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International Symposium

Annabel Nicholson Menstrual Hut large 12 hour symposium

International Symposium: 12 Hour Action Group

Of Other Spaces: Where Does Gesture Become Event?
International Symposium

12-Hour Action Group

Saturday 3 December, 11:00am - 11:00pm

Cooper Gallery, DJCAD

Keynote Speakers: Amelia Jones, Lynda Morris, Laura Mulvey, Adele Patrick and Marina Vishmidt.

Contributors: Anne Bean; James Bell; Tessa Berring; Anne Laure Coxam; Lynn Davidson; Cullinan Richards; Gordon Douglas; Rose English; Laura Edbrook and Sarah Forrest (Sick Sick Sick); Georgi Gill; Marjorie Lotfi Gill; Althea Greenan; Jane Goldman; Victoria Horne; Kirsty Logan, Linder; Katharine Meynell; Rachel McCrum; Jane McKie; Theresa Munoz; Annabel Nicolson; Su Richardson; Hannah O’Shea; Sarah Smart; Catherine Spencer; Alice Tarbuck; Amy Tobin; Karen Veitch; JL Williams.

Ringmistresses: Beth Bate, Cullinan Richards, Sophia Hao and Catherine Spencer.


Always unforeseen, an event is a radical break from the dominant order. In its declaration that other worlds are possible, an event overturns prejudices, assumptions and habits of thought.

An event, if it is anything, is an opening, a revealing of possibility, and it is this potential that the 12-Hour Action Group, the culminating event of Cooper Gallery’s major programme Of Other Spaces: Where Does Gesture Become Event? embraces through the inherently radical, dissonant and often luxuriantly subversive thought and action practised by the artists, writers and thinkers occupying Of Other Spaces.

The title of the programme is a homage to Hannah Arendtwho considered politics the ‘space of appearance’; a means of being seen and heard. Deprived of this, gestures whether artistic, social or political, cannot become events that usher in new alternatives. Summoning Arendt’s transgressive and rupturing ‘space of appearance’, Of Other Spaces: Where Does Gesture Become Event? reignites feminist insights as a means to provoke gestures into events.

View Ross Fraser McLean photographs on flickr

Photography by Ross Fraser McLean 2016.

Inspired by ‘action groups’ in the 1970s and 80s that sought to achieve changes to a particular situation, 12-Hour Action Group foregrounds practices of resistance, collectivity and self-organisation. It was this seditiousness that enabled feminist thinking to become a volatile politics instigating urgent alternatives to the cultural, political and economic machinery of power.

Galvanised by keynote talks, collective readings, actions, performances, screenings and a round table discussion all determined by an ethos of dialogue and experimentation, 12-Hour Action Group draws upon a kaleidoscope of methods to construct a dynamic, open and collaborative arena that contests what is visible and invisible, thinkable and unthinkable.

For the occasion of the 12-Hour Action Group, new texts were developed by the collective writing project content work produce form which have been published via Cooper Gallery initiative Group Critical Writing.

View Jacquetta Clark photographs on flickr

Photography by Jacquetta Clark 2016.

Playlist of performances from 12-Hour Action Group, including those marked * in the schedule below.

12-Hour Action Group Schedule

10:45 Registration

11:00 Fairy-tale reading by Kirsty Logan: The Keep*

11:10 Performance, conceived by Linder and performed by Lauren Fitzpatrick & volunteers: Love imposes impossible tasks (Part One)*

11:15 Fairy-tale reading by Kirsty Logan: Star, Witch, Bear*

11:25 The first in a set of Annotations*, conceived and performed throughout the event by Cullinan Richards.

11:35 Keynote talk by Amelia Jones & Immediate response: Encountering: Gesture as Event, or, The Conceptual Body

12:05 Collective Writing/Reading, by 12 Edinburgh Women writers: Content work produce form (Action 1)*

12:15 An Action by Gordon Douglas with Kate Stobbart: Work-in-Progress*

12:25 Keynote talk by Marina Vishmidt & Immediate response Social Reproduction as Problem and Medium

12:55 Lunch Break

13:35 Afternoon session introduced by Beth Bate

13:40 Performance by Madira Gregurek, Corinne Jola, Kaja Jurkowska, Tom Wohlfhaht We dance ourselves! Re: Rosas!*

13:50 Performative video-essay by Sick Sick Sick/ Laura Edbrook & Sarah Forrest: It is this it is this, it is this*

14:05 Keynote talk by Laura Mulvey& Immediate response Changes: Thoughts across 40 years of Feminism, Film and Spectatorship

14:35 Collective Writing/Reading, by 12 Edinburgh women writers content work produce form (Action 2)*

14:45 Reading by James Bell: The Sphere*

14:55 Keynote talk by Adele Patrick & Immediate response Claiming Space: activism, agency & art in the (re)making of Glasgow Women’s Library

15:25 Performance reading by JL Williams: itself the present*

15:35 Performance, conceived by Linder and performed by Lauren Fitzpatrick and volunteers Love imposes impossible tasks (Part Two)*

15:45 Coffee/tea break

16:00 Keynote presentation by Lynda Morris & Immediate response: Duplicity: Gender and Class

16:30 Action Group Round Table Discussion Chaired by Catherine Spencer with Anne Bean, Rose English, Amelia Jones, Linder, Lynda Morris, Laura Mulvey, Hannah O’Shea, Adele Patrick, Su Richardson and Marina Vishmidt.

17:15 Screening by Annabel Nicolson: Firefilm

17:25 Presentation by Althea Greenan: Women Artists Slide Write*

17:40 Performance, conceived by Sarah Smart and performed by Kristopher Curran: IT Girl: The Future Is Not Male*

17:50 Comfort Break

18:00 Performance by Hannah O’Shea Litany for Women Artists

18:30 Performance/presentation by Amy Tobin & Marina Vishmidt: Shedding Skins and Making Appearances*

18:45 Dinner Break

19:40 Performance by Anne Bean: REACH*

20:10 Screening & In-conversation with Katharine Meynell & Victoria Horne: The R.C.A. Women's Group (1982)

20:45 Presentation by Catherine Spencer: Psychosocial Revolt in the Salon: Lea Lublin and Femmes/Art

21:00 A Mulled Cider Break

21:15 Film screening introduced by Laura Mulvey Riddles of the Sphinx


The Of Other Spaces Event Series is an integral part of Cooper Gallery’s major project Of Other Spaces: Where Does Gesture Become Event?; a two-chapter contemporary art exhibition and rolling event programme taking place between November 2016 and March 2017, comprising live performances, screenings, collective readings, participatory dance and an International Symposium; 12-Hour Action Group. Referencing art works, artist collaborative groups and activism by women from the 1970s to the present day, the project investigates the contemporary relevance and cogency of feminist thinking on power as it is enacted through bodies, institutions and systems of representation.


Of Other Spaces: Where Does Gesture Become Event? is a project initiated and curated by Cooper Gallery DJCAD University of Dundee and is supported by The National Lottery through Creative Scotland, Henry Moore Foundation, Kingston University and Scotland's Jute Museum @ Verdant Works.