EMILIA-AMALIA SESSION V: ALIEN LANGUAGE

EMILIA-AMALIA SESSION V: ALIEN LANGUAGE

October 13, 10:00PM to October 14, 1:00AM

The fifth session of EMILIA-AMALIA will be led by local artist Annie MacDonell and French artist Maïder Fortuné. The focus of the session returns once again to writing, autobiography and self-narration, practices which have been at the center of MacDonell and Fortuné’s recent collaborative projects.

We’ll begin with a discussion of Helen Cixous’ text “Coming to Writing” (provided in advance of the session). In this short essay, Cixous argues the pressing and imperative need for women’s writing, which she describes as emanating at once from the body and from the margins of society and language itself. 

After discussing Cixous’ text, we’ll move on to examples of writing that push at the edges of the legible, the acceptable, and the logical. Participants are asked to bring in and share examples of writing that falls into this broad and expandable category. We’ll provide some relevant excerpts as well. We’ll read writing and watch films from Ulrike Meinhof, Jamaica Kincaid, Kathy Acker, Sarah Kane, Carla Lonzi, Liz Rhodes, Hannah Black.

These texts will serve as a springboard for a series of short experimental writing exercises. To rsvp for the session and to recieve a copy of the text, please email Leila at leila@gallery44.org

Text: “Coming to Writing”, Helene Cixous, 1976 
Discussion: Is écriture feminine possible? Can writing exists outside the patriarchal system?
Exercise: Writing to pull apart and provoke

This session of EMILIA-AMALIA is generously supported by the Consulat Général de France à Toronto.


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EMILIA-AMALIA is an exploratory working group that employs practices of citation, annotation, and autobiography as modes of activating feminist art, writing and research practices.
Through readings, screenings, discussions, and writing activities, the group will investigate historical and intergenerational feminisms, as well as relationships of mentorship, collaboration, and indebtedness between artists, writers, thinkers, curators, and practitioners. In tracing these lines, the group aims to elucidate the histories of feminism that have been obscured and overlooked in the narratives of 1970s, or “second-wave” feminism that we have inherited.

EMILIA-AMALIA will critically examine how we fit in with those past iterations, and also, how we might update and extend them so that they can respond to contemporary questions.Motivated by a desire to think through these questions collaboratively, each monthly meeting will be structured around a text, a conversation, and a writing activity.

EMILIA-AMALIA is an open group that invites all levels of engagement. We are all experts. No one is an expert. Expertise is not expected.

EMILIA-AMALIA is initiated by Cecilia Berkovic, Annie MacDonell, Gabrielle Moser, Leila Timmins, and cheyanne turions and is hosted by Gallery 44. Thanks to Helena Reckitt and the Feminist Duration Reading Group (London UK) for sharing Monti’s film with us and to Cinenova, as well as Allyson Mitchell and Deirdre Logue for their partnership in presenting this session.