At the beginning of September, Vitalstatistix presented Adhocracy, our national arts hothouse. Adhocracy featured nine project and around forty artists, all developing new experimental and multidisciplinary artworks. You can read about why Adhocracy (and the artists it supports) are important here.
This year’s commissioned residency project for Adhocracy was Second Hand Emotions, led by Mish Grigor, Sarah Rodigari and SJ Norman with South Australian artists Celeste Martin, Grace Marlow, Jennifer Greer Holmes, Rebecca Meston, Sarah-Jayde Tracey and Suzannah Kennett Lister.
Second Hand Emotions was a queer, unashamedly process-driven and discursive project responding to the provocation of ‘love and feminism’. The Second Hand Emotions zine, produced during the residency, can be seen at Fontanelle’s Love & Feminism exhibition on until 8 October as part of FRAN.
For our (slightly belated!) September blog we are publishing a speech delivered by the Second Hand Emotions lead artists at the opening event on Friday 1 September.
Our next Vital Conversations blog in October will feature a solo interview with artist Rebecca Conroy, also discussion feminist themes of affective and emotional labour, and her work Iron Lady in development with Vitalstatistix and Performance & Art Development Agency during November as part of the Feast Festival.
WE STARTED BY TALKING
WE’VE BEEN TALKING FOR TWELVE DAYS
WE’RE STILL TALKING NOW (AND …..NOW)
WE MADE LISTS
WE INTERROGATED EACH OTHER
WE ASKED NICELY
WE CATEGORISED IT AS A COLLOQUIAL DISCURSIVE MODE
WOMEN SITTING IN A CIRCLE TALKING
(NO, PEOPLE SITTING IN A CIRCLE TALKING)
WE COVERED LOTS OF GROUND
WE DEFINED AFFECTIVE LABOUR
SOME OF US GOOGLED PHILOSOPHICAL TERMS
WE TALKED ABOUT WAVES OF FEMINISM
WE TALKED ABOUT WAVES OF EMOTION
WE WERE LOST IN A SEA OF CONTRADICTIONS.
WE WORKED 10-5
BUT REALLY WE STARTED AT 11, THE REAL WORK STARTED AT 11. BEFORE THAT WAS COFFEE, AND WRITING, AND CHECK INS.
WE MADE ANOTHER POT OF COFFEE, WE MIGHT JUST MAKE ANOTHER POT OF COFFEE?.
WE DECIDED NOT TO GIVE ANY HOMEWORK
BUT THEN WE GAVE A BIT, BUT WE IT WASNT REALLY HOMEWORK, IT WAS ALMOST HOMEWORK, SO IT WAS STOOP WORK.
WE TALKED ABOUT EMOTIONS
WE TALKED ABOUT ART
WE TALKED ABOUT POLITICS
WE TALKED ABOUT LIFE
TENDERNESS. RAGE. GRIEF. LOVE
WE TALKED ABOUT FUCKING.
THEN WE WOULD GO HOME AND THE REAL WORK WOULD START
THEN WE WOULD DO THE OTHER WORK THAT WE HAVE TO DO FOR OUR OTHER JOB, OUR MONEY JOB. THEN WE WERE TIRED BECAUSE WE REALISED WE WERE WORKING ALL DAY AND WORKING ALL NIGHT.
WE WORKED IT OUT
WE INVITED GUESTS
WE BROUGHT IN EXPERTS
WE HAD A SKYPE
WE HARDLY EVER AGREED BUT WE WERE USUALLY PRETTY POLITE ABOUT IT
WE TALKED ABOUT FEMINIST HISTORIES
WE TALKED ABOUT ART HEROES
WE TALKED ABOUT PROJECTS THAT WE MIGHT MAKE
WE TALKED THROUGH OUR HISTORIES
WE DEFINED OUR EXTENDED ANCESTRY
WE TALKED ABOUT INSTAGRAM EYEBROWS
WE TALKED ABOUT THE SOMATISATION OF EMOTIONAL
WE ASKED QUESTIONS
WE WERE LATE
WE ARRIVED EARLY
WE SPLIT INTO GROUPS
WE DIDNT HAVE A BOSS
WE DIDNT HAVE A LEADER
WE WERE ALL LEADERS
SOME LEADERS SPEAK MORE THAN OTHER LEADERS
WE WONDERED IF SOMEONE WOULD CRY
WE MADE FUN OF EACH OTHER
WE TRIED TO LISTEN
WE TALKED ABUOT THE BODY
WE TALKED ABOUT THE MIND
WE TALKED ABOUT THE CARTESIAN SPLIT
WE TRIED TO EXORCISE THE DEMONS OF THE CARTESIAN SPLIT
WE TRIED TO DISPEL THE MYTH OF THE CARTESIAN SPLIT
WE FELL BACK, EVEN US, ON THE CARTESIAN SPLIT
WE WERENT SURE HOW TO SHARE ALL THIS WITH YOU
WE WERE TIRED AT THE END OF EACH DAY
WE WERE TALKING AS A POLITICAL ACT. WE WERE TALKING AS A SPACE OF ACTION. WE TALKED ABOUT TALKING AS A RIGHT AND PRIVILEGE AND WE TALKED IN DEFIANCE OF ALL THE TIMES WE HAVE BEEN SILENCED. WE TALKED TOGETHER IN DEFIANCE OF ALL THE TIMES WE HAVE BEEN ALONE. WE TALKED ABOUT TALKING AS A WAY THAT AFFECTIVE LABOUR MANIFESTS.
WE HAD A WINE
WE HAD A WINE
WE HAD A WINE
WE USED THE WORD CUNT AND RECLAIMED THE WORD PUSSY
WE HAD ANOTHER WINE
WE WENT PERSONAL WE WENT POLITICAL WE WENT INTERSECTIONAL
WE ASKED QUESTIONS – ARE YOU A WOMAN? HOW DO YOU KNOW?
WHAT SHAPE DOES RAGE TAKE? WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME YOU WERE VIOLENT?
WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME YOU CARED FOR SOMEONE?
WE ASKED VIRGINIA WOOLF, WE ASKED AUDRE LORDE. LESLEY FEINEBERG. MAGGIE NELSON. NINA SIMONE. TWIN PEAKS.
MY BACK CATALOGUE YOUR BACK CATALOGUE
WE WONDERED IF YOU CAN COMMUNICATE TWELVE DAYS OF CONVERSATION IN FIVE MINUTES
WE WONDERED IF WE COULD ENCAPSULATE IN THAT OUTCOME ON WHAT IS INHERENTLY AN OPEN ENDED NON DIDACTIC MULTIFACETED DIALOGICAL SPACE OF SELF REFLECTION AND SHARED FRUSTRATION
WE FIGURED OUT THAT YOU CANT ENCAPSULATE IT
WE FIGURED THAT YOU CANT EXPRESS IT
THERE’S NOTHING IN HERE ABOUT COLONIALISM
BUT WE KEPT IT IN THE ROOM, ALWAYS
WE TRIED TO KEEP IT IN THE ROOM, ALWAYS
WE STARTED OUR FORTNIGHT WITH A DECOLONISING GESTURE, AND WE CARRY THAT WITH US NOW, AT THE END.
WE WONDERED WHAT ELSE WE MIGHT TAKE AWAY FROM IT ALL
WE PROPOSED MOVING SILENCE INTO ACTION
WE WONDERED WHAT WE MIGHT IMPART TO YOU
WE WANT TO SAY THANKS FOR HAVING US
WE THINK WE’LL BE THINKING ABOUT THIS FOR A WHILE
Image: The entire Second Hand Emotions artists on the final night of Adhocracy.