msdm a nomadic house-studio-gallery for photographic art and curatorial research, an expanded practice of the artist's book, photobook publishing and peer-to-peer collaboration created by contemporary artist paula roush

Exhibition: Queer Paper Gardens
(Estranhos Jardins de Papel)

Works by: paula roush + Maria Lusitano
Curator: Joao Pinharanda
Cinzeiro Gallery, Museu da Electricidade Lisbon
Date: 7 June – 8 September 2013

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[Curator's text: João Pinharanda
"Undermining the Surrounding World," read here]

[Exhibition review: Luisa Soares de Oliveira
"Mulheres fatais e outras que tais"

("Fatal women and others as such: A visit
to the surrealist museum through collage")  
Ipsilon Publico Magazine, here]

[Exhibition review: Celso Martins
"Colagem e Colisao"

("Collage and collision: An artistic collaboration around the dances and counterdances of gender retrieves collage as a mode of associating images"
Expresso Atual Magazine,  here ]

The installation adopted the style of a mixed media collage salon, to explore travel and collage as interlinked cultural queer and feminist practices in its relationship
to contemporary art. Multilayered visual essays and publications revisit narratives, which combine historical archive and speculative fiction into the study of the modernist collage- novel.
The main subjects of these works range from Mary Delany’s invention of botanical collage (Flora Delanica, 1772-1782), to Max Ernst’s collage novel Une Semaine de Bonté (A Week of Goodness, 1934) and Valentine Penrose’ poem-collage Dons des Feminines
(Gifts of the Feminine, 1951).
This journey makes visible ways in which collage creates spaces that facilitate experiments with botanical taxonomies as metaphors for gender and sexuality
and also a critique of the domestic setting conveyed through escapist dreams and travel to exotic locations.

paula roush+ maria lusitano, Queer Paper Gardens installation view. Museu da Electricidade, Lisbon 2013
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queer paper gardens
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queer paper gardens

The relation between collage and art publishing is part of artists’ books history.
Two relevant examples of small edition books are part of the exhibition’s material sources:
Max Ernst’s A Week of Goodness (1934) and
Valentine Penrose’s Dons des Feminines (1951).
Both propose new perspectives on the relationship between found material and personal biography,
collage and narrative, image and text.

Departing from these and looking at early predecessors of the visual book, encountered in the Georgian hortus siccus (herbarium) and the Victorian photo album, 
the project explores:
- Working with found material: the author as an editor with a subjective vision of an archive or collection
- A queer and feminist history of collage that looks at early precursors of collage amongst 18th-century landscape female artists, female victorian photo-collage, the surrealist collage novel and contemporary collage approaches
- Visual storytelling when sequencing books: strategies that range from cinematic structure to the travel book.

Related publication: 
Queer paper gardens or the Wildlife of symbols
Published on the occasion of Queer paper gardens/ Estranhos Jardins de Papel
at Museu da Eletricidade [see BOOK here]

Artistic research:
paula roush & maria lusitano, Queer paper gardens or the Wildlife of symbols:
I. Les deux amies / The two girlfriends (Gifts of the Feminine);
II. The mise-en-scéne of the unconscious (A Week of Goodness);
III. The photoalbum in the drawing room (cardomania), the album of Madame B.;
IV.  The paper mosaick (Female cruising in the garden). 

Guest writer
Cristina Duarte, a journal of one’s own, a text dedicated to mary, margaret, valentine, alice, paula, maria and all the other women 


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