Thursday, October 22, 2015 - 19:00 to Sunday, November 1, 2015 - 17:00
Red Gallery prides itself as being at the heart of all our East end communities and when ELSC – East London Strippers Collective - approached us with their idea to set up a week-long exhibition, including a series of workshops and events, we were very intrigued to see how it would pan out.
ELSC are a bunch of feisty, articulate, fiercely independent women, who also happen to be strippers. They have come together as a collective, united by shared grievances about the poor working conditions and exploitative business practices within their industry. They also lament the stigma surrounding their job; the lack of wider public understanding about what they do, compounded by negative connotations created by poor representations in mainstream media, combined with “feminist” campaigns that seek to erase their industry and destroy their livelihoods.
To fight back against all of this, ELSC is planning a major event to celebrate the culture, art and aesthetic of their private universe. As talented women, they are also visual artists and view what they do as an art form like any other, a practice that takes a time to develop and cultivate. ELSC wishes to challenge the stigma that surrounds their job by inviting new audiences to come and explore their world and to see what they do from a fresh perspective.
Members of the ELSC are planning a multi-faceted event, The Art of Stripping, over the course of 1 week, combining an art exhibition, pole dance and movement workshops, a costume fair, life drawing classes, a film screening, an academic symposium, all culminating in a final closing party with live stage performances from members of the Collective. The event will take place at Red Gallery, Shoreditch, a mere stone’s throw from some of the longest running strip pubs in Hackney.
The objective of the entire event is to celebrate, educate, and generally revel in a unique and endangered part of London’s culture – the strip pub. ELSC wish to generate a culture of respect around their jobs and to start by publicly recognizing the value and worth of their creative energy.
Opening Night Private View of The Art of Stripping: an Exhibition of Art, Photography, and Installation curated by members of the ELSC
ABOUT ELSC FOLLOW LINKS BELOW:
ELSC Twitter HERE
ELSC FB page HERE
ELSC website HERE
The exhibition opens from Thursday 22nd of October until Nov 1st, 2015
Red Gallery – 1/3 Rivington Street, London EC2A 3DT
The East London Strippers Collective has founded over a year ago when a group of dancers from the strip-pub industry got together for a dinner party to discuss what could be done to challenge the problems they have been facing.
United over a shared grievance, members of the collective feel their worth is not recognized as workers and performers within the industry as they continue to be financially exploited almost everywhere they work. And equally, they feel let down by a law (Policing and Crime Bill) that claimed to be helping women but has, in fact, limited their choices as workers, leaving them even more vulnerable to exploitation.
Members of the ELSC are visual artists in the truest meaning – the skills of a stripper often include athletic performance and advanced level pole dance. Within the Collective there is a lust for the stage-show, an element of professionalism that has become lost within an industry dominated by greedy, profit-hungry business practices.
The ELSC wants to challenge the status quo by working together, organizing and building a movement within the industry, sending out the message that they love what they do, if only they could have the right conditions to do it.
Among its many objectives, the main aim of the ELSC is to begin tackling the stigma that exists within the minds of the public – since the stigma is what leads to shame, secrecy, and silence, preventing essential debate and conversation from which genuine solutions may arise.
ELSC is made up of an eclectic mix of individuals with plenty of other talents besides their work of choice, many of whom have developed artistic careers.
Vera Rodriguez is a professional photographer who specializes in portrait photography and photojournalism and will be curating the exhibition.
Millie Robson is a Fashion Photography graduate from London College of Fashion, she specializes in specializing is capturing the sensational art of pole dance and is frequently invited to work with international pole schools all over the world.
Bronwen Parker-Rhodes is a graduate of The Slade School of Fine Art, a photographer, and filmmaker, who among other things has made a number of films for VICE and worked on productions for Channel 4 and BBC.
Artist and designer Rosie Von Boschan was inspired to make costume lingerie during her employment with cult fashion designers Atsuko Kudo and Prangsta Costumiers. She now designs and hand- makes her own style of the showgirl, circus, and strip-wear.
Chiqui Love is a star performer, who is known all over London for her spectacular stage shows and hand-made bespoke costumes, many of which she makes herself. Edie Lamort is a true multi-faceted professional, a singer/songwriter, burlesque showgirl, writer, activist, events producer, and DJ.
Stacey Clare is another Fine Art graduate. She specialized in live performance art at Glasgow School of Art, and whose work takes on a theatrical approach, referencing the body as object and a frequent nod to feminist art.
ELSC Twitter HERE
ELSC FB page HERE
ELSC website HERE