Ask for Sara: A Day of Gossip, Anecdote and Feminist Art Practice in Archives

‘What would it mean to let the custodian, archivist, librarian guide a research enquiry through her personal testimony of the histories, people and drama of a collection’s narrative? To court the anecdote is to do bad research. To court gossip – the anecdote’s deviant cousin – is to subvert research altogether.’

– Holly Pester

Drawing on the archive as a repository of unofficial and unsanctioned knowledge, Ask for Sara is a one day event that will feature leading scholars and practitioners in art, feminist practices, queer theory and archival research in discussion and debate about radical forms of knowledge production.

Through performance, readings, talks, and critical questioning, the subject of gossip and anecdote becomes both object and agent for the exploration of aberrant archival engagements that position ‘knowledge as surreptitious appropriation’. 1

Ranging from personal narratives to diverse testimony and exchange, story and fabulation to critique and informal history, the event features: Librarian and curator of the Women’s Art Library, Althea Greenan, in conversation with Nina Wakeford, on the archive and the experimental production of material.

Writer and media historian Kate Eichhorn will present Epistemologies of Excess: Gossip and Rumour in the Archive, a paper expanding her work on the roles of readers and writers in the formation of communities of practice and resistance, and the afterlife of texts in archives.

This will be followed by a diversionary storytelling and anecdotal panel discussion between the academics, writers and artists: Ben Cranfield, Rita Keegan, Anne Tallentire and Holly Pester, chaired by Gavin Butt.

The event will conclude with an afternoon of readings and performance by poet, writer, editor and translator Paul Buck; writer, academic and performer Season Butler; and poet, interdisciplinary writer and lecturer Holly Pester. The event concludes with the book launch of Go to reception and ask for Sara in red felt tip.

This is event is free but you must book a place. Book early to avoid disappointment, HERE

Holly Pester; Ask for Sara: A Day of Gossip, Anecdote and Feminist Art Practice in Archives; 112pp; 2015-04-24; Artist: Pester, Holly; Contributors: Buck, Paul; Butler, Season; Butt, Gavin; Cranfield, Ben; Eichhorn, Kate; Greenan, Althea; Keegan, Rita; Wakeford, Nina; | Publisher: Book Works in association with the Women’s Art Library, Goldsmiths, University of London: | Designer: James Langdon