Saturday, November 3, 2012
"Global Feminism" by Catherine Lord
In searching for work by Catherine Lord, I came across “Global Feminism” (2011). As part of the show Readykeulous: The Hurtful Healer (The Correspondence Issue) organized by Ridykelous, Lord’s work is functioning in the effort to bring queerness and feminism into the mainstream. “Global Feminism” is an interesting piece that uses covers of Valerie Solanas’ S.C.U.M. Manifesto. The covers are of the international editions of the book, an interesting choice by Lord, which makes the exhibit more inclusive of how feminism operates around the world.
S.C.U.M. is a fascinating work by Solanas, self-published for the first time in 1967, which lists all the grievances Solanas has against men, along with an introduction and conclusion. S.C.U.M. is a work born of rage against capitalism and the patriarchal system. Highly criticized and acclaimed, it is fascinating to place Solanas’ book in context with her assassination attempt of Andy Warhol in 1968.
Lord’s use of a radical feminist’s book covers places the show, with its work towards bringing queerness and feminism into the consciousness of the mainstream, in a remarkable contradiction. The covers themselves are an intriguing mixture, some of which appear to feature Solanas, with others featuring scissors or weapons, referring to the idea that S.C.U.M. was meant to stand for “Society for Cutting Up Men,” despite the lack of a reference to this in the text itself. Placed between the two rooms of the gallery, Lord’s addition to the show demonstrates how vital radical feminism is to mainstream feminism and how the ideas of radical feminists should not be ignored or dismissed.