The Agenda group was set up by myself and Daniel Curtis. It came out of a need to further open conversations around Gender, queerness and to create a platform for discussion. A monthly discussion, reading, lecture and artist platform, Agenda is an ongoing project which we hope will develop into the future.
Agenda no.1 :
John Stoltenberg, Refusing to be a man
For our first Agenda group we decided to look at a chapter from John Stoltenberg's, Refusing to be a man. This book was of great importance to my practice at the time and I was keen to open up converdtations with others about ideas surrounding masculinity and gender. the first Agenda group attracted a good crowd of people, who all had a different things to say about the text. what was most exciting was that this text opened up other conversations about gender and about wider social issues.
See also: Refusing to be a man (critical analysis)
Agenda no.2 :
Josh Stacey, 'Refugees and Gender'
For our second event we invited Joshua Stacey to talk about 'refugees and gender'. Joshua is a Community Health Manager for Medair, a Swiss NGO, where he manages Psychosocial and Sex/Gender Based Violence programming. He is also a consulting producer for VSCO's Dispatched photography series on refugees and the Creative Director of Turning the Lens, a platform of the London based Between Borders that seeks to deliver a counter-narrative to media reporting on displacement crisis, and to better reinforce the principle of humanitarian dignity.
This group covered issues that refugees face, such as gender based violence, the portrayal of male refugees and displacement. Within this group Joshua also highlighted how art can be a tool for talking about the subjects of refugees and gender.
Please click on images below for external links to artists exploring these issues:
Agenda no.3 :
Mark Goldby, artist talk
For this event we invited a former student of Wimbledon college of art and practicing artist Mark Goldby. Mark spoke about his personal journey with gender and how it has found a role in his practice as an artist. This artist talk was our most well attended Agenda group, and really engaged people with the possibility of exploring gender or thinking about it within their own practices.
Mark Goldby makes uncanny objects. Strange organic forms like large pieces of petrified skin or cancerous growths, things that ooze, drip and sweat and yet remain deadly still.These pieces explore the dichotomy of organic and inorganic and lead to ruminations on the cyborg, the android and the uncanny valley phenomenon. As we continue to upload our consciousness into the digital landscape we reach an in-between state where the self is both digital and physical - we are becoming posthuman.