fierce pussy presents an overview of their work from the early ‘90s, along with Mining the Archive—a new installation utilizing objects culled from the Lesbian Herstory Archives collection.
For this new work, fierce pussy explores the treasure trove of material at the Archives, tapping into the cultural legacy of lesbian feminism. Out of millions of objects within the collection, fierce pussy selected a few things that speak to their own history of collective activism and art making.
In the piece “Let’s Face It We’re All Queer,” hundreds of buttons fan out, circles within a circle, forming a centrifugal spiral. There’s no one-way to read this work– the viewer can approach from the inside out, or from the outside in– the configuration generates multiple serio-comic juxtapositions.
In another piece, T-shirts– hand-lettered, stenciled or printed, worn and literally stained with history– have been arranged to form an ascending lavender triangle. The slogans: “We Recruit,” “Lesbian Terrorist,” “lavender menace,” combine to form a (her)story of lesbian activism.
Pulp novels hark back to an earlier era when various permutations of queer desire, titillating as they might be, could exist only within prescribed and all-too-familiar formulas of defeat and loss. In “never before published,” by laying out book titles in progression from left to right, top to bottom, fierce pussy produces a sly and provocative re-reading that spins their preferred narrative.
This year marks the Lesbian Herstory Archives’ 35th anniversary, and fierce pussy is proud to help celebrate this anniversary; as another component of Mining the Archive, fierce pussy will invite a number of other artists to collaborate on a series of performances, readings, and screenings throughout the year.
fierce pussy is a public art collective founded in 1991 by a group of dykes in New York City. Adamantly lo-tech, fast, and low budget, fierce pussy relied on their own modest resources. They used their own typewriters, baby pictures, and equipment from their day jobs to produce the work. The posters on view were originally wheat pasted on the streets of New York City from 1991 to 1994. fp projects included: wheat pasting posters on the street, re-naming New York City streets after prominent lesbian heroines using stencils and spray paint, re-designing the restroom at the Gay and Lesbian Center, printing and distributing stickers and t-shirts, a greeting card campaign directed at Cardinal O’Connor and Senator D’Amato, and making their own moving billboard/truck.
Four of the original members—Nancy Brooks Brody, Joy Episalla, Zoe Leonard and Carrie Yamaoka— re-convened to carry out this latest project at the Lesbian Herstory Archives. They also organized the fierce pussy retrospective at Printed Matter in New York City last spring. The exhibition was accompanied by the publication of the book FIERCE PUSSY, available at Printed Matter.