The Showroom

The Grand Domestic Revolution GOES ON


12 September – 27 October 2012

Preview: Tuesday 11 September 2012, 6.30–8.30pm

Opening hours: Wednesday – Saturday, 12–6pm

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.

Image: The Grand Domestic Revolution GOES ON, 2012, courtesy of The Showroom


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.

List of works:

GDR Library

Invisible Spaces of Parenthood library

AND Publishing and Andrea Francke/Piracy Project

Supported by Arts Council England


Christian Nyampeta
The Reading Room
MDF, foam, fabric, wheels, audio recorder

Domestic Workers Netherlands with Matthijs de Bruijne
I will not ask anything about you, you will not ask anything about me
Shadow play, DVD, c.10min
Courtesy the artist

Pauline Boudry/Renate Lorenz
Charming for the Revolution
16mm film transferred to DVD, 11min
Courtesy the artists and Ellen de Bruijne Projects

Joseph Williams
Living Space, a film by Joseph
Video, 12min 3sec
Camera by Joseph Williams, editing by Akhila
Credits to: Christina Geluk, Celina Maiko, Emily Pethick and Louise Shelley from The Showroom

kleines postfordisches Drama
Kamera Läuft! (Rolling!)

Video, 32min
Courtesy the artists

Helke Sander
From the Reports of Security Guards & Patrol Services No.1
35mm film transferred to DVD, 11min
Courtesy of Deutsche Kinemathek, Berlin and Goethe Institute, London

Rehana Zaman
Like an Iron Maiden Trapped Between a Rock and Hard Place
HD single channel video, 11min
Courtesy the artist

ASK! (Actie Schone Kunsten) in collaboration with Andreas Siekmann
Why We Work Together and Respect and Recognition for Domestic Work
Video, stencils, campaign material
Courtesy the artists

Our Autonomous Life? Cooperative sitcom
Videos, Posters, merchandise
Courtesy the artists

Mary Kelly with Margaret Harrison and Kay Hunt
Women & Work: a document on the division of labour in industry
Scanned reproduction of original exhibition catalogue
All rights reserved. Copyright: Kay Hunt, Mary Kelly, Margaret Harrison. Reproduced courtesy of The Women’s Art Library, Goldsmiths, University of London.

Travis Meinolf
Cottage Industry (Making Accommodations)
Woven material, wool

Enemies of Good Art/Martina Mullaney
Resonance FM broadcast

Hyunju Chung, Annette Krauss, Serena Lee, Laura Pardo, Marina Stavrou, Maiko Tanaka and Hilde Tuinstra

Bahbak Hashemi-Nezhad
Penfold's Cupboard
Itinerant Residents’ Restaurant, mobile sign, aluminum, MDF, acrylic

  1. Image001
    Event 365 Days of Invisible Work

  2. Ps
    Video Film looking at The Showroom's local work

  3. 01873
    Event Book Launch: Grand Domestic Revolution Handbook and Cluster

  4. 01084
    Event ASK! cleaning action with Justice for Domestic Workers

  5. Screen_shot_2015-02-12_at_19.56.59
    Text The Reading Room

  6. Gdr_exhibit_2012_image_5
    Event The Reading Room

  7. Event Book Launch: Andrea Francke and Delta Arts

  8. Event GDR Reading Group

  9. Event Debate: Intern Culture

  10. 01051
    Event Ownership in Question

  11. 01050
    Event Their workshop is the home: a Cinenova screening

  12. Event Read-in with Annette Krauss, Laura Pardo and Marina Stavrou