About the Book
Archi-feministes!, a new publication exploring a significant body of historical and contemporary art by women, takes its title from the exhibition of the same name organised by the Montreal-based, non-profit artist-run centre OPTICA.
The two-part exhibition at OPTICA interrogated the themes of 'archiving the body' and 'performing the archive', bringing together artists rooted in the documentary tradition, or revisiting it by way of performance, appropriation, accumulation and repetition.
Besides challenging notions of authorship and artistic tradition, these strategies examine the artist's body, as well as the time of production and reception of the work. The practices of Sophie BeLlair Clement, Olivia Boudreau, Sorel Cohen, Raphaelle de Groot, Vera Frenkel, Clara Gutsche, Suzy Lake, Emmanuelle Leonard, Claire Savoie and Jana Sterbak probe a variety of production processes through critical operations employing fiction, the body, personal narratives, reflexivity and subjectivity.
This publication also examines the signs of a contemporary resurgence of feminism through acts of resistance and practices that revise historical canons and question the normativity of art history as a discipline, among other issues. It also focuses on the Canadian art scene, with references to grass-roots initiatives, collectives and the network of artist-run centres as a background.
Contributors to the publication include a number of prestigious and influential feminist writers, curators and artists: Philippe Dumaine, independent researcher; co-founders of Toronto's Feminist Art Gallery (FAG) Deirdre Logue (video artist, activist and Development Director at Vtape, Toronto) and Allyson Mitchell (artist, activist and Associate Professor, School of Gender, Sexuality and Women's Studies, York University); Wanda Nanibush (Curator of Indigenous Art, Art Gallery of Ontario); Johanne Sloan (Professor of Art History, Concordia University); Rinaldo Walcott (Director of the Women and Gender Studies Institute, University of Toronto); and Giovanna Zapperi (Faculty Member, ENSA-Bourges, Art History and Theory Department).