Home strike

Chambers, Paula (2018) Home strike. [Show/Exhibition]

Abstract

The output is a creative project, comprising a series of sculptures, drawings and objects. It interrogates those biopolitical and cultural norms that see women, and their bodies, systematically domesticated, exploited and imprisoned by ideologies founded on patriarchy. Research process: The work involves weaponizing everyday household objects, transforming them into instruments of self-defence, or violent revolt — a stark reminder that the home is often no safe space. Common cooking utensils have their handles wrapped in women’s tights and secured by colourful hairbands in Kitchen Shanks (2017), turning material supports of femininity into makeshift armaments. Exhibited on a security grille, the shanks allude to DIY weapons confiscated from prison wards, and often put on display to educate wardens. A rickety barricade of motley found or stolen furniture has been used to construct Domestic Front (2016). Both protective and defensive, the front is infested with small cut- outs of women with guns that are both real and imaginary, grotesque and idealised, from images Chambers sourced from the internet. Research insights: The work implies that the female revolt may have already been suppressed — or else, it could illustrate that its insurgents are gaining ground and sharing skills. The installation “haunts our retrogressive imagination” through the use of “dysfunctional furniture and ambivalent ornamentation.” Oscillating between horrific and humorous images, Home Strike revisits the domestic biopolitics of 1970s feminism. Through its inflection, the exhibition considers the impact 1970s feminism has had on intersectional discussions of class, gender, and race. Dissemination: The project was disseminated at l’étrangère, London, 8 March – 21 April 2018.

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