The Showroom

Screening: Sexual Politics

Thursday 29 May 2014, 7.30–10.00pm

Free, no booking required


A screening of Kate Millett: Three Lives (1971) and Sharon Hayes: Gay Power (2012), followed by a discussion led by Catherine Grant (Goldsmiths) and Sophie Mayer.

The first British edition of Kate Millett’s blistering feminist polemic Sexual Politics appeared on shelves in 1971 and was quickly taken up as a key text by the burgeoning women’s movement. In the same year Millett released Three Lives, a documentary that takes as its subject the everyday lives and experiences of three very different women. Shot by an all-female crew and made with the help of the recently founded Women’s Liberation Cinema (WLC), Three Lives communicates the radicalism of a key moment in the history of the second wave.

Included in installations at the Whitney Museum and Tanya Leighton Gallery, Gay Power (2007/2012) is a collaboration between Millett, the WLC and the artist Sharon Hayes. Footage of New York’s Second Annual Christopher Street Parade, shot in 1971 by the WLC, has been overlaid with the voices of Millett and Hayes who address the documentation and its legacy from different historical perspectives.

Screened together for the first time, these films prompt us to consider more carefully the complex relations between generations of feminists, feminist theory, art and activism.

The screening is organised by Elsa Richardson (Queen Mary), Clarissa Jacob (Royal Holloway) and Sam McBean (Birkbeck).

This event opens Flying: A Conference on Kate Millett, organised by Sam McBean. The screening will be followed by a day of papers and discussion about Kate Millett, to be held at Birkbeck, University of London on the 30 May 2014. The conference programme and information about registering can be found on the website here

Both the conference and the screening are generously supported by the Feminist Review Trust

Kate Millett is a writer, artist, feminist and human rights advocate. Along with the landmark text, Sexual Politics, Millett has published numerous political and autobiographical works. She founded the Women’s Liberation Cinema in 1971, the same year in which she produced Three Lives. She has received numerous awards including The Yoko Ono Lennon Courage Award for the Arts, The NY Foundation for Contemporary Arts Award, and The Lambda Pioneer Literary Award. In 2013, she was inducted into The National Women’s Hall of Fame in Seneca Falls, NY.

Sharon Hayes works across multiple mediums – including video, performance, and installation – to explore the intersections between history, politics and speech. Her work is particularly invested in developing new strategies for interrogating the allegorical nature of the present political moment. Hayes’ work has been shown in galleries around the world, including the New Museum for Contemporary Art, the Guggenheim Museum, P.S. 1 Contemporary Art Center, the Tate Modern, and the Deutsche Guggenheim.