“Books leave gestures in the body; a certain way of moving, of turning, a certain closing of the eyes, a way of leaving, hesitations. Books leave certain sounds, a certain pacing; mostly they leave the elusive, which is all the story. They leave much more than the words.”
― Dionne Brand, A Map to the Door of No Return
The Virtual Feminist Bookstore, curated by Winnipeg-based artist and scholar Roewan Crowe, is an installation that includes a wall of video screens, digital textile work produced by Steven Leyden Cochrane called Bookstore Artifacts, a microphone, a framed poster of Angela Davis, and stacks of feminist periodicals borrowed from the Winnie Tomm Reading Room, which is housed in the Department of Women’s and Gender Studies at the University of Alberta. Intended to elicit the feeling of the increasingly rare feminist bookstore, the installation draws visitors in to participate in the creation of a feminist poetry shelf.
The Virtual Feminist Bookstore is an installation and a happening waiting to happen; waiting for you, the visitor, to step into the imaginary space of the bookstore, to read and record a feminist poem that holds meaning for you. Step up to the microphone. Take a deep breath. Read the poem. Be present to its words, feel its energy.
Your poetry recitation will be added to the virtual feminist poetry shelf; your video recording will be added to the video monitors that, for now, await you.
The Virtual Feminist Bookstore: Screening Recitations, Bookstore Artifacts, and a Happening Waiting to Happen is on view and waiting for you at femlab until January 13th.