Son[i]a #294 Olivia Plender
- 00:01 Attempting to construct a voice
- 08:05 Historical female-authority voices
- 12:46 We end-up with the voice that we are somehow rewarded for
- 15:49 Sylvia Pankhurst & The Suffragettes
- 19:14 A larger challenge to the art institution
- 22:52 Shifting towards collective experiences
- 25:27 Spiritualists: everybody can be a medium
- 29:38 A knowledge structure with no charismatic leaders
- 30:59 Folding archival material in time: The Kibbo Kift
- 35:45 Productivity and care
- 39:18 Something you lose and something you get
- 45:34 School as Sweden in miniature
- 49:55 A graphic novel including what went wrong
Using formal solutions such as installations, films, comics, sound pieces, and performance workshops, Olivia Plender's body of work explores group dynamics, looking into the composition of small communities that have operated decentralised from social consensus throughout history.
Plender's research usually focuses on analysing archival materials and aesthetically translating them, narrating little-known episodes that include the Kibbo Kift theory of social credit during the economic crisis of 1929, spiritualist rites that promote self-improvement, and the forgotten radicality of the suffragettes, whose list of feminist demands is, to a large extent, still to be addressed. The implementation of long-term collaboration process in schools and social centres is another important aspect of her practice, exemplifying a politics based on knowledge settling from the bottom up, through close ties that can survive and grow over time.
In this podcast, Olivia Plender talks about productivity and care, about suffragettes and museums, and about adolescence and schools. She looks at groups without charismatic leaders, embodied education, and the possibility of transforming errors in honest discussions. And she tells us about women gaining authority through voice training – the material aspect of speech –, and about how, sometimes unconsciously, we adopt a voice for which we feel socially rewarded.