I am very pleased to present the third edition of the DEAD LADIES SHOW in NYC, coming at you on Wednesday, 2 January, from 7:00-9:00pm at the KGB Bar (85 East 4th Street).
We’ll be kicking off the New Year in style, with presentations about a radical suffragist, a forward-thinking sculptor, and a former sex worker turned activist. Presented by socialist feminist biologist ALEXANDRA WALLING, female-artist-focused critic HALL W. ROCKEFELLER, and editor extraordinaire BRIA SANDFORD, with the occasional interjection by your host, MOLLY O’LAUGHLIN. Join us as we greet 2019 with a dose of Dead Ladies—good for the body and soul.
Free admission; please buy a drink or two to ensure the future of DLS NYC at KGB.
SYLVIA PANKHURST was an artist, suffragette, communist, anti-fascist, pacifist, newspaper editor, and tireless crusader for justice. A co-founder of the militant Women’s Social and Political Union, she soon abandoned the bourgeois organization to focus on poor, working women and advocate for pacifism during WWI; after the war, she became a communist and avowed anti-fascist. In 1944, Pankhurst helped found Ethiopia’s first teaching hospital, and she later moved to the country as a guest of the Emperor. When she died in 1960, she was given a state funeral and burial in Addis Ababa’s Holy Trinity church—the only foreigner ever awarded such an honor.
Artist EVA HESSE survived the Holocaust, but succumbed to brain cancer thirty-one years later, which is the textbook definition of unfair. Despite this, she made more of her thirty-four years on Earth than most people make of lifetimes double that length. She changed the way art is made forever (how many people can say that?), pioneering the movement that would become known as post-minimalism. She made simple sculptures whose structures belied the chaos within, captivating the art world by the time she was in her late twenties. Eva Hesse may be the most important sculptor of the 20th century. (No, this writer does not consider Duchamp a sculptor, and yes, she did consider Rodin for this distinction.)
Radical feminist ANDREA DWORKIN is somewhat inaccurately famous for claiming, “all sex is rape,” but the arguments she actually made in the 1970s-1990s were no less controversial. When she crusaded against male dominance and domestic violence in the 1970s through 1990s, conservatives mocked her for being anti-man. When she campaigned unsuccessfully against pornography, liberals vilified her as puritanical and prudish. Yet Dworkin would not be silenced. Drawing on her personal experience as a sex worker and as a survivor of rape, she made it her business to speak, even to shout, on behalf of all abused women in a way that still echoes today.
Last but not least, a quick word about your presenters:
ALEXANDRA WALLING is a PhD student in Comparative Biology, where she studies microbial evolution. When she is not pursuing her studies, she organizes with the Socialist Feminist Working Group of the New York City Democratic Socialists of America.
HALL W. ROCKEFELLER is an art historian and critic. She is the founder of less than half, a website that covers female artists in New York City, including exhibition reviews and interviews with practicing female artists. Visit lessthanhalf.org to subscribe to the newsletter.
BRIA SANDFORD is an editor at Penguin Random House.