A Soft Rebellion

BROWN, Chloe (2017). A Soft Rebellion. In: Rust/Resistence: Works of Recovery, Wayne State University, Detroit, USA, June 20th-24th 2017. (Unpublished)

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A Soft Rebellion, Chloë Brown, Sheffield Hallam University: Chloë Brown is an artist and Senior Lecturer/Course Leader in Fine Art at Sheffield Hallam University, UK. She has an MA in Sculpture from Chelsea College of Art, London (1994), and a BA in Fine Art from the University of Reading (1987). She has exhibited internationally over the last 30 years including three international biennials (Istanbul Biennial, Mardin Biennial and the British Ceramics Biennial) with work recently included in the collection of the Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA). Using a range of media including film, sculpture, taxidermy, book works and drawing, Brown’s research explores the relationship to sociopolitical questions focusing on the post-industrial city. She has become interested in how acts such as dancing can be seen as a playful subversion, a form of liberation. This was explored in her exhibition ‘Dancing in the Boardroom’ at the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit (MOCAD) from January 15th to April 24th 2016. Since August 2015 artist Chloë Brown has been visiting and working in Detroit to conduct her on-going practice-based research into what she terms ‘soft rebellions’. Brown has previously conducted research in post-industrial cities in the UK including Stoke-on-Trent and her hometown of Sheffield, but Detroit is renowned for being the epitome of a city in post-industrial crisis. Her interest in the city extends to the development of soul music, particularly through Motown Records, during the 1960’s and ‘70’s. Utilising artistic research methodologies Brown has used this history to challenge, question and contribute to specific narratives within the city, working and collaborating with native Detroiters, including Martha Reeves, of seminal Motown group Martha and The Vandellas. This visual presentation seeks to outline the research undertaken and the outcomes so far, which includes a museum exhibition, a 30 foot long drawing, two films, a dinner-party-as-art event and the production of her own vinyl record in Detroit’s only remaining original record press, Archer Records. The ‘soft rebellions’ of the title take a number of forms: a film of two Northern Soul dancers dancing in the boardroom of a disused factory in Stoke-on-Trent (https://vimeo.com/75807622), a film of Detroiters dancing in the street, listening on headphones to Martha and the Vandellas famous song ‘Dancing in the Street’ (posited as a call to riot by writer Suzanne E. Smith) (https://vimeo.com/154508784), a dinner party for twelve inspirational Detroit women held in the Masonic Lodge where Henry Ford was once a brother and a series of filmed portraits of groups of Detroit people applauding in very particular way (the so-called ‘Wigan Clap’) in their place of work. This research and the subsequent outcomes seek to question the post-industrial situation by rejecting the production of ‘ruin porn’ in favour of art work that is celebratory and frequently uplifting. Rust/Resistence: Works of Recovery, Association for the Study of Literature and Environment (ASLE), Wayne State University, Detroit, USA Keynote speakers: Laura Dassow Walls, Michael Branch, Tiya Miles, Ross Gay, Siobhan Senier and Kyle Powys Whyte. Panels formed part of one of the following streams: Animals, The Body, Creative Writing, Disaster, Dystopia, and Debris, Ecofiction, Ecomedia (Film), Environmental Humanities, Environmental Justice, Food Studies and Farming, International Criticism, Medieval to Early Modern, Mentoring and Professional, Natural Resources,19th Century and Thoreau, Poetry Scholarship, Resistance and Recovery and Teaching and Pedagogy. Panel: Bio-Art and Performance Stream: Creative Writing Panel Chair: Lindsay Garcia, The College of William and Mary Panel: Chloë Brown, Sheffield Hallam University, A Soft Rebellion Jennifer Willet, University of Windsor, and Amanda White, Queen's University, BioArt: Collaborating With Life in Windsor/Detroit Dot Armstrong, University of Iowa, Salvaged Parts Rick Mitchell, California State University, Northridge, Natural Gas: A Chthulucenic Tale from Porter Ranch

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Other)
Uncontrolled Keywords: A Soft Rebellion, ASLE, Association for the Study of Literature and Environment, Rust/Resistence: Works of Recovery
Research Institute, Centre or Group - Does NOT include content added after October 2018: Cultural Communication and Computing Research Institute > Art and Design Research Centre
Departments - Does NOT include content added after October 2018: Faculty of Science, Technology and Arts > Department of Art and Design
Depositing User: Chloe Brown
Date Deposited: 12 Jan 2018 13:38
Last Modified: 18 Mar 2021 16:08
URI: https://shura.shu.ac.uk/id/eprint/18178

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