LIVING BUT A DAY | PS2 GALLERY, BELFAST
Poster designs by Owen Mackle
May I write words more naked than flesh, stronger than bone, more resilient than sinew, sensitive than nerve. – Sappho
Living but a Day is a collaborative project by visual artist Chloe Austin, curated by Jennifer Alexander. The exhibition (or intervention) explores ephemerality as a process that encourages room for intimate and physical engagements with archival material that have progressed queer and feminist expression on the island of Ireland.
Austin’s research examines formerly overlooked archival material between the North and South of the island and further into the depths of typographic history and print culture of the 90s and 00s. Living but a Day seeks a revival and a shared history with lived experience in the ‘Women's News Magazine’, established in Belfast in 1984 by the Women's News Collective.
Choose your words / Re-speak the text
This exhibition aims to combine the past with the present in an active dialogue. It invites audience participation that will result in the co-creation of new text-based artwork, constructing a space for bodily encounters with feminist and queer pasts.
Ephemera comes from the Greek word ephemeros, which translates to ‘lasting but a day’. As this project focuses on the lived experience of queer and feminist subjects, Living but a Day emerges. Gathering printed ephemera held by HERe NI and LGBTQIA+ NI Heritage Project, copies of 'Women’s News Magazine' will be re-imagined to examine how creative research in the archive challenges queer and feminist histories that link to a material and textual trace.
The public were invited to participate for the first two weeks of the exhibition; to interact, hold and re-speak texts from the archive wall. Austin interpreted the publics ‘re-speaking’ into new artworks that informed the final weeks of the project. A Sappho-inspired spoken word event took place on the 21st of September at PS2, welcoming two guest performers; Maighread Medbh and Emer Lyons followed by the poetry of Indigo Azidahaka and Maitiu Mac Cartaigh.
Consigning through gathering together signs. - J. Derrida