For Pink Pussycat Club | as part of THE BILL
Fiona Clark’s solo exhibition For Fantastic Carmen at Artspace focuses on her long-term investigation into the politics of gender and body image, with relation to a shifting understanding of both individual and communal identity.
In a parallel exhibition within THE BILL programme, running February 20 – April 22, Artspace collaborates with Starkwhite, the site where Fiona Clark performed as an art student, when it was the famous adult entertainment venue the ‘Pink Pussycat Club’. This parallel exhibition For Pink Pussycat Club will accumulate more artworks from the evolving programme of THE BILL, including a public event focusing on reflexivity, introspection, performativity and self-perception. Operating as a space for ‘work in progress’, it will also present archive and research material, which link the discussions, a few footsteps away, to the main venue as footnotes.
For the duration of For Fantastic Carmen, this parallel show For Pink Pussycat Club will be composed of works from Fiona Clark and research material from her solo exhibition: A large scale print from ongoing series of portraits; two photographs documenting her 1973 performance at the Pink Pussycat Club; and a recent work, which belongs to the series based on the biography of “Amy M. Bock” (currently presented at the new research area Learning, Unlearning, Relearning at Artspace). Two moving images will loop in conversation; documentation from a recent visit to the artist’s studio in Taranaki, along with footage of Niccole Duval performing at Mojo’s in 1971. The works are courtesy of the artist and Michael Lett Gallery.
THE BILL’s research-based exhibitions and events mark the 30th anniversary of the Homosexual Law Reform Act in Aotearoa 1986. Evolving from a solo presentation of work by senior New Zealand artist Fiona Clark THE BILL will include eclectic forms of historical reconstruction, social gathering, and communal solidarity into its exhibition structure, as both a call and a group show. In early March, THE BILL will grow into a performance-based discussion platform and artist studio. The project will extend to include work from artists born into a legal system where LGBTQIA identities were illegitimate and who, throughout their careers, have witnessed changes as part of an on-going global transformation. THE BILL not only aims to generate new perspectives on the history of queer identities in Aotearoa, but also to create an art historical bridge to a collective memory. It re-visits a specific social transition as a case study using historical material and artistic research from private and public archives and collections. The project will establish an exhibition ground for a plurality of voices including different generational statements, such as ‘fighting for one’s own rights’, social acceptance and political organisation.