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As we enter the final few days of Still I Rise: Feminisms, Gender, Resistance, Act 2 at the Pavilion, the time is right to reflect on what our visitors have taken away from the exhibition, or in the case of one of the works, what our visitors have left behind…

As popular as it has been poignant, Water Cooler Wisdom: If Only These Jug Heads Could Talk has been the focus of many quiet moments of astonishment. The work invites visitors to share their experiences of sexism and add it to the noticeboard. Since the exhibition’s opening in February, over 100 instances of discrimination have been posted.

Water Cooler Wisdom was originally created in 1993 by CARYATIDS (Chicks in Architecture Refuse to Yield to atavistic Thinking in Design and Society), a collaboration between Carol Crandall, Kay Janis and Sally Levine:

‘We collected comments that were made to women at the office, in the studio, or in school – all within the five years previous to the exhibit. It was unbelievable – every woman we spoke to had at least one story. These are the kinds of comments that usually aren’t quite grounds for filing a sexual harassment suit but make life at work or at school constantly uncomfortable’ – Sally Levine, 1993

Here is an image of the work within a week of the exhibition opening on 9 February, 2019.

Still I Rise: Feminisms, Gender, Resistance, Act 2, 2019, De La Warr Pavilion, Bexhill. Installation View. Image courtesy of Rob Harris.

Here is an image of the work a few days prior to the exhibition’s closing date, 27 May 2019, with over 100 contributions from our visitors.

Presented without comment, and so we don’t forget what we’ve seen, here is a selection of the posts made to the board during its time at the Pavilion.
Scroll to the bottom to see the full credit line for the work.
With thanks to Chris Parker for recreating Water Cooler Wisdom for the exhbition.

 

“Man asked if a male manager was on duty to deal with his complaint”

 

“Tell your kids they’re jeopardizing your job”

 

“I avoid hiring women – it’s just too much bother when they want to have babies”

 

 

“Why don’t you just give up architecture and marry a rich guy?”

 

“If you want to be a man, don’t cry. Men don’t cry”

 

“The boys in my class said they were better at football than me because I was a girl”

 

“You women need to stop moaning! There is nothing to moan about”

 

Information and credit

 

Posted by Caspar Jayasekera on Thursday 23 May 2019