‘Showgirl Manifesto’: New exhibition in Huddersfield features Dr Sharon Kivland – On until 27 October

Showgirl Manifesto banner

Showgirl Manifesto is an exhibition emerging from the recently published book Viewing Pleasure and Being A Showgirl, How Do I Look? by artist and writer Alison J Carr. In the book, Carr contextualises showgirl experiences, framing their relevance for contemporary feminism as well as artists and performers. Accessibly written, the book interprets a range of live performances to develop a bold, original approach to bodily display and pleasure. The book’s conclusion, Showgirl Manifesto, forms the inspiration for this exhibition. Presented on the wall of the Market Gallery in Huddersfield, the affirmative text presents the sisterly connections between viewer and performer.

Photograph of Sharon Kivland's exhibition work at Showgirl Manifesto


Showgirl Manifesto
The Market Gallery of Queensgate Market, Huddersfield
Thursday 11 October to Saturday 27 October 2018
Preview on Thursday 11 October 5.30PM – 8PM
Exhibition tour with Alison J Carr on Saturday 13 October, 2PM. To book please email Alison J Carr.

Alongside other works by Sophie Lisa Beresford, Alison J Carr, Julie Cook, Nwando Ebizie (as Lady Vendredi), Alice Finch, Laura Gonzalez, Lucy Halstead, Britten Leigh, Chloe Nightingale and Isabella Streffen, Sharon Kivland presents Ma Nana (2004), 8 framed letterpress prints on calfskin:

The descriptions of the eponymous ‘heroine’ of Émile Zola’s novel Nana are printed on fair-calf leather, the animal leather that is closest to human skin. Fair calf is smooth and the surface is absorbent. It is sometimes called bookcalf. They are the size of a carte de visite. Nana appears on the stage of the Théâtre de Variétés, as Venus, and though she cannot sing or act, there is something most captivating about her. In a series of hallucinatory pages, the audience notes her attributes with a heady passion. Kivland has taken these physical observations / descriptions of Nana, changing ‘her’ for ‘my’, ‘she’ for ‘I’. The descriptions of the transgressive body of that natural woman of the demi-monde, Nana, are returned to her through a simple change in pronoun – yet one also takes them for oneself, in an internalised reading.

Showgirl Manifesto leaflet

Dr Sharon Kivland is a Reader in Fine Art at Sheffield Hallam University and an artist, writer, editor, publisher, an occasional and reluctant curator and translator, sometimes (and to her surprise) called a poet, who lives and works in France and the UK. Her work considers what is put at stake by art, politics, and psychoanalysis. Find out more about Sharon Kivland’s books and other works here.