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Reading Group & Screening

Reading Group & Screening

Join us for a Reading Group & Screening led by Dr. Catherine Spencer on Wednesday 22nd February from 6-8pm in Cooper Gallery.

Catherine Spencer will lead a Reading Group to delve into the involvement of women in strike action in the UK and France with examples from the 60s and 70s. The evening will also include a Screening of the little known film Women of the Rhondda (1972, courtesy of Cinenova) which turns much needed attention to the role played by women in the gruelling Welsh Miners' Strikes of the 1920s and 30s.

This event is part of our Event Series for Of Other Spaces: Where Does Gesture Become Event?

Please Sign Up to this event in advance via our Eventrbrite page:


Catherine Spencer is a Lecturer in Modern and Contemporary Art at the University of St Andrews. Her research and teaching focuses primarily on performance art since 1960, particularly in Europe, North America and Latin America. She is currently co-editing the book London Art Worlds: Mobile, Contingent and Ephemeral Networks, 1960-1980 (Penn State University Press) with Jo Applin and Amy Tobin, and her article 'Acts of Displacement: Lea Lublin’s Mon fils, May ’68 and Psychosocial Feminist Revolt’ will be published in the Spring 2017 issue of the Oxford Art Journal.

Women of the Rhondda
1972, 20 mins
Directors: Esther Ronay, Mary Kelly, Mary Capps, Humphrey Trevelyan, Margaret Dickinson, Brigid Seagrave, Susan Shapiro

The film consists of interviews with four Rhondda women interspersed with shots from Rhondda streets and coal mines. The memories elicited, as well as the importance of working class women's contributions to the strike makes this film essential viewing. The film shows a tremendous commitment to its subject, and an insistence that oppression resides in 'trivial' details and everyday assumptions. 'My brothers ended up the strike very, very sunburnt, whilst my mother was worn out'. (Mrs Davies, Rhondda Valley) A story of solidarity and women's courage which has stayed hidden in more conventional histories. What comes across is the strength of women within the struggles of the labour movement.

Courtesy of Cinenova: Distributor of Feminist Film & Video


Closing Performance Event: Saturday 4 March 2017, 2:00 – 6:00pm with performance by Anne Bean, He Chengyao and Siön Parkinson & Rhubaba Choir.

All events are free to attend however you may need to RSVP in advance.

Image courtesy of Cinenova and Women of the Rhondda directors Esther Ronay, Mary Kelly, Mary Capps, Humphrey Trevelyan, Margaret Dickinson, Brigid Seagrave, Susan Shapiro.

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Exhibition continues until 4 March 2017

Of Other Spaces: Where Does Gesture Become Event?
is a two-chapter contemporary art exhibition and event programme at Cooper Gallery and off site venues in “She Town” Dundee. Having accomplished Chapter One on the high note of the 12-Hour Action Group in the winter of 2016, Of Other Spaces: Where Does Gesture Become Event? continues its dialogue through word and deed in Chapter Two.

The title of the programme acknowledges the work of Hannah Arendt who understood politics as a ‘space of appearance’; a process of being seen and heard by others. Deprived of this, gestures whether artistic, social or political, cannot herald in new alternatives. To do this, gestures must be provoked into becoming an event. Always without precedence an event ruptures and shatters how ourselves and the world appear. Transgressing prejudices and assumptions an event is a moment that declares another world is possible. Summoning the spirit of Arendt’s ‘space of appearance’, Chapter Two proposes the body itself as an event.

Standing among and between others, the body is a resistant otherness, queering and questioning its own appearance. Protesting and speaking, confronting and mythologising, this questioning body utters its answer in performance. Immersed in a depth of meaning and dissonance, the artists’ films and live performances, two practices intertwined with feminist thought and action since the 1970s. Chapter Two of Of Other Spaces: Where Does Gesture Become Event? elaborates necessarily complex answers to the otherness of a questioning and critical body.

Artists featured in Chapter Two of Of Other Spaces: Where Does Gesture Become Event? include Anne Bean, Cullinan Richards, Rose English, He Chengyao, Mary Kelly, Linder, Annabel Nicolson, Siôn Parkinson, Georgina Starr and Hanna Tuulikki.

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.

For more information on the exhibition please visit the exhibition page for Chapter Two of Of Other Spaces.