Artists, Mystics, & Suffragettes A-Z, 2016
Curatorial text by Yasmin Nurming-Por
In Artists, Mystics and Suffragettes (A-Z) (2016), artist Deborah Edmeades asks us to consider who and what have been intentionally forgotten, challenging what is understood as verifiable history. This project takes its cue from the significant ties between spiritualist and women’s rights movements of the nineteenth century, early causes that inform but are not often acknowledged in mainstream histories of feminism. Featuring a collection of twenty six paper busts that commemorate a provisional list of artists, mystics and suffragettes, Edmeades invites her audience to imagine names of forgotten women, one for every letter of the alphabet. Complicating what we accept as authentic truths, the question of visibility emerges: how do these individuals inform our own understanding of women’s histories, and who do we choose to name?
This work is complemented by Monologues: a score, part of the same project and a visual reference to the Libet experiments first conducted in the 1980s that were a pioneering study in neuroscience, highlighting the connection between unconscious and conscious thought. Together, the works underscore the complicity inherent in historical exclusions that pervade our accepted narratives.