Tuesday, 24 February 2009

My submission for the sub(Missive) exhibition, accompanying the 12th Leeds International Contemporary Artist Book Fair

Organised by Louise Atkinson and the Artist Book Collective, and showing alongside the Leeds Artist book Fair in March. The exhibition will travel to other venues, to be announced. Each participant was sent instructions, by post, by the person below them on a list.
Having been sent instructions by Alice Bradshaw with 4 blank beer mats, it was no easy feat to create a work that had some meaning, but was accessible too.
I hope the exhibition goes really well (a little birdy told me members of the Tate will be visiting!) and with a lot of luck and determination, I might even be able to turn up myself!
Here's the blurb for my work:

A presentation, a setting, a reading.

4 beer mats and a facsimile pub table present a setting to glimpse at women’s progress with alcohol, through the 20th C, from ‘protesting liquor prude’ to ‘shameless imprudent drinking hussy’. Whether tea-total or drunk, women are more harshly judged than men by society.
The 20th C was marked by women’s attempt to escape oppression, subjugation and belittlement by men. At the turn of the century a few women tried to control men and their vile habits by trying to outlaw liquor. Unfortunately, this back lashed, and made them look like bad sports, and rather unattractive to men.
Later, with new found freedom, and a realisation that drinking was kinda nice after all they demanded the right to drink alongside men in bars and pubs. But, still on men’s terms, a woman could only enter the pub with a man, or with a group of women. If she went on her own, she was seen as a lush.
Later still, a new dawn of women’s lib hit both sides of the Atlantic, and women took to drinking with confidence. It still wasn’t that cool to go out drinking on your own, unless you knew the barman by name, were middle-aged and a bit scarred emotionally.
Now, women everywhere have finally caught up with the opposite sex, and are drinking with complete abandon: clubbing all night, throwing up in the toilet, and collapsing in the gutter. Although a woman might end up alone on one of these binges, she probably started out with a man or a bunch of females, as society still has hypocritical views on women and drinking. On the surface women have equal rights to drink themselves to death, but society, and health authorities, still judges them more harshly for it.
4 beer mats provide a brief reading of 4 stages of women and drink: promoting them on the surface; elaborating in a facetious way on the reverse side, and covering up the insidious stain on women’s lives, ingrained in reality.

Look out for future showing at Beer Mat exhibition with Temporary Art Space in May.

Beer mats, grey board, book cloth, ink jet printed paper, craft spray, acid free binder’s paste, and pva glues and linen thread.

Leslie Wilson-Rutterford
London 2009