11 September–27 October 2012 / London
Where: The Showroom, 63 Penfold Street, London NW8 8PQ 
When: 12 September–27 October 2012, Wednesday to Saturday, 12-6pm 
Opening: Tuesday, 11 September 2012, 18:30–20:30

The Grand Domestic Revolution (GDR) is an ongoing “living research” project initiated by Casco – Office for Art, Design and Theory, Utrecht as a multi-faceted exploration of the domestic sphere to imagine new forms of living and working in common. GDR continues today – GOES ON! – evolving in different scales and extensions, taken up and transformed in different cities, sites and neighborhoods by those who desire to carry on the GDR from their own home base or by those already engaged with it in their local languages and practices. This way, GDR suggests a different form of “traveling project” and mode of international collaboration. 

At The Showroom, GDR’s first international partner organization, an exhibition of contemporary and historical artworks and a diverse and growing reference library will form a base for workshops and events that will develop the GDR further, while they will forge connections and affinities with The Showroom’s ongoing programme of neighborhood-based commissions – Communal Knowledge.  

Inspired by US late nineteenth-century “material feminist” movements [1] that experimented with communal solutions to isolated domestic life and work, GDR has been involving artists, designers, domestic workers, architects, gardeners, activists and others to collaboratively experiment with and re-articulate the domestic sphere challenging traditional and contemporary divisions of private and public.  

The works in the exhibition employ a wide range of methodologies to playfully problematise domestic issues such as work at home, housing rights, property relations, family economies, neighborhood struggles, and range from the satirical to social critique and activist actions. These include GDR’s cooperatively produced sitcom, Our Autonomous Life? (2010–11); Pauline Boudry and Renata Lorenz’s housewives’ manifesto Charming for the Revolution (2009); Rehana Zaman’s Like an Iron Maiden Trapped Between a Rock and Hard Place (2010); and two “shadow plays” produced by domestic workers in the Netherlands in collaboration with Matthijs de Bruijne (2011 and 2012), and public cleaning actions by a group of cultural workers intersecting art work and domestic work, ASK! (Actie Schone Kunsten). A new video work by artist Joseph Williams, a member of the homeless artist collective Seymour Arts, will be produced and presented.  

If you are in London, please drop by The Showroom and take part in GDR!   

[1] This history was excavated by architectural historian Dolores Hayden in her seminal 1981 publication, The Grand Domestic Revolution: A History of Feminist Designs for American Homes, Neighborhoods and Cities. More information can be found at the publisher’s website.

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