Home Strike, guest curated by Alexandra Kokoli and Basia Sliwinska, brings together the work of four women artists — CANAN, Paula Chambers, Malgorzata Markiewicz, Su Richardson — in an exhibition exploring contemporary resistance to the persistent feminisation of domesticity and household maintenance. The exhibition interrogates those biopolitical and cultural norms that see women and their bodies systematically domesticated, exploited and imprisoned by patriarchal ideologies.
Oscillating between the horrific and the humorous, Home Strike revisits the domestic biopolitics of 1970s feminism. Through its contemporary inflection, the exhibition considers the impact of 1970s feminism on intersectional discussions of class, gender and global inequalities.
Paula Chambers’ practice involves weaponising 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. This depressingly implies that the female revolt may have already been suppressed — or else, it could illustrate that its insurgents are gaining ground and sharing skills. 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.