“Met dank aan Agfa Gevaert voor de fotografische bijdrage.”1
For her solo exhibition 18 x 24 cm at Tique | art space, the artist Katrin Kamrau addresses history-forming processes on the basis of an archival find, discovered in the Lieven-Gevaertarchief. Her starting point is a set of copies of worksheets with reference images and size specifications for image reproductions. These had been compiled from the mid-1980s by a working group around the Belgian historian and gender studies pioneer Denise de Weerdt for the exhibition “Vastberaden Vrouwen” (“Resolute Women”) by the Nationale Vrouwen Raad (Belgian Women’s Council, Dutch-speaking section), which took place in the context of the 100th anniversary of the International Council of Women in 1988. Their aim was to render visible a history of the Belgian women’s movement.
Katrin Kamrau reproduces their worksheets in a screen-printing process on nettle cloth and in a workbook. The printing process relates to the rapid and uncomplicated dissemination of agitation material, whereas the textile carrier material refers to protest banners, but also to the female domains of textile production and care work.
The artist’s reissue of these by-products of a still-emerging canon formation shifts the focus from image content to its conditions of appearance. It refers to the possibilities and preconditions of alternative historiography (herstory) and at the same time shows their constructedness, fragility and blind spots.
1 Acknowledgement by the “Nationale Vrouwen Raad – Nederlandstalige afdeling”, on occasion of the exhibition “Vastberaden Vrouwen”, 1988)
Screenprints made at Gezeever