All Photos : Ros Kavanagh and Sarah Jayne Booth

(for) All Our Grievous Doings


Derived from the Greek word ‘mīsoguníā’, the term misogyny was first coined in English in 1615 after pamphleteer Joseph Swetnam’s anti-women rant in The Arraignment of Lewd, Idle, Froward and Unconstant Women. Four hundred years on, (for) All Our Grievous Doings examines this historic demonisation of women that persists in current times. From myths that vilified women such as stealing penises, tests like swimming the witch, to an all-out purge, these are explored and knitted together using artefacts, text and an ethereal soundscape. An uncanny ensemble of voices and reverberations synchronise with the opulent materials and discarded domestic objects – creating a conflictual aesthetic environment striving for balance. The normalisation of the everyday threat of violence is recast and held within the ill-ease that the work emits: a psychosocial setting of brutality and mundanity. Multiple cultural, historical and social narratives are interwoven throughout the installation and there is never a shortage of anecdotes to draw from.

As the title of this work suggests, (for) All Our Grievous Doings opens up a dialogue across this ongoing ‘history’ of violence against women, asking such questions as: What exactly are women guilty of? How are the punishments commensurate with the crimes against women? Who are the aggressors? What are the defence mechanisms of self-preservation? Where does the notion of equality reside within this scenario?

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