M. Donoghue is a conceptual and performance artist, mother, doula, researcher, founder/director of the international foundation m/other voices for Art, Research, Theory / Dialogue / Community Involvement and a founding member of ADA: Area for Debate and Art, Rotterdam. She led the year long artistic research project: The maternal as an attitude: maternal thinking and the production of time and knowledge at Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art (2013-2014) and was part of the organizational team for the international conference The Mothernists (2015, NL). In her artistic work she sets up social scenarios and specifically framed human encounters where multiple relations can be set into motion, through which the production of new knowledge systems via cross-disciplinary approach becomes mobilized. These encounters are recorded and subsequently presented through mediums such as video, performance, writing and installation. Her artistic work has been exhibited internationally and most recently at Haus van Kulturen der Welt, Berlin / Gaîte Lyrique, Paris / Malmö Kunsthall, Malmö / Museum of Motherhood, New York / Hoffmansgalleri, Reykjavik. Main publications include Resonant Bodies, Voices, Memories (2009), Pick Up This Book, (2013) Our House in The Middle of The Street, (2010) and When The Landscape Begins to Map the Cartographer in P.A.I.R 2010; Chorografie (2010.) She is currently working towards her PhD on maternal subjectivities, materialities, artistic processes, aesthetics, ethics and affect.
Tina Kinsella is a Research Fellow at the Centre for Gender and Women’s Studies at Trinity College Dublin, and a Fellow at the Graduate School of Creative Arts and Media (GradCAM), Dublin. Instituting conversations between artistic practice and process, psychoanalysis, affect theory, gender and queer theory, her teaching, research and writing are transdisciplinary, exploring the intersections of subjectivity, aesthetics and ethics to interrogate the performative politics of the body. Recent and forthcoming publications include ‘The Performances of Micol Hebron: Free the Male Nipple!’, Inappropriate Bodies: Art, Design, and Maternity, Rachel Epp Butler and Charles Reeve (eds.), Demeter Press (2016); ‘The Problematics of the Erotic: Negotiating Between Private Intimacy and Public Exposure in Artistic Performance’, Performance Ireland Journal (2016); ‘Liquidities — Transactive Border Spaces and Threshold Structures (Between the Harbour and the Sea), Performance Research Journal (co-authored with Silvia Loeffler), Volume 21, Issue 2 - 'On/At Sea' (2016); ‘On the Threshold of the Horrible: The Recent Drawings a of Alice Maher’, Glorious Maids of the Charnel House, Kevin Kavanagh Gallery, Dublin (2016); ‘Sundering the Spell of Visibility: Bracha L. Ettinger, Abstract-Becoming-Figural, Thought-Becoming-Form’, And My Heart Wound Space Within Me:, Griselda Pollock (ed.), Wild Pansy Press (2015); ‘Painting the Feminine into Ontology: On the Recent Works of Bracha L. Ettinger’ Medusa-Butterfly, Museo Leopoldo Flores (Toluca, Mexico)/Galería Polivalente (Guanajuato, Mexico).
Jennie Klein is an associate professor in the School of Art + Design at Ohio University. She specializes in contemporary art, performance art and theory, and contemporary feminist and gender art. She is the editor of Linda M. Montano, Letters from Linda M. Montano (Routledge 2005), Co-editor with Deirdre Heddon of Histories and Practices of Live Art (Palgrave 2012), and Co-editor with Myrel Chernick of The M Word: Real Mothers in Contemporary Art (Demeter Press, 2011). She has published articles and reviews in PAJ, Art Papers, Art Pulse, New Art Examiner, Genders Online, and Feminist Studies. Klein will be the the editor of the forthcoming book Assuming the Ecosexual Position (Minnesota) and co-editor with Natalie Loveless of Responding to Site: The Performance Work of Marilyn Arsem (Intellect Press/Live Art Development Agency). Klein has written extensively about performance art and performance art festivals, and is currently in the process of creating a blog of her writings on the National Review of Live Art, UK, The ANTI Festival in Finland, City of Women, Slovenia, Rapid Pulse Performance Festival, Chicago, and Future of the Imagination, Singapore. Klein’s writing can be access at http://jenniekleinperformancewriting.blogspot.com
Dr. Andrea Liss' engagement with feminist art and the maternal embraces writing, research, teaching, curating and community collaboration. Her book Feminist Art and the Maternal (University of Minnesota Press, 2009 ) is a pioneering book in the fields of maternal studies and visual culture. Dr. Liss is passionate about new forms of knowledge that arise when thinking about the maternal as a provocative companion to various forms of feminisms, as a strategic revaluation of traditional maternal characteristics, as a cultural discourse where love and compassion are the founding ethics of cultural politics, and more. She is especially interested in the feminist maternal and the mother/child dyad in relation to these intersubjectivites as metaphors of relationships among different ethnicities and intergenerational memories. Some of Liss’ related projects include “Maternal Aesthetics: The Surprise of the Real,” a guest curated issue of Studies in the Maternal issue 5(1) 2014) and the exhibition Reel Mothers: Film, Video Art and the Maternal at the California Center for the Arts, Escondido, 2014. She is also the author of Trespassing through Shadows: Memory, Photography and the Holocaust (University of Minnesota Press, 1999). Dr. Liss is a 2016 Fulbright Scholar and is a Professor of Contemporary Visual Culture and Cultural Theory in the School of Arts at California State University San Marcos.
Margaret Morgan is an American artist born in Australia and currently living in Los Angeles. Morgan holds an MFA from The University of California, Irvine, and was a Fellow at the Whitney Independent Studies Program. Morgan’s practice is varied: from drawing, photography and short film to public speaking and writing; to landscape design and gardening; to teaching and a philanthropic commitment to new music, art and education. She sees these practices on a continuum and brings to each a search for truth-telling, an ethic of care, and a desire to share an experience of critical pleasure. Her written work may be found in publications including Plumbing: Sounding Modern Architecture (Princeton Architectural Press); Women in Dada (MIT Press); and The M Word, Real Mothers in Contemporary Art (Demeter Press). Her artwork has been exhibited and published widely but obscurely, in both hemispheres, for several decades. Exceptions to this ‘obscure’ rubric include the Vienna Secession; The Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney; and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles. Morgan writes: I love objects but I feel their burden: I like to make things but they are few in number and they are varied and rarely repeated. In this my practice is scattered, leaves in a landscape, invisible to most. Yet it is embedded in how I live and work, and for this reason it remains palpable to some, my best audience, and traceable when all my working life is put together.
Colloquium Participants — National
Janice Williamson has lectured widely and published on twentieth-century Canadian writing, social issues and cultural studies — mothering and adoption, feminist writing and performance, women’s film and photography, trauma narratives, and print/video readings of West Edmonton Mall. She has taught courses in creative writing, Canadian literary and cultural studies, and women’s studies. Her multi-genre and multidisciplinary anthology Omar Khadr, Oh Canada (McGill-Queen's UP 2012) includes over 30 contributors with literary and scholarly essays, poetry, a screenplay, and a play. An expanded version of her National Magazine Award winning essay “The Turquoise Sea” is part of a collection of literary nonfiction essays in progress. Other publications include, as author: Crybaby! (NeWest Press, 1998), an image-text creative nonfiction work exploring family photography and writing, women's autobiography, memory and trauma; Tell Tale Signs: fictions (Turnstone Press, 1991), an image-text collection, and several poetry chapbooks, including a boy named: -- a winner of the Canadian bpNichol Chapbook Award. Her collection of interviews, Sounding Differences: Conversations with Seventeen Canadian Women Writers (UTP, 1993), investigated questions of feminist and lesbian poetics, race issues, and canonicity. Other work include: editor with C.Potvin, Women's Writing and the Literary Institution [in Canada/Quebec] (U of A Research Institute for Comparative Literature, 1992); principal editor with D. Gorham, Up and Doing: Canadian Women and Peace (Women's Press, 1989), a collection of theory, activist documents, essays and creative work; curator and author with B.Elliott, Dangerous Goods: Feminist Visual Art Practices (Edmonton Art Gallery, 1990). Her edited multigenre and multidisciplinary anthology of essays, poetry, screenplay, and drama Omar Khadr, Oh Canada. Canadian women's nonfiction writing is the subject of her research as part of the electronic Canadian Writing Research Collaboratory.
Cecily Devereux is a Professor in the Department of English and Film Studies at the University of Alberta. Her research focuses on questions of femininity in the late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century Euroimperial context across a range of categories, including the maternal body, ideologies of imperial motherhood, eugenic feminism, hysteria, the figure of the “white slave,” the “Indian maiden,” and the burlesque dancer. She has published a book on first wave feminist Nellie L. McClung (2005) and an edition of L.M. Montgomery’s 1908 novel Anne of Green Gables (2005) and is currently completing a book -length study of early twentieth-century Salome dancers, erotic dance, and the politics of what this new study characterizes as reproductive fetishism.
Robyn Lee is a Banting Postdoctoral Fellow and Adjunct Professor in Sociology at Brock University and a research associate with the Social Justice Research Institute. She uses contemporary social theory to explore identity and embodiment. Her research examines social, cultural, and technological transformations in parenthood and families, and the impact of gender, sexuality, race, class, environmental pollution, and geography on care work and human reproduction. Her postdoctoral research explores emerging practices of human milk exchange, investigating how care and compassion are harnessed in the commercialization of human milk, and what kinds of relationships are created between donors and recipients. This work builds on her dissertation research on the ethics and politics of breastfeeding, which developed a poststructuralist feminist theorization of breastfeeding as both embodied and relational. Robyn holds a Ph.D. in Social and Political Thought from York University and an M.A. in Philosophy from the University of Victoria.
Terri Hawkes holds an Honours MFA in Theatre, Film and Television (UCLA), an MA in Gender, Feminist and Women’s Studies (York University), and is pursuing a PhD with research focusing on mothers in the performing arts (York University). Recent academic publications include the anthologies Performing Motherhood (co-editor, Demeter Press), Mothering Multiples (contributor, Demeter), and Screening Motherhood (contributor, Demeter). In her creative life, Ms. Hawkes has worked extensively across Canada and the U.S. as an actor, director, and writer in theatre, film and television. Her acting work has been honored with peer nominations for the Gemini, ACTRA, and American Soap Opera awards. Ms. Hawkes has always been drawn to creative projects highlighting strong female characters; one particular voice role still garners considerable public attention for its’ position in a television series referred to as “the gateway to anime”: the iconic teenage heroine, Sailor Moon. Ms. Hawkes has written for the cinema (The Book of Eve), television (Anne), and theatre (Rhubarb, Rhubarb, Rhubarb — finalist for the Herman Voaden National Playwriting Award). Many of Ms. Hawkes’ scripts feature mother-subjects as central characters, including her current stage-play in progress, Mother Knows Breast. Ms. Hawkes also directs for theatre, television, and has co-directed two upcoming short documentaries: Fourteen and Dr. Do. Along with her teenagers, Alexa and Jake, Ms. Hawkes co-founded and provides artistic direction for art4you, an organization mentoring youth in the arts. Connect with Terri on Twitter (@Terri_Hawkes), on Facebook or at art4you.ca
Nat Hurley is Associate Professor in the Department of English and Film Studies at the University of Alberta. She specializes in the fields of American literature, children’s literature, queer studies, and critical theory. She is co-editor, with Steven Bruhm, of Curiouser: on the queerness of children (U of Minnesota P, 2004); editor of a special double issue of ESC: English Studies in Canada on “Childhood and Its Discontents. She is winner of the F.E.L. Priestley Prize for the best essay in ESC: English Studies in Canada and co-winner of the Foerster Prize for best essay in American Literature. Her book Getting Around: Before the Queer Novel in American Literature is forthcoming from the University of Minnesota. Her current research interests are in the perversions of children’s literature; kidless lit; and cultures of non-reproduction.
Carrie Smith-Prei is Associate Professor of German Studies and Associate Chair Graduate in the Department of Modern Languages and Cultural Studies at the University of Alberta. She specializes in digital feminisms, performance art activism, affective publics, and the body. She is the author of Revolting Families: Toxic Intimacy, Private Politics, and Literary Realism in the German Sixties (2013), coauthor of Awkward Politics: Technologies of Popfeminist Activism (2016), and coeditor of a special issue of Feminist Media Studies on digital feminist activism (2016), among other publications. She is also the coeditor of Women in German Yearbook, co-founder of Imaginations: Journal of Cross-Cultural Image Studies, and has won awards for teaching and research. She served on the advisory board for the AHRC-funded “Motherhood in Post-1968 European Literature Network” (University of London, UK; 2012–13) and was an An Foras Feasa visiting fellow at the University of Maynooth (Ireland, 2015) for the project “The Cultural Transmission of Motherhood in Europe: A Case Study.” Her current research interests are on the intersection of digital and material culture in feminist creative activist work, as well as on thinking through digital feminism for its implications in developing a feminist ethos, also for a feminist academy.
Dr. Asma Sayed is a scholar of Comparative Literature and Film Studies, whose interdisciplinary research focuses on Indian cinema, Indian diaspora literature, postcolonial mothering, and Islamicate cultures. Asma writes a regular film column on cinema of social justice for the Kenyan journal Awaaz: Voices, published by the Institute for Kenyan South Asian History and Culture. Asma’s work has appeared in various academic journals and anthologies. Her latest edited book, Screening Motherhood in Contemporary World Cinema, published by Demeter Press, Toronto, in January 2016, discusses the maternal on film and in women’s lives and looks at the cross-cultural representations and realities of motherhood. Her creative non-fiction piece on ‘Muslim mothering’ — “Who I Really Am: Communicating Islam Across Generations” — was published in 2015. In her current research project, she is addressing the ways the figure of the Muslim woman in literature has evolved within post-9/11 geopolitics. Her article “Postcolonial Mothering in South Asian Canadian Literature” is forthcoming in an anthology on Canadian Literature in 2017. Currently, she teaches English and Comparative Literature at Grant MacEwan University, Canada.
Kim TallBear, author of Native American DNA: Tribal Belonging and the False Promise of Genetic Science (2013), is Associate Professor in the Faculty of Native Studies at the University of Alberta. She studies the racial politics of “gene talk” in science and popular culture. A former environmental planner, she has become interested in the similarities between Western constructions of nature and sexuality as they are defined and sanctioned historically by those in power (i.e. the church, scientists, and heterosexual men). TallBear is interested in how sex and nature can be understood differently in indigenous worldviews. She draws on indigenous, feminist, and queer theory in her teaching and research that focus on undermining the nature/culture split in Western society and its role in colonialism, racism, sexism, homophobia, and environmental degradation. Kim TallBear is also a member of the Lakota, Dakota, and Nakota tribal writers group, the Oak Lake Writers, which meets annually in southeastern South Dakota. She has published essays in two Oak Lake anthologies, This Stretch of the River (2006), which she co-edited with Craig Howe, and He Sapa Woihanble: Black Hills Dream (2011). Kim TallBear blogs about these topics and more at www.kimtallbear.com. You can find her on Twitter @KimTallBear. She is a tribal citizen of the Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate in South Dakota and is also descended from the Cheyenne & Arapaho Tribes of Oklahoma.
LISE HALLER BAGGESEN
Lise Haller Baggesen left her native Denmark for the Netherlands in 1992 to study painting at the AKI and the Rijksakademie. In 2008 she relocated to Chicago with her family, where she completed her MA in Visual and Critical Studies at the SAIC 2013. In the meantime, her work evolved from a traditional painting practice toward a hybrid practice including curating, writing and installation work. Her ongoing trans disciplinary project “Mothernism” (2013-) stakes out the mother-shaped hole in contemporary art discourse, at the intersection of Feminism, Sci-Fi at Disco. The project consists of a book and a nomadic audio installation camp complete with tent, library, and revisionist protest chic banners referencing color field painting and feminist slogans. The “Mothernism” book consists of a collection of epistolary essays on intergenerational feminism, reproductive rights, body-, and art- politics –dedicated with love from one mother to her dear daughter, sister and mother. It was co-published by Green Lantern Press and Poor Farm Press in 2014. Since then, the book and installation has travelled Europe and the US, including Vox Populi (Philadelphia, PA) The Elmhurst Art Museum Biennial (IL), The Elisabeth Foundation (NY), A.I.R. Gallery (NY), and The Contemporary Austin (TX). She has exhibited internationally, including Overgaden (DK), The Hague Municipal Museum (NL), MoMu (B), and Württembergischem Kunstverein Stuttgart (D). Her writing has appeared in Bad at Sports, Chicago Artist Writers, and Third Rail Quarterly. Curating includes a Curatorial Fellowship for the SAIC 2012 MFA thesis exhibition, “3 AM Maternal“ for Vox Populi in Philadelphia (PA) and “Mutualisms” (2011) for which she and Kirsten Leenaars received a Propeller Grant. In 2016 she and Yvette Brackman will co-curate the exhibition “Poor and Needy” for “The Great Poor Farm Experiment IXX”. Lise Haller Baggesen is currently working on her upcoming SOLO exhibition “HATORADE RETROGRADE” at Threewalls (IL) and at The Suburban (WI) in 2016.
For the colloquium Baggesen will transform the University of Alberta’s Arts-Based Research Studio into a Mothernism Installation. In this way we will not only be talking about feminist art and the maternal but be doing so from within a feminist maternal artwork. For previous press on this work see:
- Q+A with Lise Haller Baggessen - Conflict of Interest
- Lise Haller Baggesen: On the Mother-Shaped Hole in Contemporary Art | ART21 Magazine
- The 21 Exhibitions You'll Be Talking About Next Year
- On the Parent-Shaped Hole in the Art World - Canadian Art
- 6 Questions About Art & Parenthood - Canadian Art
Irene Lusztig is a US-based filmmaker, visual artist, and archival researcher. Her film and video work mines old images and technologies for new meanings in order to reframe, recuperate, or reanimate forgotten and neglected histories. Often beginning with rigorous research in archives, her work brings historical materials into conversation with the present day, inviting viewers to explore historical spaces as a way of contemplating larger questions of politics, ideology, and the production of personal, collective, and national memories. Her debut feature film, Reconstruction (2001) was recognized with a Boston Society of Film Critics Discovery award and won best documentary at the New England Film Festival. She has explored issues around public feminism, language, and histories of women and women’s bodies across many previous works, including the feature length archival film essay The Motherhood Archives, the ongoing web-based Worry Box Project, and her newest work-in-progress, the performative documentary Yours in Sisterhood. Her work has been screened around the world, including at MoMA, Museum of Fine Arts Boston, Anthology Film Archives, Pacific Film Archive, Flaherty NYC, IDFA Amsterdam, and on television. She has been awarded grants and fellowships from the Massachusetts Foundation for the Humanities, Massachusetts Cultural Council, LEF Foundation, New York State Council for the Arts, Sustainable Arts Foundation, Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Rydell Visual Arts Foundation, and the Fulbright Scholar Program. She teaches filmmaking at UC Santa Cruz where she is Associate Professor of Film and Digital Media.
Christine Pountney is a mother, writer, teacher, occasional painter, aspiring filmmaker, and therapist-in-training, whose work has been published to critical acclaim in Canada and the UK. Pountney was born in Vancouver and grew up in Montreal. She studied English Literature at McGill, and at University College Dublin. She has a Masters in Creative Writing from the University of East Anglia, where she wrote her first novel, Last Chance Texaco, published with Faber & Faber, and long-listed for the Orange Prize in 2000. She has since published two more novels, The best way you know how and Sweet Jesus, which was chosen by both Irvine Welsh and Barbara Gowdy as their "Best Book of the Year 2012". Pountney has written for The Erotic Review, The Financial Times, The Guardian, The New York Times Magazine, The Toronto Star, The Globe and Mail, Elle, Flare, Nuvo, The New Quarterly, Brick, and Hazlitt Magazine. Over the past few years, she has participated in many Indigenous healing ceremonies, and is writing a spiritual memoir about those experiences, entitled Creature of Belief. She is also a recent graduate of the 2015 Screenwriters' Lab at the Canadian Film Centre, and is working on a short film, entitled Motorcycle. Pountney teaches writing through her website Write Your Heart Out, makes an occasional appearance at the Consciousness Explorer's Club, and will start her therapy practice, using a modality called CORE ENERGETICS, in June 2016.
NATALIE S. LOVELESS
Co-Organizer & Exhibition Curator
Natalie S. Loveless is a Canadian conceptual artist, curator, and assistant professor of contemporary art history and theory in the Department of Art and Design at the University of Alberta, where she specializes in feminist and performance art history, art as social practice and the pedagogical/dialogic turn, and artistic research methodologies (research-creation). Her dialogic and instruction-based wall-drawing installations, performance actions, and video works have been presented in festivals, galleries and artist-run centers in North America, South America, Europe and Asia. Curatorial projects include: Participatory Dissent (Western Front/LIVE Biennial, Vancouver, 2008), Intervene, Interrupt: Rethinking Art as Social Practice (University of California, Santa Cruz, 2008), New Maternalisms (Mercer Union/FADO, Toronto, 2012), and New Maternalisms - Chile (MNBA and MAC, Santiago, 2014). She directs the KIAS funded Research-Creation and Social Justice CoLABoratory and is currently completing: Maternal Ecologies, a research-creation project funded by an Insight Development Grant from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada; a book on Art and/as Research; a chapter on feminist art and the maternal for the forthcoming Wiley-Blackwell Companion to Feminist Art Practice and Theory; and a three-year art and health project bringing art-based researchers together with health-policy academics and activists around the issue of vaccines and the public.
Sheena Wilson is a professor of Cultural Studies and Writing Studies at the University of Alberta, where she is also co-director of the Petrocultures Research Group, Director of the Bilingual Writing Centre, and Editor of “Imaginations: Journal for Cross-Cultural Image Studies.” Her research interests involve an interdisciplinary approach to studying human and civil rights abuses in literature, film and media, specifically as they pertain to gendered and other forms of marginalization within the context of global oil cultures. In 2014, she co-edited a best-selling creative non-fiction collection titled Telling Truths: Storying Motherhood — a resistance project that calls into question patriarchal definitions of ‘woman’ and ‘mother.’ Her own creative-research contribution to this project, “Petro-Mama: Mothering in a Crude World,” brings together her work on feminist mothering and the global climate crisis. Crude Intersectionalities, her scholarly monograph in progress, likewise explores oil as a gendered and feminist issue. Publication highlights include Sighting Oil (2012), “Gendering Oil” (2014), “Petro-Intersectionality” (2016), “Obachan’s Garden: Maternal Geneologies as Resistance in Canadian Experimental Documentary” (2016), and the forthcoming edited collection titled Petrocultures: Oil, Energy and Culture (McGill-Queen’s UP 2017). She is also editor of Petrocultures: A Series in Energy Humanities, a new book series with the University of Alberta Press.
Project & Development Coordinator
Vick S. Kwon is a PhD student in History of Art, Design and Visual Culture at the University of Alberta. She received a Master’s degree and an Honours Bachelor’s degree from the University of Toronto (art history specialist, minor in semiotics and communication theories). Her research area is contemporary performance art, public spectacles, and art as social practice. Kwon’s doctoral research explores mass games (state-programmed spectacles) as a nation-building strategy in postcolonial global subalterns, namely, North Korea, South Korea, and Guyana. Currently she is working on two main research and exhibition projects: (1) Mass Games: Spectacles in Postcolonial North Korea and Guyana in the 1980s, which premiered at the Asian Culture Centre in Gwangju, South Korea, in 2015 and will be presented at the University of Alberta’s Rutherford Library April–June 2016; and (2) The VACCINE(S) Project, an interdisciplinary project to explore opportunities for uniting evidence, art, and advocacy as a strategy for improving global health decision making, in particular on vaccination (forthcoming at the UN headquarters in Geneva, 2017, PI: Steven Hoffman, Natalie Loveless,and Sean Caulfield).
Event & Publication Assistant
Brittany Snellen is a second year master’s student in art history at the University of Alberta (U of A). She graduated from the U of A with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Honors Art History in 2014. Her undergraduate thesis discussed the contemporary German artist Gerhard Richter and his photo-paintings, using the theoretical lens of Walter Benjamin and specifically his essay ‘The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction’. Her interests in the value, reproduction, and dissemination of art led her to her master’s thesis research, which is centered on the Early Modern Period in Italy, with a specific focus on the history of medicine, anatomical dissections and the body. Her personal research interests deal frequently with notions of the viewer’s experience and the role of the viewer within the gallery space. The accessibility of both venue and language related to art are common themes that she explores in her work. Snellen has participated in a number of student-led projects at the U of A involving both the art history and fine arts departments. She is driven to bridge the gap between artists and historians, and has created collaborative environments and projects with other students that resulted in an art shows built on student knowledge and initiative. In these projects, she finds an outlet for both her academic and personal pursuits.
Exhibition Assistant & Videographer
Kyle Terrence is an emerging artist and filmmaker from the industrial heart of Alberta, Canada. He holds a Masters of Fine Art from the University of Alberta where he developed his recent body of work, Pilgrimage: being in the end times. He exhibited work at the 2015 SLSA “After Biopolitics” conference at Rice University. He works primarily in film, performance, sculpture and photography. His work often thinks through various discourses such as phenomenology, the sublime, theology, eschatology and ecology. His newest body of work is thinking about the construction of masculinity through the petro-cultural landscape of the province of Alberta.
Photodocumentor & Publication Assistant
Michael Woolley is working toward a Master of Arts in the History of Art, Design, and Visual Culture at the University of Alberta, funded by the SSHRC Canada Graduate Scholarship-Masters’ Program. Drawing upon his professional background in commercial photography as well as an interest in and passion for critical theory, he finds his research practice continually toeing the line between theory and praxis. Performance art, photography, performance art photodocumentation tend to preoccupy his thoughts most days, and doing performance art photodocumentation is something he takes up as both research methodology and performance art practice. This productive chiasm informs his thinking and writing about contemporary feminist and queer theory, as well as the history and historicizing of contemporary art by and large. In the moments leading up to, around, and out of New Maternalisms, Woolley finds himself engrossed in Heidegger’s phenomenology as well as the turn to the Matrixial in psychoanalysis, and the generative resonances that exist between them.