The Showroom

Kiila/ The Wedge: Archive-as-Artwork, a reading group

Saturday 18 March, 2-4pm
Free event, book here

With the Feminist Duration Reading Group and artist Minna Henriksson, focused on the current iteration of The Kiila Feminist Archive, on the final day of Editorial Tables: Reciprocal Hospitalities


Together we will read sections from books by Iris Uurto and Katri Vala, founding Kiila members. Texts will be emailed to participants beforehand. No need to read in advance as we will read them out loud, one person at a time.

This event celebrates independent, experimental and artist-led publishing through an engagement with materials from the Kiila ('Wedge') Feminist Archive, an archive-as-artwork by artist Minna Henriksson, which is dedicated to the intersection of feminist and decolonial perspectives.

Growing out of the Finnish artists' and writers' association, founded the 1930s, The Kiila Feminist Archive preserves and reactivates feminist voices that have been obscured, lost, or edited out of official histories. The archive is compiled of materials which foreground intersecting feminist issues fundamental to the founding of Kiila; obscured, lost or edited out of its official histories. As an active current member of Kiila, Henriksson continues re-tracing, translating and subjectively situating these feminist orientations through the fiction writing - novels, poems and short stories - of the organisation’s founding female members.

Part of Editorial Tables: Reciprocal Hospitalities, an exhibition and public programme at The Showroom between January and March 2023, celebrating the production and dissemination of knowledge through the act of independent, experimental and artist-led publishing, with a focus on intersecting feminist and decolonial perspectives. The project involves a range of publishing, archiving, print and distribution practices by artists, curators and art workers.

The Feminist Duration Reading Group (FDRG) focuses on under-known and under-appreciated feminist texts, movements and struggles from outside the Anglo-American canon. The group has developed a practice of reading out loud, together, one paragraph at a time, with the aim of creating a sense of connection and intimacy during meetings. Established in March 2015, the group meets once a month, alternately at an art space and a non-institutional venue such as a private home or garden, and since COVID-19, sometimes group activities take place online.
The FDRG welcomes feminists of all genders and generations to explore the legacy and resonance of art, thinking and collective practice from earlier periods of feminism, in dialogue with contemporary practices and movements.

Image: Minna Henriksson: Kiila Feminist Archive, Editorial Tables: Reciprocal Hospitalities, installation view, The Showroom, London, 2023. Photo: Dan Weill Photography

Exhibition open 12-6pm, please arrive before 2pm to view Editorial Tables: Reciprocal Hospitalities


Sections to be read together on the night, no prior preparation necessary:
UURTO, Iris: Ruumiin ikävä, Otava Helsinki 1930, 380 p. (Title: Longing of the body)
UURTO, Iris: Timanttilakien alla, Otava, Helsinki 1938, 129 p. (Under the Diamond Laws)
VALA, Katri: Paluu, WSOY, Porvoo 1934 (Title: The Return)

Editorial Tables is a collaborative project between The Showroom and Frame Contemporary Art Finland; with the Finnish Institute in the UK and Ireland. Co-curated by Lily Hall at The Showroom and Yvonne Billimore & Jussi Koitela at Frame, the collaboration forms part of the core exhibition and public programme at The Showroom in 2023; Rehearsing Hospitalities, Frame’s public programme for 2019–2023; and Together Again, a programme by the Finnish Academic and Cultural Institutes, towards which Minna Henriksson is further contributing in 2023.

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