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Dundee Contemporary Arts opens first major European exhibition of American artist Eve Fowler's work
Installation view of Eve Fowler's what a slight. what a sound. what a universal shudder. to you. Photo: Erika Stevenson.

DUNDEE.- what a slight. what a sound. what a universal shudder. is the first major European exhibition of American artist Eve Fowler’s work, reflecting and further expanding on the artist’s intense feminist engagement with the words of Gertrude Stein over the past eight years. Since 2010, Fowler has created a beautiful body of work centred on Stein’s expansive writing practice, taking the form of posters, prints, billboards, paintings, and installations employing materials such as vinyl, neon, collage, print, painting and film. Fowler, one of the most significant artists of her generation, uses the combined power of art and language to unsettle some of the dominant power structures that control much of the world around us.

As well as filling both galleries, this exhibition also reaches beyond the boundaries of DCA to inhabit public spaces throughout Dundee. Several works will appear over the course of the summer on poster boards, at bus stops, and on billboards - punctuating the Scottish landscape with Stein’s prescient words.

When asked about her exhibition at DCA, Eve Fowler commented: "I'm hugely excited to have my first solo show in Europe staged in Scotland. Everyone involved has been so important in helping realise this project that includes work made over the past eight years paying homage to the words of Gertrude Stein. This is a wonderful opportunity for me to have the space to exhibit this large body of ongoing work in beautiful, prestigious spaces such as those contained within DCA."

Gallery 1 has been given over to the artist’s latest film, with it which it as it if it is to be. This 16mm work is an intimate portrait of some of Fowler’s closest friends in the LA artistic community: the camera focuses on several female artists working in their studios with an accompanying soundtrack of their voices reading from Stein’s 1910 text Many Many Women. In Gallery 2, a constellation of works in painting, print, neon, vinyl and collage further explore some of Stein’s most radical writings, bringing them into the 21st century and highlighting the queer power and possibilities contained within these texts. The exhibition also premieres new works: several paintings, a huge vinyl installation based on Stein’s poem Patriarchal Poetry, a body of new collage work created whilst on residency in Scotland, and a new sound work recorded on 12” vinyl that is being played in the gallery at specific times of the day.

Eoin Dara, Head of Exhibitions at DCA, said: “Having followed Eve’s practice as it’s developed over the past few years, I feel hugely privileged to be working with her to stage what will be her first major exhibition in Europe at DCA. We are living in a time where we are consuming words and information in such an accelerated manner that language can become meaningless, impotent and inert. Eve’s work offers up a space to pause and consider the radical power that we can still wield with language in 2018: how we can use something as deceptively simple as poetry to challenge some of the dominant social and political structures in our world today, structures that so often attempt to silence or quell minority voices in society.”

A new book will be published by DCA as part of the project, with newly commissioned texts from outstanding writers and poets such as Sophie Collins, Eileen Myles and Litia Perta. Fowler will also work with the DCA Print Studio team to develop a new limited-edition print for the exhibition that will be sold in the shop and online.

A curated public programme of talks, screenings and learning activities will be organised as part of the project, including a Gertrude Stein reading group led by DCA’s Head of Exhibitions Eoin Dara, an evening of readings and discussion with Sophie Collins, a commissioned response to the exhibition by Scottish poet Lindsay Macgregor, and a bespoke closing event with Dr Monica Pearl, Lecturer in 20th Century American Literature at the University of Manchester.

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