The Grand Domestic Revolution GOES ON

The Grand Domestic Revolution (GDR) is an ongoing ‘living research’ project initiated by Casco – Office for Art, Design and Theory, Utrecht as a multi-faceted exploration of the domestic sphere to imagine new forms of living and working in common. Inspired by US late nineteenth-century ‘material feminist’ movements that experimented with communal solutions to isolated domestic life and work, the GDR saw artists, designers, domestic workers, architects, gardeners, activists and others collaboratively experiment with and re-articulate the domestic sphere, challenging traditional and contemporary divisions of private and public. [1]

The Grand Revolution GOES ON at The Showroom presents contemporary and historical artworks and a diverse and growing reference library, forming a base for workshops and events that develop the GDR further. Exhibited works employ a wide range of methodologies to playfully problematise domestic issues such as work at home, housing rights, property relations, family economies and neighbourhood struggles, and range from the satirical to social critique and activist actions. The exhibition forges connections and affinities with The Showroom’s ongoing programme of neighbourhood-based commissions Communal Knowledge.

Works include GDR’s cooperatively produced sitcom, Our Autonomous Life? (2010–11); Pauline Boudry and Renata Lorenz’s housewives’ manifesto Charming for the Revolution (2009); Rehana Zaman’s Like an Iron Maiden Trapped Between a Rock and Hard Place (2010); a shadow-play work I will not ask anything about you, you will not ask anything about me (2011) produced by domestic workers in the Netherlands in collaboration with Matthijs de Bruijne; and public cleaning actions by a group of cultural workers intersecting art work and domestic work, ASK! (Actie Schone Kunsten). A new video work by artist Joseph Williams, a member of the homeless artist collective Seymour Arts, will be produced and presented.

Now GDR goes on, evolving in different scales and extensions, taken up and transformed in different cities, sites and neighbourhoods by those who desire to carry on the GDR from their own home base or by those already engaged with it in their local languages and practices.

[1] This history was excavated by architectural historian Dolores Hayden in her seminal 1981 publication, The Grand Domestic Revolution: A History of Feminist Designs for American Homes, Neighborhoods and Cities.

The Grand Domestic Revolution GOES ON is the umbrella name for various offshoots and extensions of the The Grand Domestic Revolution project.

The Grand Domestic Revolution GOES ON – LONDON is realised in the framework of COHAB, a two-year project initiated by The Showroom, Casco – Office for Art, Design and Theory, Utrecht and Tensta Konsthall, Stockholm, supported by a Cooperation Measures grant from the European Commission Culture 2007–2013 Programme.

It has been additionally supported by Mondriaan Foundation, Arts Council England and Outset Contemporary Art Fund, as The Showroom’s Production Partner 2012.

Communal Knowledge is generously supported by the Paul Hamlyn Foundation, The Esmée Fairbairn Foundation and John Lyon’s Charity.



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