Project description

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This is the home of the research project And Others: The Gendered Politics and Practices of Art Collectives which explores labour in collective practice. It is run by Lina Džuverović, Lecturer in Arts Policy and Management at the Department of Film, Media and Cultural Studies at Birkbeck, University of London and involves a series of seminars, interviews and essays, which can be found on this website. Forthcoming events will be listed in the news section.

Art collectives are often seen as anti-hierarchical and liberatory, radical political propositions promising new freedoms, different ways of working and alternative economies. But are such aims reflected in art collectives’ own constitutions and practices, or only their outputs? Is collectivity automatically emancipatory for all involved? This project examines the division of labour within art collectives. Approaching the study of art collectives intersectionally, it critically examines their constitutions, processes and practices. The project draws attention to tensions between ideological beliefs and praxis, asking whether collective practice inadvertently reproduces forms of oppression and silencing present neoliberal capitalist patriarchy that they seek to counter.

The title ‘And Others’ refers to ways in which art collectives are often written about and remembered within discourses governed by individualism and an attachment to individual authorship. The most prominent and vocal members’ names are usually listed while other participants of the group may not be named at all or may be listed as ‘and others’, suggesting contributions which may be of lesser importance. This project is about ‘the others’. It investigates internal workings and division of labour in art collectives, examining how different types of labour are valued and how this is subsequently inscribed in the groups’ narratives.