Archives and Hospitality in Feminist Praxis Part 1

Adele Patrick, creative director at Glasgow Women’s Library, to speak on her tireless work to achieve greater representation for female artists, particularly by spearheading the Women in Profile campaign in the nineties, when the mainstream ‘city of culture’ narrative was exclusively male. In the talk Patrick described GWL less as a fixed/immovable institution than as an iterative process that, importantly, would be impossible to imagine without artists. She used the metaphor of growing, from toddler years, rallying against the ‘stale pale male’ legacy of the city fathers during Glasgow’s year as European city of culture, in a premises with no windows, no phone connection and rats, through to their current situation, grown up, and mostly responsible, in a new home in Glasgow’s East end.

In these descriptions Patrick insisted that at GWL ‘there is no typical visitor’ expressing a reluctance to box people into categories and arguing that through the projects they invariably confound expectations. Instead she emphasized the value of GWL as a space where a mixture of different women (and the occasional man) from all different ethnic groups and with various levels of cultural capital can rub shoulders around art projects. Patrick described a number of projects in the lifetime of the library that from the outset was marked by a consciousness of history and memory, always battling against the erasure of women’s contributions. Added to this she expressed a concern at GWL to think about how the labour and costs are also accounted for when reflecting back on these projects. This ambivalence is a critical edge that Patrick brings, a willingness to give praise generously but also to acknowledge complexity, to say that in social art practice, in women’s history and at GWL there is work still to do.

Audio Title: 
Archives and Hospitality in Feminist Praxis Part 1
Audio Accession Number: 
AW. 002
Audio Speaker: 
Adele Patrick
Audio Annotation: 
A talk given as part of the SCAN series on feminist praxis. Introduced by Caroline Gausden
Audio Location: 
Seventeen Belmont Street in Aberdeen
Audio Date: 
Saturday, March 21, 2015
Audio Duration: 
Audio Type: 
Public Talk
Audio Technical: 
Mostly clear with some traffic sounds.
Audio Recording type: 
Audacity recorded from video