Lisa Slominski is an American curator and writer based in London. Her work explores activations of access and inclusion in the current art discourse and examines the historical framework of underrepresented artists with a particular interest in agency. Recent articles include The Spiritual in Art is Back, Again, and Artists Consider the Concept of Care for Hyperallergic. She is the co-founder of Art et al. – an inclusive international curatorial platform which focuses on international collaboration between arts professionals with and without disability. Her book, Nonconformers: A New History of Self-Taught Artists (Yale University Press, 2022) presents an international history of artists often identified as ‘self-taught’ advocating for a nuanced understanding of art often challenged by the establishment.
Lisa Slominski and Jo Longhurst in conversation
Writer and curator Lisa Slominski led an in-conversation with artist Jo Longhurst about her ongoing body of work Crip.
Following a screening of Here, Now (2023) the pair discussed Longhurst’s research, the act of working collectively and her work’s relationship to the theory of ‘crip time’. The theory, which lies at the intersection of feminist, disability, and queer studies, elaborates how the disabled, neurodivergent and chronically ill encounter time and space differently from able-bodied or minded persons.
Here, Now is a new moving image work developed alongside the formation of unseen collective, a group of eight women and non-binary identifying artists living with unseen disabilities and conditions.
The experiences shared through one-to-one discussions, online presentations and group meetings informed and activated Longhurst’s research. The collective members are a central feature of the film.
Longhurst explores and critiques traditions of portraiture through a combination of photography, sculptural elements, moving image, performance and installation.
Interested in both physical and psychological experiences, she questions theories of eugenics, representation, gender, power and control. Collaborative works with show dogs and gymnasts investigate the act of looking and being looked at; how we judge and are judged; and how we attempt to fit in – gently probing how cultural ideas of perfection shape personal and national identities, as well as social and political systems. Recently she has started working with images of bindweed – an undesirable, marginalised plant, which grows in an anti-clockwise direction – and 19C photographic portraits of female patients to explore the concept of crip-time, a theory at the intersection of feminist, disability, and queer studies which elaborates how the disabled, neurodivergent, and chronically ill experience time and space differently to able-bodied/ minded people.
She has published three books: The Refusal, for her solo exhibition at Museum Folkwang, Essen; Other Spaces, to accompany her exhibition at Mostyn, Llandudno and Ffotogallery, Cardiff; and On Perfection: an Artists’ Symposium, which documents an event Longhurst staged at Whitechapel Gallery. Her work has won many awards including the Art Gallery of Ontario’s Grange Prize, Canada’s highest award for excellence in international photography.