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The Ism that Dares Speak Its Name*
Meredyth Sparks



June 10 - August 2, 2015
Tues-Sunday 12:00 - 6:00pm
Reception: June 19, 6:00 - 9:00pm

PARMER at Abrons Arts Center 466 Grand Street, New York, NY 10002

The Ism that Dares Speak Its Name is a series of collaborative and public programs—discussion groups, screenings, a walking tour and Wikipedia edit-a-thon—that will explore the trajectories of the modern woman from the early 20th century through to current iterations in feminist art, music and political practices.

The programs will be housed within The Rivoli Pavilion (2011/2015), Meredyth Sparks’ string sculpture based on the modernist architect Eileen Gray’s Rivoli tea table. Amplified to the size of a pavilion, the sculpture collapses the boundaries between interior and exterior, public and private by transforming a domestic object into a public meetinghouse.

Through the public programs within Sparks’ sculptural form, the project provides a discursive space aimed at exploring our complicated relationship to modernism and the canon and current concerns within feminist discourse that make visible the contributions of women to the understanding of ourselves in relation to contemporary artistic subjectivity. By accounting for the collaborative and collective agency of feminism, The Ism that Dares Speak Its Name seeks to further the conversation, looking back while moving forward.

During the course of the program, the sculpture will house a program of video resources selected by Sparks. Culled form the Internet, this documentation will be divided into sections including: Documentaries, Artists in Their Own Words, and Artist Film and Video. This collection of videos will act as a generative archive that begins to elucidate a cultural, feminized voice.

We will begin the project at 6pm on June 10th with an informal gathering and publish-a-thon as the sculptural framework of the project is being installed. We will meet over drinks and collate preselected text –based readers for the project, talking through the stakes of the exhibition and collectively making the physical and discursive space we will be occupying over the next two months.

*This title is inspired by Mira Schor’s essay originally published in Documents journal, “The Ism That Dare Not Speak Its Name,” the title itself a play on the line “The love that dare not speak its name,” found in Lord Alfred Douglas’ 1894 poem “Two Loves.”

A Discussion, Jen Liu and Meredyth Sparks
June 13, 21 and July 19 and 26, 2015

pilot press… OPEN MIC, Jen Kennedy and Liz Linden
July 21, 2015

Wikipedia Modern Woman Edit-a-Thon
August 2, 2015

*Image: Eileen Gray's "Rivoli" tea table, reference image for Meredyth Sparks' "The Ism that Dares Speak its Name," 2015