CHELSEA space is pleased to announce CAN DO: Photographs and other material from the Women's Art Library Magazine Archive as the next exhibition in our autumn 2015 programme. Selected by Mo Throp and Maria Walsh, this collection of mainly black and white photographs from the Women’s Art Library Magazine archive has rarely been seen outside the confines of its black boxes in the Special Collections at Goldsmiths University library. The photographs are one of the material remains of a dynamic independent art publication dedicated to the debates and documentation of women’s art from 1983 to 2002.
The magazine began life in 1983 as the Women Artists Slide Library Newsletter, acquiring, over the course of its 20-year run, the titles: Women Artists Slide Library Journal (1986); Women's Art Magazine (1990); and make: the magazine of women’s art (1996). Artists submitted photographs of their work for publication, some images were printed in the magazine, most were not, but all were carefully stored in the library stacks at Goldsmiths where the curators were (re)introduced to them by Althea Greenan, curator of the Women's Art Library in Special Collections at Goldsmiths as they researched material for their recent book, Twenty Years of MAKE Magazine: Back to the Future of Women’s Art (I.B. Tauris: 2015).
Taking this photographic h(er)story out of the archive, this exhibition speaks to a present fascination with women’s art of the recent past. What memories, what future can be intimated from these photographic fossils? As well as the photographs, which have been organised into thematic sections entitled: Performance, Portraits, Body, Installation, Protest, the exhibition is comprised of other materials from the archive, including artist’s originals commissioned for the covers and pre-digital layouts and includes a vitrine of objects from the collection selected by Althea Greenan.