Irene Revell

Irene Revell

PhD Student

2016 - current

Irene Revell is a curator and writer who works with artists across sound, text, performance and moving image. Much of her work since 2004 has been with the London-based curatorial agency Electra, and she has been closely involved with collections including Electra’s Her Noise Archive and Cinenova: feminist film and video, as a trustee and founder-member of the Cinenova Working Group.

Recent projects include They are all of them themselves and they repeat it and I hear it, a year-long reading of Gertrude Stein’s The Making of Americans in 2020, co-organised with Anna Barham; workshop series These Are Scores (Camden Arts Centre, 2019; Sounding Bodies, Danish Royal Academy of Fine Art, Copenhagen, 2018; CNEAI, Paris, 2017, amongst others); exhibition project ORGASMIC STREAMING ORGANIC GARDENING ELECTROCULTURE with Karen Di Franco (Chelsea Space, London, 2018).

Recent writing includes essays in The Body in Sound, Music and Performance (Routledge, 2022), Performing Indeterminacy (Contemporary Music Review Special Issue, 2022); catalogue texts for Charlotte Prodger (Koenig, 2022), Pauline Boudry/Renate Lorenz (Sterberg Press, 2022), Beatrice Gibson: Deux Sœurs (Sternberg Press, 2020); and with Lina Džuverović, Parse Journal special issue on Art & Work (2020) and OnCurating special issue Curating In Feminist Thought (2018). In 2019 she collaborated with Primary Information on the publication of a new facsimile edition of Womens Work (co-edited by Alison Knowles & Annea Lockwood, 1975-8).

Since 2014 she has been Curator/Associate Lecuter on the MA Sound Arts, London College of College of Communication where she also holds a TECHNE AHRC scholarship for practice-based doctoral research at CRiSAP.

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Performing ‘Womens Work’: what constitutes a feminist performance score and how does it extend our understandings of contemporary art practices?

'Womens Work' [sic] is a magazine project with performance scores by 25 women, edited and published by Fluxus artist Alison Knowles and sound artist Annea Lockwood in New York City in two issues (1975 & 1978). It includes some prominent figures (composer Pauline Oliveros, choreographer Simone Forti) but many contributors remain little known, and this multidisciplinary publication has been rarely referenced and never considered in its own right. Yet it offers an invaluable counterpoint to the male avant-garde canon, evidencing a network of diverse artists relating their practices to the feminist art movement of the 1970s.

My research will use this unique book, alongside contemporary feminist theory, in particular post-humanist philosopher and physicist Karen Barad, to create an understanding of the feminist performance score that not only foregrounds this historical network, but resonates with contemporary practices to address and extend key notions of autonomy, agency and collaboration.

My methodology focuses on embodied experiences of performance, and reacts to museological tendencies to treat such scores as objects of visual fetishisation. It also draws heavily on, and extends, my own feminist curating practice that spans more than fifteen years across visual art, sound and performance, coupled uniquely with an undergraduate degree in Physics and MSt in Women's Studies.